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Agencies recover 70 missing children in West Texas

Those recovered included victims of abuse and sex trafficking.

TEXAS, USA — Homeland Security Investigations announced on May 25 it had completed a three week long operation along with several other agencies.

"Operation Lost Souls" located and recovered 70 missing children in Midland, Ector, El Paso and Tom Green counties. This operation ran from the end of April to mid-May.

These children, many of whom were runaways, were aged 10 to 17 and included victims of physical and sexual abuse as well as sex trafficking.

40 of the children were recovered from the Midland/Odessa area, the youngest of whom was 13 years old.

HSI says the operation has also produced numerous other leads the agency will be investigating.

Agencies assisting HSI include the Midland and Ector County Sheriff's Office, Harmony Home Children's Advocacy Center, Texas DPS, U.S. Marshals and the FBI.

“Operation Lost Souls exemplifies Homeland Security Investigations’ commitment to protecting the public from crimes of victimization. In this case, we are looking out for our children - our community’s most precious resource,” said HSI El Paso Deputy Special Agent in Charge Taekuk Cho in a press release.

Due to the nature of the investigation and it involving minors, HSI has not released any further information on the investigation at this time.

Anyone with information about a human trafficking victim or information about this type of criminal activity, you are asked to call the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 888-373-7888. 

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