"Don't forget", 26 missing children recovered from US march operation
In 2018, the National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA) launched a series on the plight of missing black children, which focused primarily on missing black girls. The series, which continues with regular updates, has included developing partnerships with multiple organizations focused on educating the public about missing children in the United States.
According to a US Marshal Service press release, Marshal Service Missing Child Unit's Operation Not Forgotten resulted in the rescue of 26 children in Georgia, the safe haven of 13 children and the arrest of nine criminal employees.
The US Marshal Service has not identified the rescued children, but their actions have made the children safe and their families relieved.
“These were some of the most vulnerable and challenging recovery cases in the region based on evidence of risk factors such as child trafficking victimization, child exploitation, sexual abuse, physical abuse, and medical or mental illness. Officials noted in the press release.
The operation was completed in collaboration with the U.S. Marshals' Southeast Regional Fugitive Task Force and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, as well as state and local authorities in Georgia.
Investigators filed 26 arrest warrants and additional charges on allegations including sex trafficking, parent kidnapping, registered sex offender violations, possession of drugs and weapons, and interference with custody.
"The US Marshal Service is committed to assisting federal, state and local authorities in the search and recovery of vulnerable missing children in addition to their primary mission of fleeting arrest," said Donald Washington, director of the US Marshal Service, in the press release.
"The message to missing children and their families is that we will never stop looking for you."
In 2019, the USMS helped find 295 missing children after law enforcement asked for assistance and contributed to the recovery of a missing child in 75 percent of cases received. The news released found that of the missing children missing, 66 percent were recovered within seven days of helping the USMS with the case.
"When we track down refugees, it is a good feeling to know that we are bringing the bad guy behind bars. But that sense of achievement is nothing more than searching for a missing child," added Darby Kirby, head of the Missing Child Unit Press release added.
"It's hard to put into words how we feel when we rescue a missing child, but I can tell you that this operation has affected every single one of us out here. We are working to keep them safe and to bring them help to leave who they need. "