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Wednesday, August 29, 2018

TORONTO (AP) — TAOS, N.M. (AP) — A judge on Wednesday dismissed child neglect charges against three of five people arrested at a remote desert compound in northern New Mexico where 11 children were found living in filth and the body of a 3-year-old boy was discovered.

Judge Emilio Chavez ruled that he could not keep the three in custody because prosecutors missed a 10-day limit for an evidentiary hearing to establish probable cause for the neglect charges. Prosecutors could still seek charges for the three — Lucas Morton, Subhannah Wahhaj and Hujrah Wahha — by asking a grand jury to indict them but offered no immediate indication on how they would proceed.

Authorities are pushing ahead with other charges filed against the dead boy’s father, Siraj Ibn Wahhaj, and his partner, Jany Leveille. They were due in court Wednesday and are accused of child abuse resulting in death, which could carry life sentences, in connection with the death of Abdul-ghani Wahhaj.