TBI announces 150 children recovered during months-long operation to find missing children
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation announced a joint effort with the Department of Children’s Service and the U.S. Marshals Service led to the discovery of 150 missing children throughout the state.
The announcement was made during a news conference to announce the results of the months-long operation to identify and recover missing children in Tennessee.
“Operation Volunteer Strong,” began in the fall of 2020 and operation efforts launched on Jan. 4. During the operation, TBI analysts compiled information and potential leads on cases, which designated law enforcement teams pursued during two-week blitzes in each of Tennessee’s three grand regions.
According to TBI, authorities identified 86 missing children in East Tennessee. Officials said 56 of those children were recovered, five in other states.
Law enforcement located three juveniles in East Tenn. as potential human trafficking victims, resulting in a still-active TBI investigation.
“The U.S. Marshals are committed to assisting state and local agencies with locating and recovering endangered missing children to help prevent their falling victim to crimes of violence and exploitation,” said David Jolley, U.S. Marshal for the Eastern District of Tennessee. “We will use every resource at our disposal to help find these missing children.”
According to TBI, there are still 90 missing children in the system statewide. Officials said the operation is an ongoing effort and they will continue to work to recover missing children.
Rep. Tim Burchett applauded U.S. Marshals, TBI Wednesday on a successful operation to find missing children.
“This operation had miraculous results, and I’m glad these children are reunited with their families. Sadly, this is a reminder there are sick and twisted people out there looking to exploit minors,” Rep. Burchett said. “I know the great folks who made Operation Volunteer Strong a success will continue their important work and help put a stop to this criminal activity.”
Watch the news conference below:
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