During the month of October the U.S. Marshals Service worked with the Central Ohio Human Trafficking Task Force, the Ohio Attorney General's Office and other local agencies, as well as the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children in Operation Autumn Hope.
Through the course of the investigation 45 children that had previously been reported as missing were recovered and 179 individuals were arrested.
An additional 20 children were located "per the request of law enforcement to ensure thei child's well-being."
“My thanks to all personnel who have stepped up for this operation,” said Peter C. Tobin, U.S. Marshal for the Southern District of Ohio. “These are the same personnel who hunt down violent fugitives every day. I’m incredibly proud of them and pleased that they were able to apply those same skills to finding missing children. I know Operation Autumn Hope has made a difference in a lot of young lives.”
While these agencies were working to recover the children, they received a request from the Lancaster Police Department concerning a case involving a 14-year-old girl that had been reported missing in the middle of the night. She was recovered in the Columbus area by the U.S. Marshals Service less than 6 hours after she had been reported missing.
Two additional juveniles were recovered from West Virginia after investigators forwarded information concerning a suspect to Marshals within West Virginia. During a traffic stop, the children were successfully recovered and the adult male that had been driving was arrested on charges of concealment/removal of a minor child.
During the recovery of one of the missing children a 15-year-old was located who has warrants and is suspected in multiple shootings as well as a homicide. A loaded firearm was also recovered at that time.
According to the release issued by the U.S. Marshals concerning the operation, the Marshals have managed to recover 75% of the children in missing person cases that they have received, 72% of those cases within 7 days of the child going missing.