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Most were teen runaways, in foster care


Many of the 27 children located by the U.S. Marshals Service in Virginia were runaways, sometimes found with other family members, and teens in the foster care system, federal officials said.

A news release from the Department of Justice on Friday said that 27 children in Virginia were recovered as part of an operation over five days with federal agents, local law enforcement, state social services officials and the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children.

However, while the cases were announced together as part of a larger operation, there is no suspected criminal enterprise linking the cases and each is independent of one another, said Peter Marketos, Chief Deputy U.S. Marshal for the Eastern District of Virginia.

“A lot of (the cases) have their unique set of circumstances,” Marketos said. Many of the children “either ran away or go into what they perceived as a less dangerous situation than what they were in.”


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