Officials in Texas say 70 missing children, ranging from 10 to 17, were recovered and located within three weeks; and some of these children were victims of sex trafficking, physical abuse, and sexual abuse.
Homeland Security Investigations El Paso, the Texas Department of Public Safety led the three-week operation in West Texas and worked with numerous other federal, state and local agencies. “Operation Lost Souls” ran from the end of April through May in El Paso, Midland and Ector and Tom Green counties.
"The majority of the children were located in West Texas, but some were located in the Dallas/Ft. Worth metroplex as well as the state of Colorado and Ciudad Juarez, Mexico," said HSI. "The agencies provided victim services and counseling to the recovered children and their families."
Details and results regarding the operation were released on May 25, National Missing Children’s Day. Homeland Security Investigations said this operation produced additional information and leads that are being investigated.
“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," said HSI El Paso Deputy Special Agent in Charge Taekuk Cho.
Anyone with information about a human trafficking victim can contact the National Human Trafficking Hotline at (888) 373-7888.