The decomposed child remains discovered at the New Mexico compound last week have been identified as belonging to the toddler who went missing from Jonesboro, Georgia, last year.
"The Office of the Medical Investigator has positively identified the remains found earlier this month at the compound near Amalia, N.M., in northern Taos County as belonging to Abdul-Ghani Wahhaj," according to the Taos County Sheriff's Office.
Investigators discovered the child's remains wrapped in a sheet inside a tunnel on the remote property last week, on what would have been the boy’s fourth birthday. Abdhul-Ghani's mother, Hakima Ramzi, last saw her son in December.
On Dec. 1, Siraj Ibn Wahhaj, the child's father, told Ramzi he was taking the toddler to the park but he never returned with the boy.
Two weeks ago, authorities arrested Siraj Ibn Wahhaj and four other adults, during a raid at the Amalia compound near the Colorado border. Eleven children, ages 1 to 15, were found starving and living in squalid conditions. Authorities also say they found evidence that the children housed there were being trained to commit mass murders at schools.
How did the boy die?
The cause of death has not yet been determined, according to the OMI at The University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center.
"There is no update at this time on cause or manner of death. The Taos County Sheriff's Office is the lead agency in this case and questions regarding the investigation should be directed to the sheriff's office," Alex Sanchez, public information officer at UNMHSC, said in a release.
"Our thoughts and prayers go to Wahhaj's family. We certainly understand the heartbreak this news will cause and want to stress our commitment to investigating this death to serve the living. The condition of the body made identification difficult, and investigators had to use several means to finally make a positive identification," the release said.
What did the boy's mother say?
M. Khurram Baig, the lawyer representing Abdul-Ghani's mother, issued a written statement to TheBlaze in response to the identification of her son's body.
Ms. Ramzi is grateful for the efforts of law enforcement and the medical examiner's office in providing her with some sense of closure in this matter.
Her attention will now turn toward giving her son a proper burial in accordance with Islamic traditions.
If called upon by law enforcement to assist in their investigation into how Abdul-Ghani passed away, she is prepared to cooperate
Authorities charged the five adults with 11 separate accounts of child abuse, among other charges. Some of the rescued children, who are now in foster care, had alerted investigators that Abdhul-Ghani had died earlier this year at the compound.
You can read more about the case here.