More Than 150 Missing Kids Brought Back To Safety Thanks To New Effort From CMPD

CHARLOTTE, NC. — CMPD Missing Persons Detectives and U.S Marshals worked together to bring home 130 kids. The majority of them were missing for six months or more. In the last two months, they also found 27 critically missing juveniles.

“Several of these kids were engaged in high-risk activities. Not to sugarcoat it anything narcotics activities, human trafficking, prostitution,” says CMPD Captain Joe McNelly.

It’s part of Operation Carolina Homecoming. A collaborative effort focused on the recovery of missing and runaway juveniles in the charlotte area where previous efforts to locate them had been unsuccessful.

“It’s very disheartening. As a police officer, be as a parent to see kids who are susceptible to this. The people who do this know exactly who they’re looking for. They’re looking for the people who are vulnerable.”

Dr. Stacy Reynolds says the community remains underresourced to do this work effectively.

“Places of restoration and healing that are not really punitive we have a tendency to see these kids as the bad kids that are off the rails. Places that want to actually connect and understand that kid on an individual level,” Dr. Reynolds says.