New Mexico sheriff: Compound searched, 11 kids removed

The Associated Press

TAOS, N.M. (AP) — A northern New Mexico sheriff says 11 children ranging in age from 1 to 15 were removed from a rural compound after being found in filthy conditions during an unsuccessful search for a missing 3-year-old boy.

Taos County Sheriff Jerry Hogrefe said Saturday that two men were arrested Friday during a search stemming from an investigation also involving the FBI and Clayton County, Georgia, authorities. He said two women were detained before being released pending further investigation.

Hogrefe said 39-year-old Siraj Wahhaj was jailed on a Georgia warrant alleging child abduction and that Lucas Morten was arrested on suspicion of harboring a fugitive. Online court records don't list defense attorneys who could comment on their behalf.

The sheriff said the 11 children were turned over to state child-welfare workers.