HILLSBORO, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico's child services department says at least one of the nine teenagers reported missing from a rural ranch for troubled youth has been returned to his parents.
Child, Youth and Families Department spokesman Harry Varela says that "one, possibly more, have been returned." Varela added Saturday that they are working with the other families.
A search warrant was executed Friday at the Tierra Blanca High Country Youth Program as part of an investigation of abuse. The teens weren't at the 30,000-acre compound in Sierra County and neither was program operator Scott Chandler, a person of interest in the case.
The Albuquerque Journal reported authorities investigated claims about beatings at the unlicensed program. Chandler denied the teenagers have been harmed.