Remains found at 'extremist Muslim' New Mexico compound ID'd as missing 3-year-old boy
Remains located at 'extremist Muslim' compound positively identified as the missing 3-year-old son of one of the suspects; Alicia Acuna reports on if additional charges are coming.
A child’s remains located earlier this month at an “extremist Muslim” New Mexico compound were positively identified as Abdul-Ghani Wahhaj, the missing 3-year-old son of one of the arrested suspects, health officials said Thursday.
The confirmation was made by the Office of the Medical Investigator (OMI), a spokesperson for The University of New Mexico's Health Science's Center said in a statement.
"Our thoughts and prayers go to Wahhaj's family. We certainly understand the heartbreak this news will cause and want to stress our commitment to investigating this death to serve the living," the office wrote in a statement.
The cause or manner of death remained unclear, according to the office, which added that "investigators had to use several means" in order to identify the boy's remains due to their condition.
HORRIFYING DETAILS RELEASED IN INVESTIGATION OF 'EXTREMIST MUSLIM' COMPOUND THAT ALLEGEDLY CONDUCTED SCHOOL-SHOOTING TRAINING
The boy went missing in December in Jonesboro, Georgia. His mother reportedly told authorities that her son was missing after his father, Siraj Ibn Wahhaj, took the boy to a park in Clayton County and didn't return for several days.
Authorities discovered the child's body on Aug. 6, days after a raid at the compound, located near the Colorado state border. Taos County Sheriff's deputies discovered 11 children, who were taken into the custody of state child-welfare workers.
Five people, including the boy's father, were arrested and are pending trial on abuse charges.
During a court hearing on Monday, prosecutors said that the children were trained to use firearms and were taught tactical skills in order to kill teachers, law enforcement and other institutions they deemed corrupt.
It was also announced Monday that the 3-year-old allegedly died amid a ritualistic religious ceremony intended to "cast out demonic spirits."
"It was a religious ritual carried out... a ritual intended to cast out demonic spirits from Abdul-ghani Wahhaj," Taos County Prosecutor John Lovelace said.
Public defenders argued the father was trying to heal the child by reading passages from the Koran but prosecutors claimed he was denying the boy medication. One of the children taken into custody claimed that the boy had died in February.
The children said they were told the boy would be resurrected as Jesus and guide them on which "corrupt institutions" to attack, NBC reported citing investigators.
Three of the five defendants -- Lucas Morton, Subhannah Wahhaj and Hujrah Wahhaj -- are pending release after a judge previously set their bail at $20,000, despite pushback from prosecutors.
Not included in the expected release was Jany Leveille and Siraj Ibn Wahhaj.
Leveille was transferred to the custody of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) on Tuesday, authorities said. And Wahhaj was set to remain in custody due to an outstanding warrant in Georgia on accusations that he abducted the child and fled to New Mexico.