Cleveland, OH – The U.S. Marshals Service conducted Operation We Will Find You (OWWFY), a national missing child operation worked in conjunction with federal, state, and local agencies to recover endangered missing children. The Northern District of Ohio (N/OH) was one of sixteen selected regions to take part in this operation due to past success carrying out such operations. This is the third large scale missing child operation conducted by the U.S. Marshals in Northern Ohio. The operation ran from March 1, 2023, until May 15, 2023. During this time thirty-five (35) children were located and recovered.
The missing children recovered came from across the Northern District of Ohio, focusing on the major metropolitan areas of Cleveland, Toledo, Akron, Canton, Youngstown, and surrounding counties. The cases led officers across Ohio, and even across the country to California, Arizona, and West Virginia. All the missing juvenile’s whereabouts were unknown, and critical risk factors placed them in elevated danger of physical or sexual abuse, neglect, substance abuse or human trafficking.
These operations help bring a larger scale approach to add resources, broaden the reach of the local police departments, and streamline investigative effort, especially when they cross state and jurisdictional line.
U.S. Marshal Pete Elliott stated, “The Marshals Service is fully committed to assisting federal, state, and local agencies with locating and recovering endangered missing children. The main objective of Operation We Will Find You was to find as many critically missing children as possible. The epidemic of missing children in our country needs a spotlight, it needs our focus. We hope operations like this sharpen that focus. Every child deserves a safe environment to grow up in, and we are dedicated to helping provide that for the children and families in Northern Ohio.”
Anyone with information concerning a wanted fugitive or missing child can contact the Northern Ohio Violent Fugitive Task Force at 1-866-4WANTED (1-866-492-6833), or you can submit a web tip. Reward money is available, and tipsters may remain anonymous. Follow the U.S. Marshals on Twitter @USMSCleveland.