A multi-agency operation in western Texas has found 70 missing children in recent weeks, authorities said.
Led by Homeland Security Investigations in El Paso and the Texas Department of Public Safety, Operation Lost Souls was conducted over three weeks, from the end of April through mid-May, the agency announced.
The recovered children were ages 10 to 17, and a majority were runaways. Authorities said some of the children were victims of sex trafficking, as well as physical and sexual abuse. Most of the children were in west Texas, but they were recovered in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, in Colorado and in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico.
“Operation Lost Souls exemplifies Homeland Security Investigations’ commitment to protecting the public from crimes of victimization. In this case, we are looking out for our children – our community’s most precious resource,” El Paso Deputy Special Agent in Charge Taekuk Cho said in a statement. “HSI is committed to continue working with our law enforcement partners to locate, recover and help missing children heal, while ensuring that perpetrators are held responsible for these heinous crimes and brought to justice.”
Authorities said the assisting agencies provided services and counseling to victims and their families.
People with any information on human trafficking are urged to contact the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 888-373-7888.
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‘This too shall pass away’ this famous Persian adage seems to be defeating us again and again in the case of COVID-19. Despite every effort