200 missing kids found in national operation, and some are from California

A six-week national operation found 200 missing children across the U.S., including children from California.

Operation We Will Find You 2 (OWWFY2) is the second of its kind. The operation spanned May 20 to June 24.

A news release from the Department of Justice reads, in part, "With technical assistance from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC), OWWFY2 resulted in the recovery and removal of 123 children from dangerous situations. An additional 77 missing children were located and found to be in safe locations, according to law enforcement or child welfare agencies. Of the 200 children found, 173 were endangered runaways, 25 were considered otherwise missing, one was a family abduction, and one was a non-family abduction. The youngest child recovered was five months old. 14 of the children were found outside the city where they went missing. Additionally, of the missing children recovered, 57% were recovered within seven days of the USMS assisting with the case."

The operation took place in the following California counties - San Joaquin, Stockton, and Sacramento. Cities in Arizona, Florida, Michigan, North Carolina, New York, and Oregon, were also part of the operation.

The U.S. Marshals Service targeted areas that had a high cluster of missing endangered children.

Officials described one of the cases involving a 17-year-old girl who was reported missing by her legal guardian on Oct. 26. An investigation revealed the teen was likely living with her older sister - a known prostitute, at a hotel in Oakland known for prostitution and trafficking, according to authorities. 

"[On May 30] Management at the hotel confirmed that both sisters had two rooms and had been staying there for some time with an unknown adult male. At one point, USMS observed the three individuals leave the rooms and begin packing their car. Once inside the vehicle, the USMS was able to safely move in and detain all three individuals. The child was then turned over to authorities," officials noted.

That case is still being investigated.

The first Operation We Will Find You located 225 missing children back in 2023, according to officials.

Tap or click here to read more about Operation We Will Find You 2.

FOX 10 Phoenix contributed to this report.