Exorcism boy missing after New Mexico police raid 'extremists'

Siraj Wahhaj was jailed on a Georgia warrant alleging child abduction

A toddler, Abdul-Ghani Wahhaj, 4, who is thought to have been living at the compound, remains missing.

This Fri., Aug. 3, 2018, image shows a rural compound during an unsuccessful search for a missing 3-year-old boy in Amalia, New Mexico.

Clayton County Police have been searching for the toddler and 39-year-old Siraj Wahhaj since December 2017. The SUV contained seven children - but none of the children was listed with Abdul's date of birth.

The vehicle was registered to a second adult in the auto, Jany Leveille, 35, of Georgia, according to the report.

They were kept in an underground trailer, hidden from the outside world.

Georgia officials want him extradited to face a charge of abducting his son and the warrant says that Wahhaj told the boy's mother he wanted to perform an exorcism on his son.

Siraj Ibn Wahhaj after his arrest. Authorities are awaiting a positive identification of the remains discovered Monday.

Children's clothes drying in the makeshift compound in New Mexico.

"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", Hogrefe said, according to The Associated Press.

The FBI didn't believe there was enough probable cause to raid the surveillance until Friday when a Georgia detective received a message believed to be from someone on the compound, stating they were starving.

Hujrah Wahhaj along with Jany Leveille and Subhannah Wahhaj were arrested without incident in Taos believed to be mothers of eleven children that were rescued from filthy living conditions.




The starving children were handed over to state child-welfare workers.

Morten was additionally charged with harbouring a fugitive, and Wahhaj was held, without bail, over the Georgia arrest warrant for child abduction.

The sheriff's office said both men initially refused to follow verbal orders, and Wahhaj was "heavily armed with an AR15 rifle, five loaded 30-round magazines, and four loaded pistols, including one in his pocket when he was taken down".

Criminal complaints filed against the defendants in Taos Magistrate Court detail the allegations of abuse against the two men and three women.

The search for the missing boy began in January, when Wahhaj's estranged wife in Atlanta, Hakima Ramzi, reportedly recorded a video on Facebook pleading for help finding her son. He had picked the group up after the accident in Alabama, according to CNN affiliate KOAT.

Tyler Anderson of Amalia said Tuesday he had helped the newcomers install solar panels after they arrived in December.

Police did not say how they tracked down Wahhaj and the others in Amalia, an unincorporated community in mountainous Taos County along New Mexico's northern border.

The dwelling had no running water or electricity and was described by Sheriff Hogrefe as "the saddest living conditions and poverty [he has] seen".

The children, ages 1 to 15, were taken into protective custody.

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..." According to Abdul's missing persons profile, he "needs assistance walking and may have braces for his legs". Both Wahhaj and Morten were taken into custody.

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