Moms of 11 children found at New Mexico compound arrested

Saul Bowman
August 8, 2018

The Taos County Sheriff's Office executed the search warrant after a two-month investigation in conjunction with officials from Georgia and the FBI on the whereabouts of Wahhaj, who was wanted for the abduction of his 3-year-old son, Abdul.

At the time, cops were searching for 3-year-old boy Abdul-Ghani Wahhaj, who went missing from Clayton County, Ga., in December and was believed to be in the area.

Investigators said that's where they found Siraj Wahhaj living in a filthy trailer in what police described as some sort of makeshift compound in some of the worst conditions they've ever seen.

A news conference regarding the case is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Taos County Commission Chambers.

The boy and his father were reportedly last seen involved in a auto accident on I-65 in Alabama two-weeks after their disappearance.

Police described the compound as a small underground trailer covered by plastic, with no running water or electricity. She told police that he had left for the park with his father, Siraj Wahhaj, and was never brought back.

They were discovered during a search for a three-year-old who was abducted in New Mexico, but still remains missing.

Three women were also on the compound, they were questioned but not arrested, as the investigation continues. "The occupants were most likely heavily armed and considered extremist of the Muslim belief", he added.

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

"The only food we saw were a few potatoes and a box of rice in the filthy trailer", Taos County Sheriff Jerry Hogrefe said.

Anderson says the 11 children found inside the compound at first played at neighboring properties but stopped in recent months.

From the left Subhannah Wahhaj Jany Leveille and Hujrah Wahhaj were arrested on Friday. They are the mothers of the 11 malnourished children

He proposed the group "swap" the property for land Badger said the group had purchased not far away from his home in Northern New Mexico.

The Taos County sheriff identified the women facing charges as Jany Leveille, 35, Hujrah Wahhaj, 38, and Subhannah Wahhaj, 35.

The sheriff said there was reason to believe the message came from someone inside the compound.

Five adults, including Siraj Wahhaj, were arrested over the weekend at the compound near Amalia, which is close to the state's Colorado border.

A 3-year-old boy reported missing from Georgia's Clayton County since December 2017 was not among the 11 children found at the compound. She was anxious that the toddler's father had not taken any medication to give to his son.

The FBI and authorities in Georgia indicated to the sheriff's office that there could be weapons on the compound, and deputies learned that there had been a shooting range installed there, Hogrefe said.

Deputies gave the other children food and water and turned them over to state child services. "He needs everything. I don't know if he's alive, or he is, well, I don't know his condition now". That child was not among the children found.

'I absolutely knew that we couldn't wait on another agency to step up and we had to go check this out as soon as possible'.

Image: Lucas Morten has been accused of harbouring a fugitive.

Authorities in Georgia issued a warrant for Wahhaj's arrest in mid-May, but there was "no immediate information that he was in New Mexico", Hogrefe said.


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