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Feds: 35 missing & endangered children saved, 5 still missing following month-long rescue operation

A fifth of the missing persons cases reportedly involved human trafficking

The U.S. Marshals Service announced Monday that 35 missing and endangered children were recovered in Ohio during a month-long rescue operation.

The federal agency said in a statement that only five of the 40 missing persons cases were referred to the Marshals Task Force remain open. The 35 juveniles were located in the Cuyahoga County area as part of “Operation Safety Net,” which involves local and federal authorities.

“Members of the [Marshals] task force and its local partners will continue to work over the next several weeks to bring these five remaining children and other children to safety,” U.S. Marshals said.

The children found during the month-long investigation were between the ages of 13 and 18. The U.S. Marshals Service said that roughly 20 percent of these cases involved human trafficking.

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The press release also included information about the five children who remain missing, who are as follows:

  • Leantwana Bates, 17, last seen April 18, 2020, in Cleveland’s east side. Believed to be near Cleveland’s east side.
  • Yalonda Bates, 15, last seen April 18, 2020, in Cleveland’s east side. Believed to be near Cleveland’s east side.
  • Ja-Niya Scott Lee, 16, last seen August 23, 2020, in Cleveland. Believed to be in Euclid.
  • Alicia Jackson, 16, reported missing from Berea. Believed to be near Cleveland’s east side, but may also be in the Glenville neighborhood.
  • Isaac Ortiz, 16, reported missing near Lorain’s west side. Believed to be in Cleveland’s west side.

Along with the U.S. Marshals Service, several agencies participated in Operation Safety Net, including the Cleveland Police Department, East Cleveland Police Department, Cuyahoga County Sheriff’s Department, Newburgh Heights Police Department, and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

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[Featured image: U.S. Marshals Service]