A coordinated effort to identify and locate missing children across Tennessee has led to the recovery of 150 missing children by the United States Marshals Service, Tennessee Department of Children’s Services, and the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation. Planning for the effort, named ‘Operation Volunteer Strong,’ began in the fall of 2020, with operation efforts launching on January 4th. After identifying 240 missing children statewide, TBI intelligence analysts compiled thorough information and potential leads on each, which designated law enforcement teams carefully pursued during two-week blitzes in each of Tennessee’s three grand regions.
For West Tennessee, the operation took place February 8th through the 12th and February 22nd through the 26th. Authorities identified 82 missing children in West Tennessee, of which 52 were recovered, three of them in other states. Of the 52 children recovered, authorities located 33 of them in the weeks leading up to the operation, 18 during the operation, and one after it concluded.
While searching for missing children, authorities located two adults with outstanding warrants. Law enforcement identified one of the recovered juveniles as a human trafficking victim, resulting in a still-active investigation by a Mississippi local law enforcement agency and FBI. Authorities safely recovered a child during an active kidnapping investigation, resulting in the arrest of the suspect. “I hope this operation changes the course for 150 young lives and leads them to the path of opportunities every child…
For complete coverage, see the March 10th edition of The Lexington Progress.