On Oct. 17, U.S. Marshals located 42-year-old Shawn Rodriguez in her Arlington home with her three children, named Daniel, David, and Ariana Olivera. The find came after a lengthy investigation, KCTV reported.
The children were all under the age of 8 when Rodriguez allegedly took them and disappeared in 2017. She was reportedly heading from their Missouri home to California at the time, the report noted.
The father of the children was given full custody in 2019, and they were listed by officials as missing in July of this year. In August, Saline County officials issued a warrant for Rodriguez for parental kidnapping, KHSB reported.
The missing children and their mother (National Center for Missing and Exploited Children)
The Saline County Sheriff’s Office reached out to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children to obtain assistance in the case before it was referred to the U.S. Marshals in Missouri, the reports said.
Months later, they determined that she and the three children were living in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.
Marshals and local police discovered Rodriguez and the three children living in Arlington, Texas. She was taken into custody and is awaiting extradition to Missouri.
The children were taken into care by the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services. They will later be reunited with their father, who was not named.
Officials did not reveal how they located Rodriguez and her children.
Other details about the case were not disclosed.
Over 600,000 people go missing in the United States every year, according to the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System. Many of the missing adults and children are found safe but others are never found or are found dead.
“It is estimated that 4,400 unidentified bodies are recovered each year, with approximately 1,000 of those bodies remaining unidentified after one year,” the center stated.
As of Oct. 18, there were 16,822 open missing person cases in addition to 13,022 open unidentified person cases.
Reve Walsh and John Walsh speak during The National Center For Missing And Exploited Children, the Fraternal Order of the Police, and the Justice Department’s 16th Annual Congressional Breakfast at The Liaison Capitol Hill Hotel in Washington on May 18, 2011. (Photo by Kris Connor/Getty Images)
According to the FBI (pdf), the National Crime Information Center had over 85,000 active missing person cases across the country as of Dec. 31, 2018. But hundreds of thousands of cases were resolved that year.
Approximately 151,000 missing person records were entered but about the same number were removed.
“Reasons for these removals include: a law enforcement agency located the subject, the individual returned home, or the record had to be removed by the entering agency due to a determination that the record is invalid,” the center stated.