The Missing Child Unit of the U.S. Marshals Service Eastern District of Louisiana New Orleans Task Force rescued at least 16 missing children and took five people into custody.
On Jan. 1, the task force launched the operation “Fresh Start” and it wrapped up March 31, according to a press release from the U.S. Marshals Service. In addition to the rescues and arrests, the initiative uncovered alleged instances of sex trafficking.
“Based on the operation, at least four felony warrants exist for adults suspected of involvement with [Missing Child Unit] minors and the USMS New Orleans Task Force is actively pursuing these fugitives,” stated the press release.
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The task force highlighted several instances in which the operation led to the save recovery of children. Among those rescued were a 5-year-old girl and a 7-year-old boy who were taken by a non-custodial parent. And at the end of January, a 1-year-old boy who was “abducted by his father after the father shot and killed the infant’s granddaughter” was rescued. Officials also saved a 2-year-old boy who had been kidnapped by a family member.
U.S. Marshal Scott Illing said he is “very proud” of the work done by the task force and other cooperating agencies involved in the operation.
“I am very proud of the cooperative work done by all the agencies involved in safeguarding at-risk children,” he said. “Our Office is proud to be a part of a robust MCU program that took root in New Orleans starting in 2016.”
“This work,” he continued, “is being done with our partners while our office still performs its critical USMS missions (judicial and witness security, managing federal prisoners, violent fugitives’ apprehension, sex offender investigations, and service of federal process).”
You can read more details about those who were rescued by clicking here.
Other agencies that partnered with the MCU task force include the New Orleans Police Department, the Broward County Sheriff’s Office in Florida, the Georgia, Louisiana, and Florida Departments of Children and Family Services, the FBI’s New Orleans Field Office, and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, among others.
Please be in prayer for those who were rescued as they begin to process the trauma they have endured. Pray, too, for the law enforcement officials as they continue this brave work.
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