New Mexico compound littered with ammunition, dirty diapers

This photo shows a squalid makeshift living compound in Amalia, N.M., on Friday, Aug. 10, 2018, where five adults were arrested on child abuse charges and remains of a boy were found. The remains, which haven't been positively identified, may resolve the fate of Abdul-ghani Wahhaj, a missing, severely disabled Georgia boy. Eleven other children were found at the compound during a raid last week. (AP Photo/Morgan Lee)
Ammunition for firearms is left behind at a squalid makeshift living compound in Amalia, N.M., on Friday, Aug. 10, 2018, where five adults were arrested on child abuse charges and remains of a boy were found. The remains, which haven't been positively identified, may resolve the fate of Abdul-ghani Wahhaj, a missing, severely disabled Georgia boy. Eleven other children were found at the compound during a raid last week. (AP Photo/Morgan Lee)
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 Wahhaj was found Monday, on what would have been his fourth birthday, after he went missing in December in Jonesboro, Ga. near Atlanta. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)
Various items litter a squalid makeshift living compound in Amalia, N.M., on Friday, Aug. 10, 2018, where five adults were arrested on child abuse charges and remains of a boy were found. The remains, which haven't been positively identified, may resolve the fate of Abdul-ghani Wahhaj, a missing, severely disabled Georgia boy. Eleven other children were found at the compound during a raid last week. (AP Photo/Morgan Lee)
A gun holster hangs next to a woman's dress at a squalid makeshift living compound in Amalia, N.M., on Friday, Aug. 10, 2018, where five adults were arrested on child abuse charges and remains of a boy were found. The remains, which haven't been positively identified, may resolve the fate of Abdul-ghani Wahhaj, a missing, severely disabled Georgia boy. Eleven other children were found at the compound during a raid last week. (AP Photo/Morgan Lee)
CORRECTS LAST NAME TO WAHHAJ, NOT WAHHA - This combination photo provided by the Taos County Sheriff's Department shows Subhannah Wahhaj, from left, Jany Leveille and Hujrah Wahhaj. Three women believed to be the mothers of 11 children found hungry and living in a filthy makeshift compound in rural northern New Mexico, have been arrested, following the weekend arrests of two men, authorities said Monday, Aug. 6. (Taos County Sheriff's Department via AP)
An improvised bathroom stands inside a squalid makeshift living compound in Amalia, N.M., on Friday, Aug. 10, 2018, where five adults were arrested on child abuse charges and remains of a boy were found. The remains, which haven't been positively identified, may resolve the fate of Abdul-ghani Wahhaj, a missing, severely disabled Georgia boy. Eleven other children were found at the compound during a raid last week. (AP Photo/Morgan Lee)
Various items litter the kitchen of a makeshift living compound in Amalia, N.M., on Friday, Aug. 10, 2018, where five adults were arrested on child abuse charges and remains of a boy were found. The remains, which haven't been positively identified, may resolve the fate of Abdul-ghani Wahhaj, a missing, severely disabled Georgia boy. Eleven other children were found at the compound during a raid last week. (AP Photo/Morgan Lee)
An exit tunnel is seen within a squalid makeshift living compound in Amalia, N.M., on Friday, Aug. 10, 2018, where five adults were arrested on child abuse charges and remains of a boy were found. The remains, which haven't been positively identified, may resolve the fate of Abdul-ghani Wahhaj, a missing, severely disabled Georgia boy. Eleven other children were found at the compound during a raid last week. (AP Photo/Morgan Lee)
Lucas Morton arrives in court to plead not guilty to child abuse charges in state district court in Taos, N.M., Wednesday, Aug. 8, 2018. Morton was arrested Friday in a raid on a disheveled living compound where authorities say they found five adults and 11 children living in filth and later recovered the remains of a small boy. Authorities are waiting to learn if the remains belong to a boy that went missing in Georgia in December. Authorities say another resident of the compound near the Colorado state line was conducting weapons training with assault rifles. (AP Photo/Morgan Lee)
This aerial image shows a remote outpost near Amalia, N.M on Thursday, Aug. 9, 2018. Three siblings and two other adults have been charged with child abuse stemming from the alleged neglect of 11 children found living on the squalid compound. All five are being jailed without bail in New Mexico. (Karl Brennan/DroneBase via AP)
Taos County Sheriff Jerry Hogrefe announces at a news conference in Taos, N.M., on Tuesday, Aug. 7, 2018, that searchers have found the remains of a boy at the makeshift compound that was raided in search of a missing Georgia child. Hogrefe said authorities are awaiting a positive identification of the remains found Monday on the outskirts of Amalia, N.M. Authorities say the search for the child led them Friday to the squalid compound where they found his father, four other adults and 11 children living in filthy conditions. (AP Photo/Morgan Lee)
The back of a moving truck serves as sleeping quarters at a squalid makeshift living compound in Amalia, N.M., on Friday, Aug. 10, 2018. The compound offers hints about the lives of five adults and 11 malnourished children who were detained there and rescued last week. The remains of a young child were later recovered from within the compound and may resolve the fate of the missing, severely disabled boy Abdul-ghani Wahhaj. The remains haven't been positively identified by a state medical examiner. (AP Photo/Morgan Lee)
Tires form a wall at a squalid makeshift living compound in Amalia, N.M., on Friday, Aug. 10, 2018, where five adults were arrested on child abuse charges and remains of a boy were found. The remains, which haven't been positively identified, may resolve the fate of Abdul-ghani Wahhaj, a missing, severely disabled Georgia boy. Eleven other children were found at the compound during a raid last week. (AP Photo/Morgan Lee)

AMALIA, N.M. — 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.

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