HSI El Paso locates, recovers 70 missing children in multi-agency operation
EL PASO – Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) El Paso, the Texas Department of Public Safety and numerous other federal, state and local agencies located and recovered 70 missing children as a part of a three-week operation in West Texas.
“Operation Lost Souls” ran from the end of April through mid-May in El Paso, Midland and Ector and Tom Green counties. The missing youth, many of them runaways, ranged in age from 10 to 17. The children recovered included victims of sex trafficking, and physical and sexual abuse. 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. The agencies provided victim services and counseling to the recovered children and their families.
Results of the operation were release during a news conference on May 25, which coincided with National Missing Children’s Day.
“At the Department of Public Safety, teamwork is one of our core values,” said DPS Major Matthew Mull. “We are grateful for all of our law enforcement partners who participated in this operation and who work around-the-clock every day to protect our communities, including our youth.”
The multi-agency operation produced additional information and leads that HSI is investigating.
Assisting agencies included the following: HSI Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, Attache Office, West Texas Anti-Gang Center, Texas Highway Patrol, El Paso Police Department, U.S. Marshals Service, FBI, El Paso County Constables, Socorro (Texas) Police Department (SPD), Department of Family and Protective Services, El Paso Independent School District Police Department, Texas Alcohol Beverage Commission, and the Juvenile Probation Department.
These agencies also assisted: San Angelo (Texas) Police Department, Tom Green (Texas) County Sheriff’s Office, Odessa (Texas) Police Department, Ector (Texas) County Sheriff's Office, Ector County Independent School District Police Department, Midland (Texas) County Sheriff's Office, Midland County Independent School District, Midland Juvenile Probation Department, Advocacy Center for Children of El Paso, Paseo Del Norte Center of Hope, the El Paso Center for Children, Midland Rape Crisis and Children's Advocacy Center, Harmony Home Children's Advocacy Center, Midland Memorial Hospital SANE Nurses, and Medical Center Hospital SANE Nurses,
If you have information about a human trafficking victim, information about this type of criminal activity, please contact the National Human Trafficking Hotline at (888) 373-7888.