The following press release was issued by the U.S. Marshals Service on Wednesday, May 24, 2023.
San Antonio, TX – The United States Marshals Service (USMS), along with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) and state and local agencies in 16 federal judicial districts and 15 geographical locations across the U.S., led a 10-week national operation that resulted in the recovery or safe location of 225 endangered missing children, which includes runaways and those abducted by non-custodial persons.
Operation We Will Find You is the first nationwide missing child operation focused on geographical areas with high clusters of critically missing children.
Operation We Will Find You resulted in the recovery of 169 children and the safe location of 56 children. During the operation, the U.S. Marshals Service referred 28 cases to law enforcement agencies for further investigation of crimes such as drugs and weapons, sex trafficking, and sex offender violations. Law enforcement reported allegations of trafficking in over 40 cases the U.S. Marshals Service assisted with. Of the cases closed, 86% were endangered runaways, nearly 9% were family abductions, and 5% were considered otherwise missing. The youngest child recovered was six months old.
During the operation, 42 children were found outside the city where they went missing, and 10 children were found outside of the United States in Mexico. In addition, the U.S. Marshals Service arrested a Top 15 Most Wanted couple who fled to Mexico from Washington state with their five children, who they had taken into hiding.
The Western District of Texas in the San Antonio Division contributed to the recovery and location of 30 children that included three outside of the United States.
"Operation We Will Find You is a partnership of law enforcement agencies, working together in the communities they serve to recover the most vulnerable children. This is a partnership that positively shapes outcomes, demonstrating value and gaining the public’s trust”, said Susan Pamerleau, U.S. Marshal for the Western District of Texas.
Participants of Operation We Will Find You included:
- U.S. Marshals Service (USMS)
- Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS)
- Texas Attorney General’s Office
- U.S. Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS)
- Texas Department of Family and Protective Services
- Bexar County Sheriff’s Office
- Converse Police Department
- Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE)