7 missing Youngstown kids found

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Seven kids reported missing from Youngstown have been found.

The children were recovered by the U.S. Marshals as part of its Operation “We Will Find You.”

The seven children recovered were between the ages of 14 and 17.

Four of the seven children were recovered by the Marshals and the other three were recovered by other local law enforcement agencies unrelated to the operation.

In total, 35 children in Northern Ohio were found and returned to their homes and legal guardians.

“All of the circumstances that surround each of these individuals are different… Maybe it’s a legal custody thing, where parent or guardian doesn’t even have custody of them, they’re in the custody of the state. Some of them revolve around how they go missing. So there’s a few different ways in which we would get involved in these cases,” said Alex Rutter, public affairs officer for the Northern Ohio District of the U.S. Marshals.

Rutter says the majority of their cases are endangered runaways. However, there are some rare cases where stranger abductions take place.

The operation ran from March 1, 2023, until May 15.

The Northern District of Ohio (N/OH) was one of 16 selected regions to take part in this operation due to past success in carrying out such operations.

“I don’t know if comforting is the right word, but it sure is encouraging. You know, it makes us happy that we’re involved in this mission and that we can help our state and local counterparts,” Rutter said.

There were 16 other areas around the country that also carried out this operation. More than 200 kids were recovered.

“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,” said U.S. Marshal Pete Elliott.

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.