Children rescued from dilapidated compound where they were kept by armed men
06 August, 2018, 23:34 | Author: Kim Reid
According to a release, 11 children were turned over to the New Mexico Children Youth and Families Department after being found in filthy conditions in what police describe as a "compound" in Amalia, NM.
All three were charged with child abuse on Sunday after initially being released by police who said they were "brainwashed and intimidated" by the men.
Jerry Hogrefe, the Taos County sheriff, said many rounds of ammunition were found in the ramshackle hideout, which they...
He said the children looked like "third-world country refugees" with no food, no fresh water, no shoes, "and basically dirty rags" for clothing.
The sheriff's office announced the charges Sunday following a months-long investigation into Ibn Wahhaj, who investigators say had kidnapped his 3-year-old son, from almost 1,500 miles away, in Jonesboro, Ga.
Authorities are still looking for a 3-year-old child from Georgia who was not there.
According to Clayton County police, the toddler and his father were seen December 13 traveling with two adults and five children in Alabama, when they were involved in a single-vehicle accident on Interstate 65.
Two heavily armed men, identified by authorities as Lucas Morten and Siraj Wahhaj, were arrested at the scene. I've never seen anything like this.
Two have been arrested after the children were discovered in what have been described as 'the saddest living conditions and poverty I have seen'.
Ibn Wahhaj is facing an additional charge of abducting his son and Morton of harboring a fugitive. However, what they did find was even more hard for most people to fathom.
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Hogrefe said he thought it was enough to obtain a search warrant, form a multi-agency tactical team and make entry onto the property.
Eight members of TCSO's Sheriff's Response Team and the State OSI Unit executed a search warrant on the compound on Friday after a message that was forwarded to the office by a Georgia detective. They were arrested in the town of Taos and booked into jail.
More recently, investigators with the Clayton County Police Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation began narrowing in on their whereabouts and determined Wahhaj was staying at an improvised compound in Amalia, near the Colorado border.
She told authorities that she hadn't seen her son since December 1 when her father, Siraj Ibn Wahhaj, said he was taking him to the park.
The child was not among those found in Amalia but he is believed to have been in the compound in recent weeks. None of the adults would give a statement about the whereabouts of the missing 3-year-old. According to social media posts by the boy's mother, his father, Siraj Ibn Wahhaj, disappeared with the child after saying he was taking him to the park.
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The boy's father was among five people arrested after the raid near the border with Colorado, and documents made public in a court filing Monday said the father told the boy's mother before fleeing Georgia that he wanted to perform an exorcism on the child because he believed he was possessed by the devil. It was unclear how or why they ended up in New Mexico, Hogrefe said.
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