More than 1,400 children are missing in Michigan. More than 740 are from Wayne County. Law enforcement officials are actively trying to bring that number down.
Police officers are combing through neighborhoods and knocking on doors as they look for children who’ve gone missing, many of them considered high-risk youths.
Michigan State Police D/Sgt. Sarah Krebs explained, “Not only to recover children that have been reported missing but the underlying tone in this was to find the hidden victims of sex trafficking.”
That’s one of the goals of Operation MI Safe Kid.
In one case Wednesday, officers found a 14-year-old staying in a vacant house.
“He hadn’t eaten a meal in three days. Those are the types of kids we are dealing with and that’s really sad.”
Once recovered, the next step is to ask a series of questions to find out if they were sex trafficking victims.
“Who did they stay with? Did somebody pay for them to stay somewhere? Did they do favors for them? Did they give them drugs?”
Officials tell us one in six runaways get involved in sex trafficking. By finding them, it saves their life and could lead police to the traffickers.
In less than a day, law enforcement officials recovered more 100 missing kids from Wayne County.
Of those, three sex trafficking cases have opened.
“If we can do this more often l, hopefully, we won’t have this big of a problem.”