The following press release was issued by the U.S. Marshals Service for the District of Colorado on Tuesday, November 29, 2022.
Denver, CO – The U.S. Marshals District of Colorado, in coordination with the Aurora Police Department and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, recently wrapped up a two-week, mutli-agency effort dubbed "Operation Lost and Found" to locate or recover critically endangered missing children throughout the Denver metropolitan area.
From Nov. 7-18, federal investigators coordinated with the Aurora Police Department (APD) and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) to locate or recover a total of 11 critically endangered missing children, resulting in one arrest of an adult subject for alleged interference with a custodial order.
Once recovered, the Aurora Police Department (APD) worked with the Colorado Department of Human Services to determine where each child would be returned or if other placement was necessary.
The two-week initiative was the culmination of several months of planning and coordination between the U.S. Marshals District of Colorado, Aurora PD, Colorado Department of Human Services, Colorado Bureau of Investigations, Homeland Security Investigations, and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC). The children recovered had all been reported missing to local law enforcement, entered into the National Crime Information Center database and reported to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) as missing.
These children, between the ages of 12 and 17, 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, sex abuse, physical abuse and medical or mental health conditions. Names and more detailed information about their respective cases is not being released in order to protect the identities and privacy of those involved.
This operation is the first dedicated missing child operation conducted by the U.S. Marshals Service in Colorado.
"As the Marshals continue to develop our Missing Child Unit, we will continue to support state and local law enforcement partners in locating and reunifying missing and exploited children with their families," said Kirk Taylor, U.S. Marshal for the District of Colorado.
In 2015 the Justice for Juvenile Victims of Trafficking Act was passed, granting U.S. Marshals Service the authority to assist in missing child cases. To manage these missing child cases, the U.S. Marshals Service formed the Missing Child Unit. The mission of the MCU is to develop, implement and oversee a comprehensive nationwide missing child investigative program, utilizing all available U.S. Marshals Service investigative resources and disciplines in coordination with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. The MCU provides program development, review, and refinement with the ultimate goal of assisting federal, state and local partners to recover as many missing children as possible in the interest of public safety.
Agencies involved in the operation included:
- U.S. Marshals Service District of Colorado
- U.S. Marshals Service Missing Child Unit
- Aurora Police Department – Internet Crimes Against Children Unit
- Colorado Bureau of Investigations
- National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC)
- Colorado Department of Human Services
- Department of Homeland Security Investigations
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