New Mexico compound littered with ammunition, dirty diapers - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

New Mexico compound littered with ammunition, dirty diapers

Posted: Updated:
(AP Photo/Mary Altaffer). Imam Siraj Wahhaj speaks to reporters, Thursday, Aug. 9, 2018, in New York. Wahhaj, the grandfather of a missing Georgia boy,  says the remains of the child were found buried at a desert compound in New Mexico. Abdul-ghani Wah... (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer). Imam Siraj Wahhaj speaks to reporters, Thursday, Aug. 9, 2018, in New York. Wahhaj, the grandfather of a missing Georgia boy, says the remains of the child were found buried at a desert compound in New Mexico. Abdul-ghani Wah...
(AP Photo/Morgan Lee). Siraj Ibn Wahhaj, center, confers with one of his attorneys at a first appearance in New Mexico district court in Taos, N.M., on Wednesday, Aug. 8, 2018, on accusations of child abuse and abducting his son from the boy's mother. ... (AP Photo/Morgan Lee). Siraj Ibn Wahhaj, center, confers with one of his attorneys at a first appearance in New Mexico district court in Taos, N.M., on Wednesday, Aug. 8, 2018, on accusations of child abuse and abducting his son from the boy's mother. ...
(AP Photo/Mary Altaffer). Imam Siraj Wahhaj speaks to reporters, Thursday, Aug. 9, 2018, in New York. Wahhaj, the grandfather of a missing Georgia boy,  says the remains of the child were found buried at a desert compound in New Mexico. Abdul-ghani Wah... (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer). Imam Siraj Wahhaj speaks to reporters, Thursday, Aug. 9, 2018, in New York. Wahhaj, the grandfather of a missing Georgia boy, says the remains of the child were found buried at a desert compound in New Mexico. Abdul-ghani Wah...
(AP Photo/Morgan Lee). Hujrah Wahhaj appears in New Mexico state district court to plead not guilty to charges of child abuse in Taos, N.M., Wednesday, Aug. 8, 2018, alongside public defense attorney Aleks Kostich. Hujrah Wahhaj was arrested Friday in ... (AP Photo/Morgan Lee). Hujrah Wahhaj appears in New Mexico state district court to plead not guilty to charges of child abuse in Taos, N.M., Wednesday, Aug. 8, 2018, alongside public defense attorney Aleks Kostich. Hujrah Wahhaj was arrested Friday in ...
(AP Photo/Mary Altaffer). Imam Siraj Wahhaj speaks to reporters, Thursday, Aug. 9, 2018, in New York. Wahhaj, the grandfather of a missing Georgia boy,  says the remains of the child were found buried at a desert compound in New Mexico. Abdul-ghani Wah... (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer). Imam Siraj Wahhaj speaks to reporters, Thursday, Aug. 9, 2018, in New York. Wahhaj, the grandfather of a missing Georgia boy, says the remains of the child were found buried at a desert compound in New Mexico. Abdul-ghani Wah...
  • NationalMore>>

  • Bodies of missing wife, daughters found in Colorado

    Bodies of missing wife, daughters found in Colorado

    Friday, August 17 2018 1:30 AM EDT2018-08-17 05:30:59 GMT
    Authorities say the husband of a missing family in Colorado has been arrested in connection with the case.More >>
    Authorities say the husband of a missing family in Colorado has been arrested in connection with the case.More >>
  • Record-breaking fire tornado killed California firefighter

    Record-breaking fire tornado killed California firefighter

    Friday, August 17 2018 1:30 AM EDT2018-08-17 05:30:42 GMT
    (AP Photo/John Locher,File). FILE - In this Aug. 11, 2018 file photo Gary Parmely, father of Jeremy Stoke of the Redding Fire Department, visits a memorial for his son, in Redding, Calif. Officials say Stoke the first firefighter to die battling a Nort...(AP Photo/John Locher,File). FILE - In this Aug. 11, 2018 file photo Gary Parmely, father of Jeremy Stoke of the Redding Fire Department, visits a memorial for his son, in Redding, Calif. Officials say Stoke the first firefighter to die battling a Nort...
    Officials say a firefighter who died helping people evacuate a Northern California blaze was killed by a fire tornado that at one point reached a temperature of 2,700 degrees Fahrenheit.More >>
    Officials say a firefighter who died helping people evacuate a Northern California blaze was killed by a fire tornado that at one point reached a temperature of 2,700 degrees Fahrenheit.More >>
  • Queen of Soul also leaves a powerful civil rights legacy

    Queen of Soul also leaves a powerful civil rights legacy

    Friday, August 17 2018 1:29 AM EDT2018-08-17 05:29:55 GMT
    (AP Photo/Jim Wells, File). This March 26, 1972 file photo shows the Rev. Jesse Jackson speaking to reporters at the Operation PUSH Soul Picnic in New York as Tom Todd, vice president of PUSH, from second left, Aretha Franklin and Louis Stokes. Frankli...(AP Photo/Jim Wells, File). This March 26, 1972 file photo shows the Rev. Jesse Jackson speaking to reporters at the Operation PUSH Soul Picnic in New York as Tom Todd, vice president of PUSH, from second left, Aretha Franklin and Louis Stokes. Frankli...
    Queen of Soul gave black Americans "Respect" as a staunch supporter of civil rights.More >>
    Queen of Soul gave black Americans "Respect" as a staunch supporter of civil rights.More >>

By MORGAN LEE and STEPHEN R. GROVES
Associated Press

AMALIA, N.M. (AP) - Dirty diapers, shotgun shells, small broken bicycles, the white sandal of a baby, anguished journals about faith and a DVD about killing techniques in close combat.

Ordinary and extraordinary household objects littered a squalid compound on a high-desert plain of northern New Mexico, bearing silent witness to the lives of 11 children and five adults - and perhaps one missing boy.

The settlement sprung up on the outskirts of tiny Amalia, New Mexico, last winter - as a manhunt unfolded for the father of a 3-year-old boy abducted from Georgia.

Police raided the property a week ago in response a report of children living in filth, severe hunger and dangers including a leaky propone tank - detaining all living inhabitants.

On Monday, authorities returned with new intelligence to retrieve the body of a small boy - possibly the missing and severely disabled Georgia boy Abdul-ghani Wahhaj.

The state medical examiner has not yet identified the body, and prosecutors said they were awaiting word on the cause of death before deciding on any further charges against his father, Siraj Ibn Wahhaj, one of the five adults arrested at the compound.

The grandfather of the missing boy, Siraj Wahhaj, is a Muslim cleric who leads a well-known New York City mosque. He believes the body is that of Abdul-ghani. The five adults arrested at the property in Amalia include the imam's two children and a second adult daughter.

It was unclear exactly where the child's body had been concealed with the compound- or how long it had been there.

The empty dwelling, without running water or a drainage system, is arranged around a rickety camper that is half submerged in a dirty pit and surrounded by 7-foot (2-meter) berms of used tires, sections of adobe wall topped with broken glass, a junked refrigerator and other odd supplies.

An alcove shaped out of wooden shipping pallets hides a makeshift bathroom - with a toilet seat suspended above a blue plastic bucket. A pair of underpants dangled from a pole overhead.

To one side of the camper, an underground tunnel - big enough to crawl through - led in and out of the compound, which was flanked by an apparent target range. Dozens of spent casings were left behind there.

Prosecutors also have accused the adults in court documents of training children to use firearms in preparation for future school shootings, although no charges have been filed in response to the accusation that came from a new foster parent of one of the 11 children removed from the compound.

Refuse at the compound included standard ammunition as well as fake cartridges designed to help people safely learn how to load and fire a weapon.

The owner of the property, Jason Badger, on Friday prodded through a left-behind satchel of ammunition - fit for rifle, shotgun and handgun - and discarded garbage bags holding crumpled grade-school textbooks and journals lined with notes in neat cursive and the primitive doodles of children.

While touring the ramshackle living quarters littered with diesel cans, used diapers, household garbage and Qurans, he questioned why authorities did not search a squalid New Mexico compound sooner for Abdul-ghani, saying he told them in late spring that he had met the child's father at the site and that the man was wanted in Georgia for kidnapping his own son.

Badger also said he believed he saw the searched-for boy by his father's side in January, wearing a hooded jacket.

Badger said in an interview that he learned through an online search this spring that Wahhaj was wanted in the disappearance of son Abdul-ghani Wahhaj and reported his earlier encounter to law enforcement authorities in New Mexico and Georgia - and eventually to the FBI.

"If they knew about it, and then that kid died in that timeframe, when they knew, somebody has to be held accountable," Badger said.

Taos County Sheriff's Department Steve Fullendorf spokesman downplayed Badger's criticism of the investigation, saying Sheriff Jerry Hogrefe did everything he could possible under the law and had to follow certain restrictions.

"Mr. Badger doesn't have to adhere to those same restrictions," Fullendorf said. "He wants to have his 15 minutes of fame and that's fine."

Hogrefe has said the FBI put the New Mexico compound under surveillance in recent months and took photographs, but he could not initially get a warrant to enter because the images collected did not show the boy or his father.

That changed when a note was forwarded to Georgia authorities saying children inside the compound were starving, Hogrefe said.

The missing boy's grandfather said his adult daughter, who was in the compound, sent the note to a man in Georgia. That man then notified the grandfather, who said he contacted police.

The suspects are being jailed without bail in New Mexico and one of them, Lucas Morton, also faces a charge of harboring a felon. He is accused of refusing to tell authorities the younger Siraj Wahhaj's location during the compound raid. Wahhaj eventually was found armed with multiple firearms, including an assault rifle, authorities said.

___

Groves reported from New York. Associated Press writers Brinley Hineman in Atlanta and Mary Hudetz and Russell Contreras in Albuquerque, N.M., contributed to this report.

__

This version corrects that the daughter-in-law's name is Jany Leveille, not Janie Leiveille.

Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • More From wfmj.comHot ClicksMore>>

  • White House called toxins contamination 'PR nightmare'

    White House called toxins contamination 'PR nightmare'

    Thursday, August 16 2018 5:52 PM EDT2018-08-16 21:52:09 GMT
    (AP Photo/Matt Rourke). In this Aug. 1, 2018 photo, Lauren Woehr hands her 16-month-old daughter Caroline, held by her husband Dan McDowell, a cup filled with bottled water at their home in Horsham, Pa. In Horsham and surrounding towns in eastern Penns...(AP Photo/Matt Rourke). In this Aug. 1, 2018 photo, Lauren Woehr hands her 16-month-old daughter Caroline, held by her husband Dan McDowell, a cup filled with bottled water at their home in Horsham, Pa. In Horsham and surrounding towns in eastern Penns...
    Toxics used in nonstick cookware, fast-food wrappers and much more are turning up in public water systems in dozens of states.More >>
    Toxics used in nonstick cookware, fast-food wrappers and much more are turning up in public water systems in dozens of states.More >>
  • Outdoor fun dwindles as smoky haze hangs over California

    Outdoor fun dwindles as smoky haze hangs over California

    Tuesday, August 14 2018 1:03 PM EDT2018-08-14 17:03:07 GMT
    (AP Photo/Lorin Eleni Gill). The city of Berkeley, Calif., sits in a dull, smoky haze Wednesday, Aug. 8, 2018. The air quality has hit unhealthy levels in cities miles away as California's largest wildfire ever burns to the north.(AP Photo/Lorin Eleni Gill). The city of Berkeley, Calif., sits in a dull, smoky haze Wednesday, Aug. 8, 2018. The air quality has hit unhealthy levels in cities miles away as California's largest wildfire ever burns to the north.
    No major wildfires are burning near Sacramento but for two weeks a dull haze and the faint smell of smoke from distant blazes has blanketed California's capital region.More >>
    No major wildfires are burning near Sacramento but for two weeks a dull haze and the faint smell of smoke from distant blazes has blanketed California's capital region.More >>
  • Twitter CEO defends decision not to ban Alex Jones, Infowars

    Twitter CEO defends decision not to ban Alex Jones, Infowars

    Tuesday, August 14 2018 11:01 AM EDT2018-08-14 15:01:19 GMT
    (AP Photo/John Minchillo, File). FILE - In this Tuesday, July 19, 2016 file photo, Alex Jones, center right, is escorted by police out of a crowd of protesters outside the Republican convention in Cleveland. Facebook says it has taken down four pages b...(AP Photo/John Minchillo, File). FILE - In this Tuesday, July 19, 2016 file photo, Alex Jones, center right, is escorted by police out of a crowd of protesters outside the Republican convention in Cleveland. Facebook says it has taken down four pages b...
    Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey defend company decision not to ban right-wing conspiracy theorist Alex Jones and his "Infowars" show.More >>
    Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey defend company decision not to ban right-wing conspiracy theorist Alex Jones and his "Infowars" show.More >>
  • More NewsMore>>

  • Austintown Police say missing 11-year-old boy has been found safe

    Austintown Police say missing 11-year-old boy has been found safe

    Thursday, August 16 2018 11:45 PM EDT2018-08-17 03:45:49 GMT

    Austintown Police are now searching for 11-year old Christian Shuler, who is currently missing from a residence in Austintown. According to police, Christian was last seen wearing black shorts with teal on the sides, a black shirt with gold on the front, and he was not wearing any shoes. Officers are asking if you see him or have seen him, that you please call the Austintown Police Department immediately at (330) 799-9721.

    More >>

    Austintown Police are now searching for 11-year old Christian Shuler, who is currently missing from a residence in Austintown. According to police, Christian was last seen wearing black shorts with teal on the sides, a black shirt with gold on the front, and he was not wearing any shoes. Officers are asking if you see him or have seen him, that you please call the Austintown Police Department immediately at (330) 799-9721.

    More >>
  • PA Department of Corrections responds after employees from multiple prison's fall ill

    PA Department of Corrections responds after employees from multiple prison's fall ill

    Thursday, August 16 2018 11:05 PM EDT2018-08-17 03:05:07 GMT

    Yet another prison in Pennsylvania had an incident that sent staffers to the hospital. Butler County Prison the fourth corrections facility in the state to have an incident similar to the one in Mercer County last week. Our Pittsburgh affiliate said four officers and two nurses were exposed to an unknown substance, possible K2 synthetic marijuana. Prison staffers from Fayette County Prison, SCI Green, and SCI Mercer have all been treated after coming into contact with an unknown su...

    More >>

    Yet another prison in Pennsylvania had an incident that sent staffers to the hospital. Butler County Prison the fourth corrections facility in the state to have an incident similar to the one in Mercer County last week. Our Pittsburgh affiliate said four officers and two nurses were exposed to an unknown substance, possible K2 synthetic marijuana. Prison staffers from Fayette County Prison, SCI Green, and SCI Mercer have all been treated after coming into contact with an unknown su...

    More >>
  • Bus drivers train for evacuating special needs passengers

    Bus drivers train for evacuating special needs passengers

    Thursday, August 16 2018 8:54 PM EDT2018-08-17 00:54:49 GMT

    While all bus drivers are trained on how to evacuate kids during an emergency situation, for those drivers with special needs passengers evacuations can be even more challenging. Julie Bloom, the training coordinator, explains that many challenges present themselves due to the variety of disabilities, saying "you might have a kids who is ambulatory but does not have the ability to stand in one place by himself, or you might have a child who doesn't have the abilit...

    More >>

    While all bus drivers are trained on how to evacuate kids during an emergency situation, for those drivers with special needs passengers evacuations can be even more challenging. Julie Bloom, the training coordinator, explains that many challenges present themselves due to the variety of disabilities, saying "you might have a kids who is ambulatory but does not have the ability to stand in one place by himself, or you might have a child who doesn't have the abilit...

    More >>
Powered by Frankly
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2018 WFMJ. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms