A missing boy's father, who was arrested after police raided a compound in rural Amalia, New Mexico on Friday, allegedly wanted to exorcise his son, police say.
Siraj Wahhaj, 39, was one of two men from Georgia arrested in Friday’s raid, according to the Taos County Sheriff’s Office. Police raided the compound in an attempt to locate his missing 4-year-old son Abdul-Ghani Wahhaj. Police believe Siraj Wahhaj, 39, had something to do with the boy’s abduction. The toddler, who went missing in December, was not found at the compound, but police said they believe he was there at some point. Instead, police said they rescued 11 children, who range in age from 1 to 15, from the compound, which police described as “filthy.” Police described the compound as a small travel trailer in the desert with no water, electricity or plumbing. The children were taken into protective custody.
Abdul-Ghani’s mother told police that he suffers from seizures and cannot walk to due to severe medical issues. She said Wahhaj had taken him to the park in December and never returned. The boy was 3 years old at the time. The mom also told the cops that Wahhaj thought their son was evil and that he wanted to perform an exorcism on him, according to the Associated Press.
The boy was last seen in Chilton County, Alabama, on Dec. 13, 2017, after he, Wahhaj and seven other people in their vehicle were involved in a car accident, according to KOAT in Albuquerque. A responding officer said the group told him that they were headed to New Mexico for a camping trip.
[Photo: Taos County Sheriff's Office]