'Operation Safeguard' recovers more than a dozen critically missing Pa. children

(Photo by Mark Makela/Getty Images)

Federal authorities in Philadelphia have recovered over a dozen critically missing children, including some with direct ties to child sex trafficking operations, officials announced Thursday. 

A months-long investigation called "Operation Safeguard" saw U.S. Marshal collaborate with the Philadelphia Department of Human Services and the Bucks County Children Youth Services to identify and recover 26 exploited children. 

These missing children are considered to be some of the most at-risk and challenging recovery cases locally, based on high-risk factors such as victimization of child sex trafficking, child exploitation, sexual abuse, physical abuse, and medical or mental health conditions.

The multiagency investigation managed to recover 16 of the endangered children, including four who are part of an active sex trafficking investigation, officials said.

No details were provided about the recovery effort or if anyone was arrested during the operation.

Over the past five years, U.S. Marshals have recovered missing children in 75% of the cases they have received. Since 2015, the Marshals have recovered more than 1700 missing children. 



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