TAOS - Children who were rescued from a makeshift compound in a sparsely populated area in northern Taos County told investigators that they saw the body of a 4-year-old boy who was reportedly abducted in Georgia and said the body was buried at the compound, according to a search warrant affidavit filed in Taos County District Court on Tuesday.
He says 35-year-old Jany Leveille, 38-year-old Hujrah Wahhaj and 35-year-old Subhannah Wahha were arrested without incident in the town of Taos and booked into jail.
Authorities said the search for 4-year-old Abdul-ghani of Georgia led them Friday to the squalid compound where they found his father, Siraj Ibn Wahhaj, four other adults and 11 children.
Abdul-Ghani Wahhaj was reported missing on December 10, 2017, out of Clayton County, Georgia by his mother. His birthday is Monday.
The 11 children are now in the custody of child protective services, said Secretary of New Mexico Children, Youth & Families Department Monique Jacobson. A warrant was issued in Georgia for Wahhaj's arrest on January 9.
The boy's mother told authorities the boy suffers from seizures, can not walk because of severe medical issues, and requires constant attention.
The boy's father was among five people arrested after the raid near the border with Colorado. Hogrefe said. "On the conclusion of that, we had no legal right to hold that property any further, until Sunday when I obtained additional information that led me to prepare a second search warrant".
The boy's mother told police her child, who she said suffered from seizures along with developmental and cognitive problems, went to a park with his father Wahhaj last December and never returned.
Law enforcement then "had enough probable cause for a search warrant" to search for Wahhaj and the boy on the property, Hogrefe said.
Georgia authorities said Mr Wahhaj was traveling through Alabama's Chilton County with seven children and another adult when their vehicle overturned.
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In addition to the 11 counts of child abuse faced by all the adults, Morten was charged with harboring a fugitive.
Jerry Hogrefe, the Taos County sheriff, said that the boy's body lay near the compound.
Lucas Morton, left, and Siraj Wahhaj.
"We just figured they were doing what we were doing, getting a piece of land and getting off the grid", said Anderson, who moved to New Mexico from Seattle with his wife seven years ago.
They looked like "third-world-country refugees" and had only "dirty rags for clothing", the sheriff said. Three women, believed to be the children's mothers, were also found.
On August 2, Sheriff Hogrefe issued a search warrant describing "a makeshift compound surrounded by tires and an earthen berm" where Wahhaj along with adult Lucas Morten were thought to be in hiding.
Siraj Ibn Wahhaj is reportedly the son of Siraj Wahhaj, a prominent imam at the Masjid At-Taqwa mosque in Brooklyn, N.Y., who has posted on social media about worries over the missing boy and other family members.
Authorities said at a news conference that they have not positively identified the remains as missing Abdul-Ghani Wahhaj.
The message, apparently sent from someone at the compound, contained a desperate plea: "We are starving and need food and water".
Siraj Wahhaj was found armed with an AR15 rifle, five loaded 30-round magazines, and four loaded pistols, including one in his pocket when he was taken down, police said.
Police described the compound as a small underground trailer covered by plastic, with no running water or electricity.