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'Starving' children are found on U.S. compound

'Starving' children are found on U.S. compound

After an armed standoff on Friday, eight members of the Taos County Sheriff's Office rescued 11 children living in a dilapidated makeshift compound in Amalia, New Mexico.

A New Mexico sheriff says searchers have found the remains of a boy on property where authorities raided a makeshift compound last week in search of a missing Georgia child.

Siraj Wahhaj, Hujrah Wahhaj, Subhannah Wahhaj, Lucas Morton and Jany Leveille all face child abuse charges.

Authorities were alerted to the alleged conditions the children faced, located in the small community of Amalia near the Colorado border, by a message believed to have been from someone inside the compound. The child was found on the "inner portion of the compound", and the sheriff said that information law enforcement agencies obtained led them to a "good idea of a target location" of where to look for the child.

Abdul Wahhaj, who would have turned 4-years-old Monday, was reported missing in December from his Clayton County, Georgia home by his mother, Hakima Ramzi. His birthday is Monday.

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.

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Wahhaj's 3-year-old son was not among the 11 children found in the trailer.

None of the adults would give a statement as to the boy's whereabouts, Hogrefe said after the raid, but "it was reasonably believed he was there a few weeks ago".

Taos County investigators wrote that they found "no food, clean water, leaking propane gas filthy conditions, hazardous wood and broken glass, no hygiene or medical care..."

Law enforcement thought 3-year-old AG Wahhaj might have been at the compound, and was thought to have been abducted by Siraj Wahhaj.

During a raid of the property in a remote Amalia, New Mexico, in the search for the missing toddler, authorities found 11 other children ages one-through-15 in filthy, impoverished conditions. "He's sick, he needs his medications", she said through tears in January. After the accident, the group was picked up in a 2006 Ford Box-truck with a DE license plate that was registered to Morton. The group told police they were headed to New Mexico to go camping, and continued on their way.

The women were later released pending further investigation.

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Police arrested both men.

When one of the suspects, Siraj Wahhaj, was arrested Friday, he was armed with an AR-15 rifle, four loaded pistols and five loaded 30-round magazines, the sheriff's office said.

Aside from a few potatoes and a box of rice, there was no food or water in the filthy compound, which authorities described as a travel trailer buried in the dirt, ringed with tires and earthen berms and covered in plastic.

The investigation started previous year on the opposite side of the Jonesboro, Georgia, where Siraj Wahhaj was accused of kidnapping his toddler.

Initially, the women were briefly detained for questioning but not criminally charged so that state child services could interview them for their own investigation, Hogrefe said.

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