U.S. Marshals located 25 missing and endangered children from Ohio in the past 20 days of an ongoing operation. U.S. Marshals worked with state and local agencies in Ohio to track down missing children in Operation Safety Net.
The missing children, who were between the ages of 13 and 18, were found in Cleveland, East Cleveland, Euclid, Willoughby, and as far away as Miami, Florida. U.S. Marshals noted that a quarter of the endangered children were victims of human trafficking and prostitution.
“These are kids that have been abused, neglected. Some involved in human trafficking,” U.S. Marshal Pete Elliott told WOIO-TV. “Sometimes the situations they—they go to, believe it or not, may be better than the situations they left from. We’ve had some cases where the mother and or father, or both, may have been prostituting their own child.”
“We’re trying to do our part. A number of these children have gone to the hospital after we’ve recovered them to get checked out, so again this is something we take very seriously,” Elliott added. “I’ll tell you this, it will be something we’ll be doing every year. This is our first time we have done this, it’s been uncharted territory for us, but we’ve had great success.”