The Missing Child Unit of the U.S. Marshals Service Eastern District of Louisiana New Orleans Task Force rescued at least 16 missing children and took five people into custody.
On Jan. 1, the task force launched the operation "Fresh Start," and it wrapped up March 31, according to a press release from the U.S. Marshals Service. In addition to the rescues and arrests, the initiative uncovered alleged instances of sex trafficking.
"Based on the operation, at least four felony warrants exist for adults suspected of involvement with (Missing Child Unit) minors and the USMS New Orleans Task Force is actively pursuing these fugitives," stated the press release.
The task force highlighted several instances in which the operation led to the safe recovery of children. Among those rescued were a 5-year-old girl and a 7-year-old boy who were taken by a noncustodial parent. And at the end of January, a 1-year-old boy who was "abducted by his father after the father shot and killed the infant's grandfather" was rescued. Officials also saved a 2-year-old boy who had been kidnapped by a family member.
U.S. Marshal Scott Illing said he is "very proud" of the work done by the task force and other cooperating agencies involved in the operation.
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