Case of Raided New Mexico Compound Takes Grim Turn

Body of a boy was found on a property where 11 children were removed days earlier
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Aug 7, 2018 7:30 PM CDT
Remains of Boy Found at Raided New Mexico Compound
This Aug. 5, 2018 photo shows a "no trespassing" sign outside the location where people camped near Amalia, N.M.   (Jesse Moya/The Taos News via AP)

Searchers found the remains of a boy after raiding a makeshift compound last week in search of a missing Georgia child, authorities said Tuesday. The remains were found Monday during a search in Amalia, near the Colorado border, Taos County Sheriff Jerry Hogrefe said. Authorities were awaiting positive identification of the remains. The search for Abdul-ghani of Georgia led authorities Friday to the squalid compound where they found Siraj Ibn Wahhaj, the father of the missing boy, along with four other adults and 11 children living in filthy conditions. "We discovered the remains yesterday on Abdul's fourth birthday," Hogrefe said, appearing to fight back tears. The sheriff said authorities returned to the compound after interviews Friday and Saturday led them to believe the boy might still be on the property, per the AP.

The father of the boy has been accused of leaving Georgia in December with his then 3-year-old son. Wahhaj was expected to appear in court Wednesday on a previous warrant from Georgia that seeks his extradition to face a charge of abducting his son from that state last December. According to the extradition warrant, Wahhaj told the boy's mother that he wanted to perform an exorcism on the child, who suffered from seizures, because he believed the 3-year-old was possessed by the devil. The mother told police that Wahhaj took the boy for a trip to a park and never returned. The warrant said the boy suffered from severe medical issues including hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy, a defect caused by lack of oxygen and blood flow around the time of birth. The boy's mother said the boy can't walk and requires constant attention.

(More New Mexico stories.)

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