11 children found in squalid compound near New Mexico/Colorado state line

Eleven children were held with little food or water in a makeshift compound in Amalia N.M. for an unknown period of time before police raided the location on Friday Aug. 3 2018

Eleven children were held with little food or water in a makeshift compound in Amalia N.M. for an unknown period of time before police raided the location on Friday Aug. 3 2018

Two men were arrested after 11 children were found in a "makeshift compound" in New Mexico without food or fresh water.

The same charges were filed against two Georgia men after the Taos Sheriff's Office executed a search warrant at the property Friday evening.

The sheriff called it "the saddest living conditions and poverty I have seen".

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. Police received a search warrant last week after seeing a third-party message from someone on the compound that said "we are starving and need food and water".

Hogrefe's deputies are searching for the child, along with the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Georgia authorities in Clayton County, where officials say the boy was living before his father took him around December 1, 2017.

But Wahhaj and Morten initially refused to follow commands and Wahhaj was armed with a rifle and four handguns, Hogrefe said. It was not immediately clear if the two suspects, who are both from Clayton County, Georgia, had retained criminal defence attorneys. Investigators believe the child was on the compound within the last few weeks.

Siraj Wahhaj, 39, was wanted out of Clayton County, Georgia for the abduction of his 3-year old son, Abdul Wahhaj.

The operation, which reportedly took all day, went off without any major issues or injuries to anyone involved, the Taos County Sheriff's Office said.

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In January, Ramzi recorded a desperate Facebook video asking for help to find her husband and son, Abdul-Ghani Wahhaj, who turns 4 on Tuesday. Another man who lived at the property, Morton, also 40, was arrested on charges of harboring the accused fugitive.

The sheriff's office said none of the adults, including the three women, gave a statement regarding the missing boy's current whereabouts.

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

The search for the boy, AG Wahhaj, is ongoing, the sheriff said. Police say the starving children were living with five adults in an underground trailer near Amalia, NM, the BBC reports.

Authorities discovered the children while searching for a missing 3-year-old boy, who still hasn't been located. Armed with a search warrant, the officers found five adults, including Wahhaj, and 11 children at the compound.

The FBI had provided the sheriff's office with information and surveillance on the location of the compound in the Costilla Meadows subdivision of Amalia, nestled in a mountainous region just miles from New Mexico's border with Colorado. "Unbelievable", Hogrefe said. "These children were hungry, they were thirsty, they were filthy".

The children, ages 1 to 15, looked like "third-world country refugees" and had only "dirty rags for clothing", Taos County Sheriff Jerry Hogrefe said.

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