The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) says a major operation has helped locate 150 missing children out of 240 who were identified. Officials say they want those missing kids to know that people are indeed out there looking for them and will not rest until they are found.
Shelly Smitherman of the TBI said “Operation Volunteer Strong” has been in preparation for months – dating back to fall 2020.
According to News Channel 5 in Tennessee the operation focused on children ages 3-17.
The TBI, the Tennessee Department of Children’s Services and the U.S. Marshals were involved in the operation, which began in the fall. In January, teams began pursuing leads during two-week periods in each of Tennessee’s three grand regions.
Agents said the children range in age from 3-17. Eight of the children were living out of state.
The nature of the reasons for why these children were missing varied, ranging from abuse to runaways. One of the children had been missing for well over a year, about 460 days in total.
“We can’t give up. We need the public, we need the media, we need our law enforcement partners, the other children services departments to not give up on these children. To continue to look for them to make sure they know that someone is looking for them,” said U.S. Marshal Denny W. King.
With 90 known children still missing, TN Department of Children’s Service Commissioner Jennifer Nichols said that “this work is transformational, we cannot stop. And there is nothing more worthwhile.”
This is the latest in a series of similar operations unfolding around the country to help rescue children who otherwise would be long forgotten.
Praise God for these young ones and please continue praying for them as they will obviously be dealing with intense trauma as they try and move forward with their lives.