The Detroit Missing Child Recovery Unit (DMCRU) of U.S. Marshals Service (USMS) Sex Offender Investigations Branch, Michigan State Police and law enforcement officers from Wayne County agencies participated in Operation MISafeKid, a missing juvenile sweep to identify and recover missing children from the area with an emphasis on locating victims of sex trafficking.
The one-day initiative took place Sept. 26 throughout Wayne County, Michigan.
(More than 1,400 children are missing in Michigan. More than 740 are from Wayne County. Law enforcement officials are actively trying to bring that number down. Police officers are combing through neighborhoods and knocking on doors as they look for children who’ve gone missing, many of them considered high-risk youths. Courtesy of WXYZ-TV Detroit | Channel 7 and YouTube. Posted on Sep 26, 2018.)
The USMS DMCRU coordinated with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC), HUD-OIG, the Detroit Police Department and the Michigan State Police and investigated case files for missing children prior to the operation.
Participating officers were given the case files and began investigating their whereabouts by visiting last known addresses, friend’s homes and schools in hopes of finding them in a safe place.
Out of 301 files of missing children, 123 were identified and recovered safely during the operation and interviewed, which is standard protocol for the Michigan State Police.
All of the children located were interviewed about potentially being sexually victimized or used in a sex trafficking ring during their period of time that they were deemed missing.
Three cases were identified as being possible sex trafficking cases, and one homeless teen was transported back to the command post after it was discovered that he had not had anything to eat in three days.
He was then debriefed and turned over to Child Protective Services for aftercare.
This is the first time an operation of this kind has been conducted in Wayne County.
USMS DMCRU was requested to assist on 30 missing child cases two weeks prior to the sweep, and the cases were adopted by the U.S. Marshals Service and assigned to deputy U.S. marshals.
DMCRU located and recovered nine children prior to the sweep and an additional seven during the operation.
The Michigan State Police Clearing House (MMCIC) has asked for continued assistance on the remaining 14 cases.
MMCIC operates as an information and referral resource to the public, local law enforcement, and other state clearinghouses, providing information and guidance, where possible, to these entities.
The clearinghouse oversees and ensures that law enforcement agencies follow the law as it relates to the immediate entry of missing children (under the age of 18) into Michigan’s Law Enforcement Information Network (LEIN)/National Crime Information Center (NCIC) system.
The MMCIC ensures that parents have followed all the proper procedures for reporting a missing child to their local police department and getting the child entered into LEIN/NCIC.
Reports of runaway, parentally abducted or otherwise missing or exploited children are made directly to local law enforcement agencies.
(Courtesy of Jordan Fenster, lohud, Wochit.)
Additionally during the MISafeKid operation, information was obtained by DMCRU on two missing children in Texas and one in Minnesota.
DMCRU has been requested to assist on these recoveries and is actively investigating them at this time.
The Eastern District of Michigan is fully committed to assisting state and local agencies with locating and recovering missing children and the prevention of their falling victim to sex trafficking.
The Detroit Missing Child Recovery Unit (DMCRU) is tasked with investigating and recovering missing children upon request by a law enforcement agency currently attempting to locate a missing child.
The message to the missing children and their families that we wish to convey is that we will never stop looking for you.
Agencies who participated in this operation included the following law enforcement agencies:
- USMS Detroit DMCRU (SOIB)
- The Michigan State Police
- Allen Park Police Department
- Canton Police Department
- Dearborn Heights Police Department
- Detroit Police Department
- Detroit Public Schools Police Department
- The FBI
- Flat Rock Police Department
- Inkster Police Department
- Northville Township Police Department
- Plymouth Police Department
- Redford Township Police Department
- Riverview Police Department
- Romulus Police Department
- Trenton Police Department
- Van Buren Township Police Department
- Wayne Police Department
- Wayne County Sheriff’s Department
- The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) Children’s Protective Services (CPS) and
- The Vista Maria Juvenile Detention Center
Additional information about the U.S. Marshals Service can be found at http://www.usmarshals.gov.