Toddler found buried in New Mexico identified

The identity of a severely disabled boy whose remains were discovered buried at a squalid New Mexico compound where 11 hungry children were found, has been confirmed by his grandfather.

Investigators believe the boy, Abdul-ghani Wahhaj, who would have turned four on Monday, was kidnapped by his father from his mother's care in Jonesboro, Georgia, in December.

The youngster's grandfather, Siraj Wahhaj, told reporters other family members had told him that the remains were those of his grandson, but officials in New Mexico said they had yet to identify the remains.

Video: 11 'starving' children are found on US compound

Prosecutors said they are waiting to find out the cause of death before deciding on any charges.

Mr Wahhaj, an imam who leads a mosque in New York, said: "Whoever is responsible, then that person should be held accountable."

Siraj Wahhaj is suspected of abducting his three-year-old son
Image: Siraj Wahhaj is suspected of abducting his three-year-old son

The boy's father, Siraj Ibn Wahhaj, is wanted in Georgia for kidnapping his son and the search for Abdul-ghani Wahhaj led investigators to New Mexico.

They discovered 11 hungry children and a youngster's remains at a filthy compound shielded by old tyres, wooden pallets and a wall studded with broken glass in Amalia, near the Colorado border, on Monday.

:: Hungry children found in squalid New Mexico compound were being trained to carry out school shootings

Detectives say the father, who was among five adults arrested on suspicion of child abuse at the compound, told his wife he wanted to perform an exorcism on the boy.

The child cannot walk and requires constant attention because of a lack of oxygen and blood flow when he was born.

The compound in Amalia, New mexico, where the children were found. Pic: Taos County Sheriff
Image: The filthy compound was shielded by old tyres and wooden pallets. Pic: Taos County Sheriff

Siraj Wahhaj said all 11 of the children were either his biological grandchildren or members of his family through marriage.

"I'm very concerned with the condition of my grandchildren," he said, adding that he did not know why his son had taken the family and disappeared into the desert, but suggested a psychiatric disorder was to blame.

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"My son can be maybe a little bit extreme. High-strung," he said.

But he said that he never thought he was extreme enough to kill anyone.

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