14 Children Reported Missing Located in Las Vegas During F1 Event

Posted on: November 21, 2023, 10:38h. 

Last updated on: November 21, 2023, 10:38h.

A search-and-rescue operation for missing children turned up 14 during the F1 Las Vegas Grand Prix last weekend, according to a report from KLAS-TV/Las Vegas.

An F1 crowd catches some pre-race entertainment as The Sphere displays the image of a young girl. (Image: oversteer48.com)

While most eyes on the Strip were trained on the racetrack, officials with F.R.E.E. International had theirs on the crowd, as they do whenever a large public event takes place in Las Vegas.

 “We live in a city where there are a lot of predators in it,” said Michael Bartel, who founded the Vegas-based nonprofit in 2007 with his wife, Denise, after working with Project Rescue in Southern Asia.

F.R.E.E. International worked alongside County School District Police (CCSDPD and private security officers during the operation.

“When there are large events like this in our city, unfortunately, the likelihood of juveniles being sex-trafficked can go up,” CCSDPD lieutenant Bryan Zink told KLAS.

Details of the rescues were scarce — including how many of the 14 children were returned to their families — though the report stated that F.R.E.E. International would follow up with families of those who were returned, and deliver a holiday meal.

A study published in 2019 in “The Journal of Experimental Criminology” found “no evidence to suggest a statistically significant increase” in crime, including sex trafficking, caused by the 2018 F1 Grand Prix in Austin, Tex.

In February, F.R.E.E. International will be back on the Strip to conduct a similar operation during Super Bowl LVIII at Allegiant Stadium.

Anyone who suspects their child is missing is urged to contact police immediately.

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