The grandfather of children found at a New Mexico compound says he was able to report their whereabouts to authorities after his daughter sent a note from the location asking for food.
Siraj Wahhaj, who leads a New York City mosque, says 11 children found at the compound Friday were either his biological grandchildren or members of his family through marriage.
His grown children are among the five adults arrested on child abuse charges following a raid at the site.
He said Thursday that his daughter sent the note for food to a man in Atlanta, and that man notified him. Wahhaj says he then informed police.
The Taos County sheriff has said the message stating people were starving helped him seek a warrant to enter the compound in search of the missing boy.
Wahhaj says the boy is his grandson, and his remains were found Monday at the compound.
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 Wahhaj (ahb-DOOL’ GAH’-nee wah-HAJ’) was found Monday — on what would have been his fourth birthday — after he went missing in December in Jonesboro, Georgia, near Atlanta.
The boy’s grandfather, Siraj Wahhaj, leads a New York City mosque and told reporters Thursday that he learned from other family members that the boy’s body was buried at the New Mexico compound after he died.
Authorities say the boy’s father, Siraj Ibn Wahhaj (see-DAHJ’ IBN wah-HAJ’), had told his wife he wanted to perform an exorcism on the child and later said he was taking the child to a park and didn’t return.
The search for the boy led authorities to the New Mexico compound last week.
Imam Wahhaj says “whoever is responsible … should be held accountable.”
Sheriff’s officials expect to learn Thursday from medical examiners the identity of child’s remains found at the site of a New Mexico compound that authorities raided last week in search of a missing boy.
A search Monday led authorities to discover the remains of an unidentified young boy at the compound in Amalia, where three days earlier the local sheriff said 11 hungry children were found living in filth.
The remains were sent to the state Office of the Medical Investigator to be identified. An OMI spokeswoman and a sheriff’s spokesman said they expected the identification by Thursday.
Authorities say the missing boy, Abdul-ghani Wahhaj, was taken from Jonesboro, Georgia, by his father in December.
Five adults, including the father of the missing boy, were arrested after an initial search at the compound Friday.