Published: Wed, August 08, 2018
Global | By Craig Ferguson

Cops Seeking Missing Kid Rescue 11 From Compound

Cops Seeking Missing Kid Rescue 11 From Compound

Authorities also arrested two heavily armed men - Lucas Morten and Siraj Wahhaj - at the scene, the sheriff's office said.

Hogrefe says they were the saddest living conditions he's ever seen.

The Taos County Sheriff said the 3-year-old boy was not among the children which he described as being in heartbreaking condition, starving with no food or fresh water.

But Hogrefe reiterated at the conference Tuesday that he didn't have sufficient probable cause to raid the property until a distress message - "reasonably believed" to have come from within the compound - was relayed to his office by a detective in Clayon County Georgia last week.

There were no injuries during the search, the sheriff said.

It was not immediately clear Sunday if either had retained an attorney.

Tyler Anderson, who lived near the compound, said he believed the group had moved to the area to live off the grid, just as he had done.

After investigating, multiple agencies raided the compound Friday morning.

"The children are in our custody and our number one priority right now is their health and safety", New Mexico Children, Youth and Families Department Secretary Monique Jacobsons said in a statement.

According to the Taos County, NM, Sheriff's Office, Siraj Ibn Wahhaj was taken into custody on Friday.

The Badgers told CNN they found what looked like a shooting range, with tires stacked up to stop the bullets, bullet holes and casings at the compound.

The three mothers of the 11 malnourished children found living in a filthy New Mexico compound were arrested and charged.

The mother said the child suffers from seizures, developmental and cognitive delays and is unable to walk due to suffering hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy - a lack of oxygen - at birth, according to information in a missing person report filed in Georgia in December and also in the arrest warrant for the father.

He also says he never met the three women living at the site and doesn't recall seeing the boy who remains missing.

He said that other than a few potatoes and a box of rice, 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 or electricity. Meanwhile, Morton was charged with harboring a fugitive.

What started as a search for a 3-year-old Georgia boy led to a horrid discovery 1,400 miles away.

They are "safe and being cared for", Jacobson said.

The child's mother, Hakima Ramzi, reported the child was abucted from his Georgia home on December 10, 2017, after Wahhaj didn't return after taking the toddler to a local park.

Mr Hogrefe told ABC it appeared the women and children "were brainwashed and feel great intimidation from the men that were in control of this facility".

Asked about the FBI's role in the operation at the conference, Hogrefe said he "can't speak for another agency", but had written in an initial press release that Federal Bureau of Investigation agents had said they also felt there was not sufficient probable cause to act earlier.

The arrests were part of an operation connected to a months-long search for an abducted three-year-old, according to the Taos County sheriff's office.

But, so far, authorities say, none of the suspects are talking about Abdul-Ghani's whereabouts.

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