According to the Huffington Post, the remains of a young boy were found at a compound in Amalia, New Mexico. The remains were discovered after local police raided the compound over the weekend to search for 3-year-old AG Wahhaj, who had been presumed missing. Upon arrival, the police discovered 11 children and five adults living in the dilapidated compound, described as a “small trailer buried underground and covered in plastic and tires.”
On Tuesday, a representative for the local sheriff’s office announced that they had discovered the remains of the child, who has not yet been identified. In a statement addressing the raid, Sheriff Jerry Hogrefe announced the arrest of two men, Siraj Wahhaj and Lucan Morton. Three women, who are believed to be the children’s mothers, were also arrested. All were charged with 11 counts of child abuse.
All of the children, who seemed to be between 1 and 15 years of age, were taken into police custody.
“The only food we saw were a few potatoes and a box of rice in the filthy trailer,” said Hogrefe, as he addressed the incident in a press conference.
He added that the group looked like “refugees not only with no food or fresh water but with no shoes, personal hygiene and basically dirty rags for clothing. We all gave the kids our water and what snacks we had ― it was the saddest living conditions and poverty I have seen.”
Police began searching for AG Wahhaj earlier this year, after his mother, Hakimi Ramzi posted a video on Facebook, asking for help in locating her son. Ramzi, who is the estranged wife of Siraj Wahhaj, said that AG is “sick.”
“He needs his medications. He needs everything. I don’t know if he’s alive, or he is, well, I don’t know his condition now. So please, please, I need your help to find my husband and my son.”
Though police searched the compound, AG was not discovered. When questioned, none of the adults said anything about AG Wahhaj’s whereabouts.
After receiving a tip of the possible whereabouts of Wahhaj, police began surveillance of the compound. That was two months ago, and they have only recently gotten enough evidence to have been able to conduct the raid. But, after receiving a message from someone inside the compound that read “we are starving and need food and water,” police were able to obtain a search warrant for the compound.