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US Marshals find 27 missing children in 5 days in Virginia: ‘Will never stop looking’

Kaylee Greenlee, DCNF

A five-day federal law enforcement effort called “Operation Find Our Children” recovered 27 missing children throughout Virginia, the Department of Justice announced Friday.

U.S. Marshals, special agents, police officers and detectives from federal, state and local law enforcement agencies participated in the operation with the Virginia Department of Social Services employees, according to the Department of Justice (DOJ).

Law enforcement officials also confirmed that six children who were previously reported missing were in the custody of their legal guardian.

“The Department of Justice is dedicated to protecting the most vulnerable children in our society and ‘Operation Find Our Children’ does just that,” Deputy Attorney General Jeffrey A. Rosen said in a press release.

“While this Virginia operation is the most recent recovery of endangered and missing children led by the U.S. Marshals Service this year, we have also recovered more than 440 kids in Georgia, Ohio, Indiana, Louisiana and other states. Because of this initiative, the recovered children are now out of harm’s way,” Rosen added.

The U.S. Marshals Service participates in a nationwide effort to rescue and find missing and exploited children, according to the DOJ. In the last five years, 75% of reported missing children have been found by the agency, with 72% of those recovered within a week.

“I can think of no more critical or satisfying mission for a law enforcement officer, than rescuing an endangered child,” U.S. Marshal for the Eastern District of Virginia Nick E. Proffitt said, according to the DOJ.

“I am proud of the Deputy Marshals in the Eastern and Western Districts of Virginia and their partners for the work they accomplished this week – and the results speak for themselves; these 27 children are safe once again,” Proffitt added. “We want the missing children across this great nation to know the U.S. Marshals Service will never stop looking for you, we will find you.”

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