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The Latest Prosecutor undeterred by compound case setback

SANTA FE, N.M. — The Latest on a remote New Mexico compound where 11 children were found living in filth and the body of a boy was discovered (all times local):

5 p.m.

A New Mexico prosecutor says he won’t give up pursuing charges against three people from a ramshackle compound where 11 children were found living in filth and the remains of a 3-year-old boy were hidden.

Taos-based District Attorney Donald Gallegos announced on social media Thursday that his office will refile charges or take the case to a grand jury.

Child neglect charges were dropped Lucas Morton, wife Subhannah Wahhaj and her sister Hujrah Wahhaj and they were released from jail.

Two other defendants are jailed on child abuse charges in the death of the boy whose remains were found.

A judge says the district attorney missed a crucial deadline to justify the child neglect charges and he was forced to drop the allegations and free the three.

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12:20 p.m.

New Mexico officials are keeping five children in foster care after their parents had charges of child neglect dismissed following the arrest of the parents this month at a filthy desert compound where the body of a 3-year-old boy was discovered.

State Children, Youth and Families Department spokesman Henry Varela said Thursday that the five children of Lucas Morton, Subhannah Wahhaj (sub-HANA’ wah-HAJ’) and Hujrah Wahhaj (hujh’-RAH wah-HAJ’) will remain in foster care while health and trauma assessments are carried out.

A judge released the three Wednesday after prosecutors missed a case deadline.

Two other defendants remain jailed on more serious charges of child abuse resulting in the death of a 3-year-old boy whose body was found at the compound earlier this month.

Their six children remain in foster care.