Police Locate 11 Children Living In Decrepit New Mexico Compound

Police Locate 11 Children Living In Decrepit New Mexico Compound

Many more rounds were found throughout the compound, which was basically just a small travel trailer buried in the ground covered by plastic.

Wahhaj and Morten initially did not follow police commands, and Wahhaj had a rifle and multiple handguns, but there were no injuries during the search.

An aerial photo released by Taos County Sheriff's Office shows the rural compound where 11 children were rescued from squalid conditions on Friday. Also charged are three women, believed to be the children's mothers: Jany Leveille, Hujrah Wahhaj and Subhannah Wahhaj.

So while his father sits in custody accused of abusing 11 other children, the search for Abdul continues. The dwelling had no running water or electricity and was described by Sheriff Hogrefe as "the saddest living conditions and poverty [he has] seen".

Instead, deputies found five adults and 11 other children who "looked like third-world country refugees", living in squalor with little food and no clean water, according to Taos County Sheriff Jerry Hogrefe.

The search for the young child began back in January, when Wahhaj's estranged wife, Hakima Ramzi, reportedly recorded a video on Facebook begging for help in finding her son.

The warrant came after a two-month investigation in conjunction with Clayton County and FBI investigators. There were also three adult women who authorities believe are the mothers of the 11 children. Sarij Wahhaj is being held without bail on a Georgia warrant for child abduction, deputies said.

Hogrefe said he got word in May about 39-year-old Siraj Wahhaj, who was wanted for the abduction of a 3-year-old boy in Clayton County, Georgia, CBS Albuquerque affiliate KRQE reports.

The sheriff's office raided the property Friday after obtaining a message believed to have been written by someone from the compound: "We are starving and need food and water".

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No one was injured in the operation, the sheriff's office said.

Police say 11 children ages one to 15 were rescued in the USA state of New Mexico after officers raided a dilapidated compound occupied by armed men.

Hogrefe added the only food the authorities saw in the "filthy" trailer were a few potatoes and a box of rice.

But of the 11 children found, Abdul Ghani Wahhaj - the missing boy from Georgia - was not among them.

The sheriff described planning 'a tactical approach for our own safety because we had learned the occupants were most likely heavily armed'. He said two women were detained before being released pending further investigation.

Eight members of the TCSO's Sheriff's Response Team and four members of the State OSI unit were involved in executing the search warrant on the compound Friday, Hogrefe said.

A spokesman for the Taos County sheriff's department said the department suspected the boy was at the compound, but didn't have enough evidence to go onto the property. Police in Alabama found out the group was traveling to New Mexico for a camping trip. Morten was arrested for harboring a fugitive.

None of the adults would give details about the whereabouts of the missing toddler, but police believe he was at the compound a few weeks ago.

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