U.S. Marshals Service Rescued 39 Missing Children in Georgia

39 missing children were rescued in Georgia by the U.S. Marshals Service over two weeks.

What We Know:

  • The U.S. Marshals Service announced in a press release that 39 missing children were rescued after a two-week operation in August in Atlanta and Macon, Georgia. The U.S. Marshals Service Missing Child Unit worked alongside the agency’s Southeast Regional Fugitive Task Force, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC), and Georgia state and local agencies during the mission called “Operation Not Forgotten”.
  • “These missing children were considered to be some of the most at-risk and challenging recovery cases in the area, based on indications of high-risk factors such as victimization of child sex trafficking, child exploitation, sexual abuse, physical abuse, and medical health conditions,” the press release read. “Other children were located at the request of law enforcement to ensure their wellbeing. USMS investigators were able to confirm each child’s location in person and assure their safety and welfare.”
  • Along with the rescue of the children, authorities cleared 26 arrest warrants and nine were arrested. Investigators also filed additional charges for alleged crimes related to sex trafficking, parental kidnapping, drugs and weapons possession, registered sex offender violations, and custodial interference.
  • “When we track down fugitives, it’s a good feeling to know that we’re putting the bad guy behind bars,” Darby Kirby, Chief of the Missing Child Unit said in the press release. “But that sense of accomplishment is nothing compared to finding a missing child. It’s hard to put into words what we feel when we rescue a missing child, but I can tell you that this operation has impacted every single one of us out here. We are working to protect them and get them the help they need.”

Last year, the U.S. Marshals Service helped rescue almost 300 missing children and has contributed to the rescue of a missing child in 75% of cases they’ve received. And 66% of the recovered children are found within seven days of the USMS assistance on the case.