TAOS COUNTY, N.M. — The human remains found on a New Mexico compound are that of missing Georgia boy, Abdul-Ghani Wahhaj, authorities confirm.
His remains were found on Aug. 6.
"The child was found on the inner portion of the compound," Taos County New Mexico Sheriff Hogrefe said, shortly after authorities made the discovery.
Hogrefe said the condition of the body made it difficult to positively-identify the remains, and investigators had to use several means to finally conclude an identity. Right now, there is no confirmation of a cause or a manner of death.
"Our thoughts and prayers go to Wahhaj's family," the sheriff said in a Aug. 16 statement. "We certainly understand the heartbreak this news will cause and want to stress our commitment to investigating this death to serve the living."
Abdul was allegedly abducted by his father from Jonesboro, Georgia, Siraj Ibn Wahhaj, in December 2017. Abdul-Ghani's mother called Clayton County police on Dec. 10 and told authorities that she hadn't seen her son since Dec. 1, when Siraj said he was taking him to the park. Abdul-Ghani was 3 years old at the time.
Sheriff Hogrefe said in May, they learned about a warrant out of Georgia issued for Siraj, but they didn't have a specific location in New Mexico of where he was.
Warrants for Siraj's arrest claimed he took his son to perform an exorcism on the child and was denying Abdul-Ghani medications.
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The sheriff said when they learned about a possible compound, the FBI conducted surveillance of the area. Abdul-Ghani was never identified in the surveillance. They received a break in the case last week.
On Friday in Amalia, New Mexico, Siraj was arrested with another Atlanta man, Lucas Morten after local and state law enforcement officials raided a compound.
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Three women were also arrested and are facing 11 counts of child abuse. During the raid, Abdul-Ghani was not found among the children. Family confirmed to 11Alive that Hujrah, and Subhannah are Siraj's sisters and one of them is married to Morten. The third woman, Jany, has children with Siraj.
"The investigation is still ongoing both federally and on the state level," the sheriff said.
During an Aug. 13 bond hearing, a judge initially granted the five suspects $20,000 bonds, determining the state failed to prove they had a plan for danger and citing the suspects' lack of criminal history. However, the Taos County District Attorney said he is planning to file an appeal.
Siraj Ibn Wahhaj was not granted bond because of the Jonesboro kidnapping charge.
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