Operation Safety Net concludes with 35 endangered children recovered

A task force led by U.S. Marshals in Ohio has located 25 missing children.
A task force led by U.S. Marshals in Ohio has located 25 missing children.(US Marshals Service)
Published: Sep. 21, 2020 at 9:19 AM EDT
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CLEVELAND (WTVG) - The U.S. Marshals Service program to recover missing and endangered children has concluded, with 35 children recovered during Operation Safety Net in northern Ohio.

The children were between the ages of 13 and 18, with more than 20 percent connected to human trafficking cases. Of the 40 cases refered to the Marshals Task Force, only five remain open.

The U.S. Marshal for the Northern District of Ohio has now created a permanent Missing Child Unit throughout the 40 counties of northern Ohio to focus on those missing, abused, neglected, and trafficking juveniles.

“This was new unchartered territory and the first time we conducted an operation like this,” U.S. Marshal Pete Elliott said. “I am very proud of our law enforcement, community, and media partners who worked tirelessly to bring our missing and most vulnerable children to safety. The establishment of a permanent unit in Northern Ohio will ensure that our most vulnerable missing children will continue to be found and brought to safety.”

Children were located and recovered in Cleveland, Euclid, Akron, Mansfield, Columbus, and other cities in Ohio, and Miami, Florida.

The Missing Child Unit of The U.S. Marshals Service will continue to be asking for support from the community in locating the five remaining missing kids. Tips about where these kids may be can be called into the U.S. Marshals tip line at 1-866-492-6833.

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