NEW ORLEANS — The U.S. Marshals Service Eastern District of Louisiana New Orleans Task Force Missing Child Unit Operation "Summer Knights" announced they recovered 14 missing endangered children in the New Orleans metro area between April 30, 2022, and August 31, 2022.
"I am very proud of the results of Operation Summer Knights and the profound impact it has had on protecting one of the most vulnerable groups in our community. This work could not be accomplished without the support of our federal, state, and local partners agencies involved in safeguarding at-risk children," said Enix Smith, U.S. Marshal for the Eastern District of Louisiana. "The U.S. Marshals Service is proud to be a part of a robust MCU program founded on law enforcement teamwork that took root in New Orleans starting in 2016."
Eight people were also arrested during the operation, according to U.S. Marshals.
According to U.S. Marshals Operation: "Summer Knights" highlights include:
- The June 23 arrest and recovery of a 16-year-old male runaway for the Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office who the New Orleans Police Department also wanted on a March 2021 felony warrant for 14 counts of Vehicle Burglary in uptown New Orleans. The teen attempted to flee on foot on to Interstate I-10 from the back of a residence but was arrested/recovered without incident. He had run away from a facility in Jefferson Parish in February 2021 and, since that time, is believed to be linked to multiple felony criminal activity incidents involving firearms across the metro area. During the investigation, an adult associate of the runaway rammed a USMS enforcement vehicle in New Orleans East and fled, later striking a New Orleans RTA Bus before being apprehended after a foot pursuit.
- The July 2 recovery of a 17-year-old male kidnapped from a residence in Jefferson Parish who was being held for ransom with threats to do the teen harm. Prior to the arrests of three suspects, they fled from law enforcement with the victim in a vehicle, ultimately being stopped on the Causeway Bridge, where the teen was safely recovered. The Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office and USMS New Orleans Task Force participated in this recovery.
- The July 12 recovery of a 13-year-old female for the St. Tammany Parish Sheriff's Office. The teen had run away on 07/10/2022 and was believed to be in contact with an 18-year-old male she met on social media. The teen was recovered in Denham Springs, LA.
- The July 26 recovery of two 12-year-old females for the New Orleans Police Department who had runway together weeks earlier and were known to be in the company of adult males, possibly planning on leaving the state. Both teens were recovered at a residence in the 2000 block of South Salcedo St. New Orleans by the New Orleans Police Department, HSI, and USMS New Orleans Task Force; an adult male was arrested after the recoveries for Contributing to the Delinquency of Juveniles and Performing Sexually Immoral Act.
- The August 24 recovery of a 15-year-old female for the Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office. The teen, who claimed to be pregnant and planning on relocating to Texas, was recovered walking on Canal Street with an adult male. The New Orleans Police Department made the recovery, Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office and the USMS New Orleans Task Force.
Participants in MCU Operation: "Summer Knights" included:
- U.S. Marshals Service (USMS) New Orleans Task Force
- New Orleans Police Department
- Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office
- St. Tammany Parish Sheriff's Office
- Homeland Security (HSI) New Orleans Field Office
- Louisiana Department of Child and Family Services
- National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC)
- Crimestoppers GNO
Any information about missing or endangered children should be reported to your local police department and or the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children at 1-800-The-Lost. Information about violent fugitives can be provided to the U.S. Marshals Service at (504) 589-6872, via email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or with the USMS tips app. Crimestoppers GNO may also be contacted with tips at (504) 822-1111.