39 Children Found in Georgia After U.S. Marshals Two-Week Rescue Operation
"Operation Not Forgotten" was a joint effort by multiple agencies including the U.S. Marshals, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, and the FBI.
In an effort to locate some of the most at-risk missing children in Georgia, the United States Marshals Service, and a number of other agencies, joined forces during an extensive two-week operation to find children. Those rescued were between the ages of 3-17, reports say.
According to a press release, the investigative agencies focused their efforts in what they dubbed, "Operation Not Forgotten" in Atlanta and Macon, GA to locate victims. Nine criminal associates were arrested and 26 arrest warrants were cleared, the Marshals add.
Additional charges were filed as well. Those charges include, "alleged crimes related to sex trafficking, parental kidnapping, registered sex offender violations, drugs and weapons possession, and custodial interference."
The victims found were among the most challenging recovery cases the agencies in Georgia had and the high-risk factors included, "Victimization of sex trafficking, child exploitation, sexual abuse, physical abuse, physical abuse, an medical or mental health conditions."
Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr and his office are helping to place the young victims in rehabilitation centers, ABC News reports.
Darby Kirby, Chief of the Medical Missing Child Unit says, “When we track down fugitives, it’s a good feeling to know that we're putting the bad guy behind bars. But that sense of accomplishment is nothing compared to finding a missing child.
Kirby adds, "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.”
The US Marshals recovered 295 missing children in 2019, a recovery result in 75 percent of the cases brought to their agency. The close partnership with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children has helped to find 1,800 missing children since 2005, the release concludes.