DALLAS — The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Texas announced Wednesday, 31 children from the Dallas-Fort Worth area have been located, recovered or rescued after a month-long operation led by the U.S. Marshals Service and Homeland Security Investigations.
Federal agencies partnered with four local police departments – Arlington, Dallas, Fort Worth and Grand Prairie – to launch “Operation Missing in the Metroplex,” the attorney's office said.
Of the 31 children recovered, officials said at least seven were critically missing children with ties to sex trafficking. The cases include:
- A 15-year-old girl recovered by Dallas police at a Dallas home following a tip by a confidential source.
- A 17-year-old girl recovered by Dallas police from a vehicle.
- A 16-year-old girl recovered by Arlington police inside a Kerens, Texas home following information from social media.
- A 13-year-old girl recovered by Fort Worth police from an apartment.
- A 15-year-old girl from Fort Worth recovered in an Uber in Houston during a prostitution sting.
- A 16-year-old girl recovered by Fort Worth police at a “John’s” house in Fort Worth.
- A 16-year-old girl recovered by Dallas police walking on Lancaster Boulevard.
“To observe law enforcement partnerships and community concerns culminate into such a successful recovery outcome is rewarding,” Acting United States Marshal Quintella Downs-Bradshaw said. “Victims should know they are not forgotten, there is hope and a way to return home.”
Officials said the remaining 24 children were recovered from friends or relatives, and then were reunited with their legal guardians and removed from the missing children database.
“We are grateful to be a part of a coalition of extraordinary law enforcement agencies who were dedicated in reuniting these children with their loved ones. It is our hope that each of them will be able to put this traumatic experience behind them and move forward to have a happy and productive life,” said Dallas Police Department Chief of Police Eddie Garcia.
Although this operation lasted about 30 days, Homeland Security Investigations – Dallas said it will continue to work with local law enforcement and federal agencies to identify and recover missing children across North Texas.
“These kids and teens represent some of our most vulnerable populations where adults try to prey on their innocence. We will not rest until every child is located safe and someone is held accountable,” said Arlington Chief of Police Al Jones.
Officials say if you believe your child is missing, call local law enforcement. Then provide authorities with your child’s name, height, weight, and any other key descriptor. Then, officials said consider call the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children at 1-800-843-5678.