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Police find body of missing 4-year-old boy at raided camp

Police find body of missing 4-year-old boy at raided camp

Law enforcement officers have discovered the remains of a young boy at a compound in Amalia, New Mexico, that was raided over the weekend, the county sheriff's office confirmed Tuesday.

The Sheriff's Office named the three females as Jany Leveille (35), Hujrah Wahhaj (38), and Subhannah Wahhaj (35).

There, in the remote New Mexico community of Amalia, 11 skeletal children lived in squalor.

The mother of Abdul-Ghani called Clayton County police on December 10 and told authorities that she hadn't seen her son since December, when Siraj said he was taking him to the park.

On Monday, the boy's fourth birthday, investigators were scrambling to find him - and to understand what happened at the New Mexico compound. Wahhaj was booked with no bond because of a warrant related to his missing son, while Morten was charged with harboring a fugitive.

However, it took a plea for help and the search for a missing Georgia boy to finally draw sheriff's deputies to the desolate site that was walled off by stacks of old tires, wooden pallets and other debris. His mother said he can not walk and requires constant attention.

Authorities raided the isolated property near the Colorado border last week.

According to the affidavit, written by Hogrefe, CYFD conducted interviews with some of the children, some of whom said Abdul-Ghani had died at the compound. He said the images were shared with the mother of Abdul-ghani but she did not spot her son, and that photographs also never indicated the boy's father was at the compound. It was unclear how or why they ended up in New Mexico, Hogrefe said.

He said Federal Bureau of Investigation agents surveilled the area a few weeks ago but did not find probable cause to search the property.

Jason Badger, who owned the property where the compound was built, said he and his wife had pressed authorities to remove the group after becoming concerned about the children. She would later become one of the five adults arrested at the compound in New Mexico.

A day later, the three women were also taken into custody and charged.

"We all gave the kids our water and what snacks we had - it was the saddest living conditions and poverty I have seen", Hogrefe said.

The boy's father, Siraj Wahhaj, was arrested Friday along with his sisters Hujrah Wahhaj and Subhannah Wahhaj after authorities raided the compound.

"Last Thursday, when a message we reasonably believe came from a occupant of the compound or somebody with great knowledge of the compound sent a message saying said basically, we are starving and the children are staving, or something along those lines".

The group appeared to have been living at the compound for a few months.

Hogrefe, describing the scene, said the adults and children had no shoes, wore dirty rags for clothing and "looked like Third World country refugees".

Authorities said at a news conference that they have not positively identified the remains as missing Abdul-Ghani Wahhaj.

Hogrefe said that although New Mexico authorities learned Wahhaj could be in New Mexico in May, local authorities couldn't confirm that he was at the Amalia compound and that's why they didn't move in sooner. He and his men were met by Wahhaj and his colleague, Lucas Morten, who were armed with an AR-15 rifle, five loaded 30-round magazines and four loaded pistols, including one in Wahhaj's pocket.

40-year-old Siraj Wahhaj took his son and disappeared just under a year ago. Two more people, Lucas Morten and Jenny Leveille, are also alleged to have kept the 11 children in squalor with nearly no food or water.

There was little food in the compound, which consisted of a small travel trailer buried in the ground and covered by plastic with no water, plumbing and electricity, he said.