The three-month Missing Child Unit Operation (MCU) "Fresh Start" resulted in the recovery of 16 missing children in New Orleans, Louisiana.

The rescue operation was led by the U.S. Marshals Service (USMS) Eastern District of Louisiana New Orleans Task Force. These investigations were part of the three-month MCU operation that also uncovered allegations of human sex trafficking in several of the cases, CBN News reported.

According to the USMS Eastern District, the operation was held between January 1 and March 31. U.S. Marshal for the Eastern District of Louisiana Scott Illing said "I am very proud of the cooperative work done by all the agencies involved in safeguarding at-risk children. Our Office is proud to be a part of a robust MCU program that took root in New Orleans starting in 2016."

According to a press release, aside from the rescue of 16 children, six children were self-returned, three children were recovered as another status, three more were recovered by other law enforcement agencies, and five arrests were made during the operation.

On January 13, MCU arrested and recovered two male teens who escaped from the New Orleans Youth Study Center. They've been found with two teens who were allegedly involved in the carjacking of an elderly woman.

MCU also saved a 5-year-old female and a 7-year-old male, both were taken by the non-custodial parent on January 20. The Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office charged a felony warrant for the mother of the children for Kidnapping, and she attempted to avoid arrest along the way.

On January 31, MCU recovered an infant being abducted by his father. The father has been searched for shooting and killing the infant's grandfather. Later on, he surrendered to New Orleans Police Department Violent Offenders Warrant Squad (VOWS) with the child being securely recovered.

On the same day, MCU rescued a 16-year-old female who had been reported missing by her father. According to the father, she ran away with her 2-year-old son. Both we located with the assistance of SMS New York/New Jersey Regional Fugitive Task Force (NY/NJ RFTF) in Bronx, NY.

There's also a 2-year-old male who had been kidnapped by a family member who had been recovered on February 8. According to the report, the child was taken from his crib and abducted from the residence. The joint efforts of the NOPD Special Victim's Division - Child Abuse Unit and USMS New Orleans Taskforce led to the child being safely returned to his mother.

A 15-year-old female diagnosed with Schizophrenia was located on February 9. She wrestled from restraints and jumped out of an ambulance on the way to Children's Hospital in New Orleans. She was later found and recovered in New Orleans, Louisiana with the help of the New Orleans Police Department Special Victim's Division - Child Abuse Unit, Ouachita Parish Sheriff's Office, and Xavier University Police Department.

On March 25, a 14-year-old female runaway was located and recovered by the USMS Southeast Regional Fugitive Task Force living with several adults. According to the family, they were worried about her possible involvement in sex trafficking and being with an unknown older adult.

A 14-year-old habitual runaway, who had been a victim of sexual assault, was also recovered with assistance from the West Baton Rouge Sheriff's Office and Addis, Louisiana Police Department on March 26. She was returned to St. Tammany Parish.