U.S. Marshals Find 39 Missing Children in Georgia During ‘Operation Not Forgotten’

The U.S. Marshals Service Missing Child Unit, in conjunction with the agency’s Southeast Regional Fugitive Task Force, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) and Georgia state and local agencies, led a two-week operation in August in Atlanta and Macon, Georgia, to rescue endangered missing children.


Investigators charge individuals for sex offender violations, other related charges

The U.S. Marshals Service Missing Child Unit, in conjunction with the agency’s Southeast Regional Fugitive Task Force, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) and Georgia state and local agencies, led a two-week operation in August in Atlanta and Macon, Georgia, to rescue endangered missing children.

“Operation Not Forgotten” resulted in the rescue of 26 children, the safe location of 13 children and the arrest of nine criminal associates. Additionally, investigators cleared 26 arrest warrants and filed additional charges for alleged crimes related to sex trafficking, parental kidnapping, registered sex offender violations, drugs and weapons possession, and custodial interference. The 26 warrants cleared included 19 arrest warrants for a total of nine individuals arrested, some of whom had multiple warrants.

“The U.S. Marshals Service is fully committed to assisting federal, state, and local agencies with locating and recovering endangered missing children, in addition to their primary fugitive apprehension mission,” said Director of the Marshals Service Donald Washington. “The message to missing children and their families is that we will never stop looking for you.”

These missing children were considered to be some of the most at-risk and challenging recovery cases in the area, based on indications of high-risk factors such as victimization of child sex trafficking, child exploitation, sexual abuse, physical abuse, and medical or mental health conditions. Other children were located at the request of law enforcement to ensure their well-being. USMS investigators were able to confirm each child’s location in person and assure their safety and welfare.

The Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act of 2015 enhanced the U.S. Marshals’ authority to assist federal, state, and local law enforcement with the recovery of missing, endangered or abducted children,
regardless of whether a fugitive or sex offender was involved. The Marshals established a Missing Child Unit to oversee and manage the implementation of its enhanced authority under the act.

In 2019, the USMS helped recover 295 missing children based on requests for assistance from law enforcement and has contributed to the recovery of a missing child in 75 percent of cases received. Additionally, of the missing children recovered, 66 percent were recovered within seven days of the USMS assisting with the case. Since its partnership with NCMEC began in 2005, the agency has recovered more than 1,800 missing children.

“When we track down fugitives, it’s a good feeling to know that we’re putting the bad guy behind bars. But that sense of accomplishment is nothing compared to finding a missing child,” said Darby Kirby, Chief of the Missing Child Unit. “It’s hard to put into words what we feel when we rescue a missing child, but I can tell you that this operation has impacted every single one of us out here. We are working to protect them and get them the help they need.”

This initiative was the culmination of several months of planning and coordination between the USMS, NCMEC, Georgia Bureau of Investigation, Georgia Office of the Attorney General, Georgia Department of Family and Children Services, Georgia Department of Juvenile Justice, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta.

B-roll of “Operation Not Forgotten” can be found here: https://www.dropbox.com/s/d0dmhirspqtht5x/Operation%20Not%20Forgotten%20B-roll.mp4?dl=0

Photos of Operation Not Forgotten (open in Google Chrome):
https://www.flickr.com/gp/usmarshals/F3210D

Additional information about the U.S. Marshals Service can be found at http://www.usmarshals.gov.

Blogs to Follow:

USMarshals.gov (August 2020) U.S. Marshals Find 39 Missing Children in Georgia During ‘Operation Not Forgotten’

3rd Cavalry Regiment commander initiates an investigation into sexual harassment allegations concerning Pfc. Vanessa Guillen

The 3rd Cavalry Regiment commander, Col. Ralph Overland, has appointed an investigating team led by a senior investigating officer (IO) to conduct a commander’s investigation, referred to as an “AR 15-6 Investigation” into allegations that Pfc. Vanessa Guillen was sexually harassed.


The 3rd Cavalry Regiment commander, Col. Ralph Overland, has appointed an investigating team led by a senior investigating officer (IO) to conduct a commander’s investigation, referred to as an “AR 15-6 Investigation” into allegations that Pfc. Vanessa Guillen was sexually harassed.

Pfc. Vanessa Guillen is a Fort Hood Soldier assigned to 3rd CR and has been missing from her unit since April 22.

An AR 15-6 Investigation is the Army’s standard method of investigation and is used to collect and analyze facts and make recommendations based on those facts.

The IO will gather the evidence, thoroughly and impartially consider it, and make findings and recommendations. 

Reward Increased: Missing Fort Hood Soldier

Once the investigation is complete, the IO will present the findings and recommendations to Col. Overland for his review.

Chris Grey, a spokesman for the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command, said more than 150 people have been interviewed in connection with Guillen’s disappearance. Army CID investigators have partnered with the FBI, the Belton Police Department and the Texas Department of Public Safety.

“I opened an investigation concerning the information provided by the Guillen Family that Pfc. Vanessa Guillen was harassed prior to her disappearance,” said Col. Ralph Overland, Commander of the 3rd Cavalry Regiment.  “I take allegations of sexual harassment very seriously and we are conducting a thorough investigation.”

“The 3rd Cavalry Regiment continues to aggressively search for Pfc. Guillen and will not stop until we find her,” Overland said.

CID is offering a reward of up to $25,000 for credible information leading to the whereabouts of Vanessa Guillen.

Tom Rheinlander, Fort Hood’s Public Affairs Office director, reiterated, “We encourage anyone who may have information, no matter how minor, that could help in the safe return of Vanessa Guillen to please call CID agents at 254-495-7767 and share that information with them.”

CID agents also can be contacted online at https://www.cid.army.mil/report-a-crime.html.

The person providing information can remain anonymous. All credible leads are being investigated.

Fort Hood Press Center (June 2020) 3rd Cavalry Regiment commander initiates an investigation into sexual harassment allegations concerning Pfc. Vanessa Guillen

Reward Increased: Missing Fort Hood Soldier

The U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command is offering a reward of up to $25,000 for credible information leading to the whereabouts of missing Fort Hood Soldier, Pfc. Vanessa Guillen.


The U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command is offering a reward of up to $25,000 for credible information leading to the whereabouts of missing Fort Hood Soldier, Pfc. Vanessa Guillen.

The 20-year-old Vanessa Guillen was last seen April 22 between 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. in the parking lot of her Regimental Engineer Squadron Headquarters, 3rd Cavalry Regiment on Fort Hood, Texas and has not been heard from since that date.

Her car keys, barracks room key, identification card and wallet were later found in the armory room where she was working earlier in the day. She was last seen in the parking lot wearing a black t-shirt and purple fitness-type pants.

Originally from Houston, Texas, Pfc. Guillen maintained close ties with her family and the city of her birth, visiting there frequently while stationed at Fort Hood.

Guillen is of Hispanic descent, five feet, two inches tall, 126 pounds, with black hair and brown eyes. Her Military Occupational Specialty is a 91F, Small Arms/Artillery Repairer. She is an avid runner.

At this point, investigators have no credible information or report that Vanessa Guillen was sexually assaulted or that this case is in any way connected to the investigation into the disappearance of PV2 Gregory Wedel-Morales, who was last seen on the night of Aug. 19, 2019 while driving his car in Killeen, Texas.  

Both of these allegations have been widely circulated via the media and on social media.

“We are completely committed to finding Vanessa and aggressively going after every single piece of credible information and every lead in this investigation,” said Chris Grey, spokesman for Army CID. “We will not stop until we find Vanessa.”

More than 150 people have been interviewed and “We are working very closely with multiple law enforcement agencies to include the FBI, Belton Police Department and the Texas Department of Public Safety, as well as others,” Grey said. “We have also partnered with Texas EquuSearch and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children to tap into their resources as well. We have participated in ground and air searches on Fort Hood and throughout the Central Texas region.”

Army CID and Fort Hood continue to seek the public’s help for information.

“We know somebody out there has some very critical information pertaining to this investigation and we strongly encourage you to do the right thing and come forward,” Grey said.  “Do it for Vanessa and do it for her family, friends and fellow Soldiers.”

Persons with information can contact Army CID Special Agents at 254-287-2722 or the Military Police Desk at 254-288-1170. 

They can also anonymously submit information at https://www.cid.army.mil/report-a-crime.html 

People wishing to remain anonymous will be honored to the degree allowable under the law and the information will be held in the strictest confidence allowable.

For more information about CID or to report a crime, visit www.cid.army.mil.

Fort Hood Press Center (June 2020) Reward Increased: Missing Fort Hood Soldier

$1 Million Reward Offered for Information Leading to the Return of Paul Edwin Overby, Jr.


This month marks the sixth anniversary of the disappearance of Paul Edwin Overby, Jr. from Afghanistan. In mid-May 2014, Paul Edwin Overby, Jr., an American writer, disappeared in Khost Province, Afghanistan, where he was conducting research on a self-authored book.

Prior to his disappearance, Overby suggested that he planned to cross the border into Pakistan in furtherance of his research.

In May 2018, the FBI Washington Field Office announced a reward of up to $1 million for information leading directly to the safe location, recovery, and return of Paul Edwin Overby, Jr.

The reward remains unclaimed.

The FBI is dedicated to locating American citizens overseas and returning them home to their families.

“This past Friday, we mark the anniversary of the disappearance of Mr. Overby and renew our public call for information,” said Timothy R. Slater, assistant director in charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Office. “Paul Overby went missing along the border of Afghanistan and Pakistan in 2014 while researching for his book about the Afghan people, and he has not been heard from since. For six years, dedicated FBI special agents and analysts have been working tirelessly to determine Mr. Overby’s whereabouts and return him to his family. Our pursuit of justice will not end until Mr. Overby has returned home to the U.S. and his loved ones. We ask anyone with information to please contact the FBI.”

We encourage anyone with information concerning the kidnapping of Paul Edwin Overby, Jr. to contact the FBI or the nearest American Embassy or Consulate or submit a tip at tips.fbi.gov.

Tips can be kept strictly confidential.

FBI.gov (May 2020) $1 Million Reward Offered for Information Leading to the Return of Paul Edwin Overby, Jr.

Law Enforcement Seek Alabama Mother of 3 Missing Since Feb. 17

Osborne, a mother of three small children, left her Midfield home Feb. 17, 2020 on foot and has not been seen since.


(Update): A decomposing body found wrapped and concealed under a mattress in Bessemer, Alabama on Wednesday has been identified as missing 30-year-old mother Tiffany Smitherman Osborne, authorities said.

On Tuesday, Tiffany Smitherman Osborne’s family marked her 31st birthday as law enforcement in the small Alabama town continued to search for her nearly a month after she vanished.

Osborne, a mother of three small children, left her Midfield home Feb. 17, 2020 on foot and has not been seen since.

“She was last seen wearing a black jacket, blue jeans and dark boots,” a flier from the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency said. “Her direction of travel is unknown at this time.”

Osborne’s disappearance has garnered national attention. Her mother, Cathy Smitherman, told “Dateline” earlier this month that her daughter would never abandon her family, the youngest of whom is a 3-month-old baby boy.

On February 17, 2020, Tiffany Smitherman Osborne left her residence on foot and has not returned. She was last seen wearing a black jacket, blue jeans, and dark boots, her direction of travel is unknown at this time.

Status:Missing
Name:Osborne ,Tiffany Smitherman
Gender:Female
Race:White
Ethnicity:White
Eye Color:Hazel
Hair Color:Blonde or Strawberry
Height:5’5
Weight:140 lbs.
Current Age:31 Year(s)
Age Last Seen:
Location Last Seen:Midfield, Alabama
Scars, Marks, & Tattoos
Tattoos – Back(Summer and Kylie)
Tattoos – Abdomen(“Tinker Bell”)

If anyone has any information regarding the whereabouts of Tiffany Osborne, please contact the Midfield Police Department at 205-923-7575.

App.alea.gov; wsbradio.com (March, 2020)   Alabama Law Enforcement Agency Community Information Center; Police seek Alabama mother of 3 missing since Feb. 17