A monthlong mission in Ohio recently turned up 45 missing children and led to 179 arrests, authorities said.
In an operation dubbed Autumn Hope, the US Marshals Service in Ohio and Virginia tracked the children, including a “high-risk” 15-year-old girl from Cleveland who was linked to suspected human trafficking, authorities said Monday.
Twenty other children were also located as authorities checked on their well-being.
During one of the missing children recoveries, a loaded gun was recovered. A 15-year-old boy had two warrants and is suspected in multiple shootings and a murder, authorities said.
Two other juveniles were found in West Virginia during a traffic stop, leading to the arrest of an adult male who was charged with concealment/removal of a minor child in Jackson County.
Autumn Hope was conducted by the marshals in conjunction with the Ohio Attorney General’s Office and the Central Ohio Human Trafficking Task Force, as well as the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and state and local agencies in Ohio.
“My thanks to all personnel who have stepped up for this operation,” said Peter C. Tobin, US 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.”