11 'starving' children found on USA compound

Posted August 08, 2018

The remains of a young child were found on a New Mexico compound where 11 other children were discovered in filthy, squalid conditions, the Taos County Sheriff's Office said on August 7.

Two men were arrested after police found them and the children in what one officer called "the saddest living conditions and poverty I have seen", as part of the operation connected to a months-long search for an abducted three-year-old, according to New Mexico's Taos County sheriff's office.

Also charged are three women believed to be the children's mothers: Jany Leveille, Hujrah Wahhaj and Subhannah Wahhaj.

The children ranging in age from 1 to 15 were removed from the compound in the small community of Amalia near the Colorado border and turned over to state child-welfare workers.

Hogrefe said in a news conference on Tuesday that authorities suspected Wahhaj and his son may be at the compound, but there wasn't enough evidence until last week to seek a search warrant, after they received a tip about possible starving children living there.

Sheriff Hogrefe's deputies are searching for the child, along with the Federal Bureau of Investigation and authorities in Georgia's Clayton County, where officials say the boy was living before his father took him around December 1, 2017.

It remains unclear whether the remains found are those of Abdul-Ghani Wahhaj, a toddler from Georgia who's now missing.

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Wahhaj also faces an abduction charge for allegedly kidnapping the child from his Georgia home previous year.

It was not immediately clear Sunday if either had retained an attorney.

"The only food we saw were a few potatoes and a box of rice in the filthy trailer".

Georgia authorities said Wahhaj was traveling through Chilton County on December 13 with seven children and another adult when their vehicle overturned.

Siraj Wahhaj, who was one of two men arrested at the compound.

Taos County Sheriff Jerry Hogrefe said yesterday that the tragic evidence was found after a search in Amalia, but identification has not yet been confirmed. Wahhaj was booked with no bond because of a warrant related to his missing son, while Morten was charged with harboring a fugitive.

A child's remains have been found of a young boy on a compound in New Mexico where authorities were looking for a missing Jonesboro, Georgia boy.

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He also wouldn't comment on the suggestion that Siraj Wahhaj, the missing boy's father, wanted an exorcism.

When he was arrested, Mr Wahhaj was armed with several guns, including a loaded AR-15 semi-automatic rifle, the sheriff said. "I feel like it made them lose their minds and that's why they left", the family member said.

"We will continue to work closely with law enforcement on this investigation".

The Badgers noticed the compound had gone up on their property in January and said that's when they encountered Wahhaj and a little boy.

Hogrefe said the adults and children had no shoes, wore dirty rags for clothing and "looked like Third World country refugees". Warrants for Siraj's arrest claimed he took his son to perform an exorcism on the child and was denying Abdul-Ghani medications.

Investigators said that's where they found Siraj Wahhaj living in a filthy trailer in what police described as some sort of makeshift compound in some of the worst conditions they've ever seen.

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