HARRIS COUNTY, Texas – Thirty-one runaway children and teenagers who were at risk for human trafficking were found this month through a special Harris County Sheriff’s Office operation.
The initiative was created to find children ages 12-17, and it ran from Aug. 10-12.
The Missing Persons Unit, Human Trafficking Unit, Child Abuse Unit, and Crime Reduction Units were also partners in the investigation.
Authorities’ mission was to return the runaways to their parents ahead of the school year. Deputies, human trafficking and child abuse investigators worked throughout the county during the operation.
Through the initiative, Erika Salazar, 42, was arrested on Aug. 11 for harboring a runaway child. Deputies also found a young girl in Louisiana who may be a victim of human trafficking. Officers are still investigating this incident.
Sheriff Ed Gonzalez thanked the officers who helped bring these children and teens home.
“Our mission to protect our youth and ensure their safety remains a top priority. This operation demonstrates our commitment to serve and protect our community’s most vulnerable, especially as they face potential risks and challenges.”