“Over the weekend U.S. Marshals rescued dozens of missing children across Ohio, many of whom were being trafficked.” Gov. Mike DeWine said during a Tuesday news conference.
“Operation Safety Net” is still in its first two weeks and is ongoing, according to the Marshals Service. It’s being carried out in conjunction with local law enforcement agencies around northern Ohio.
DeWine described it as a “great, great effort,” and although only some of the children were believed to be victims of human trafficking, he called on all residents to recognize and report signs of it.
They can include a young person who repeatedly runs away, individuals who move often, a young person with someone who is older and unrelated, or signs of physical abuse, among other indicators, he said.
The children were missing for various reasons and were recovered in multiple locations. Some could be vulnerable to abuse or neglect at home. About a quarter of them were believed to be victims of human trafficking or forced prostitution.