New Mexico: Amber Alert Issued for 9 Boys; Ranch Owner Scott Chandler Sought

By Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber
Reporter
Zachary Stieber covers U.S. and world news. He is based in Maryland.
October 11, 2013 Updated: July 18, 2015

New Mexico police issued an Amber Alert on Friday for nine boys–Ryan Sibbett, David Easter, Bryce Hall, Mayson Myers, Peter Adams, Michael Rozell, Oscar Ruiz, Charlie Lamb, and Evan Kogler–believed to be with Scott Chandler, owner of Tierra Blanca Ranch. Police say the boys may be in danger.

“It is believed that these children are in danger due to the circumstances involving this abduction,” according to the Amber Alert.

Investigators raided the Tierra Blanca Ranch on Friday night, but there was no sign of Chandler or the boys.

Officials are searching hard for the boys.

“All resources are being put into this right now,” Governor Susana Martinez said. “We have to locate them.”

“When you show up and everybody is gone, it’s of huge concern to us,” she said, according to KOB.

Three of the boys said that they were being starved as a form of punishment, as well as shackled.

According to KOB reporter Chris Ramirez, “At least a dozen boys interviewed at different times by different investigators said they were forced into child slavery by tending the 30,000 acre ranch owned by Scott Chandler.  They told stories of working outside for up to 15 hours a day in grueling conditions, sometimes in extreme temperatures.  They said they were punished by excessive exercises, food deprivation, threats of castration, and brutal beatings.

” In a police report, one teen described being forced by a staff member to put rocks and sand in a sock and beat his friend.  The boys also described what they called a ‘firewall.’  When a teen is ‘firewalled,’ he’s not allowed to talk to other people or be spoken to, which as you can imagine creates a very lonely existence.”

One boy who used to live on the ranch said that they were “the sole labor force” for the ranch.

KOB described the land around the ranch as “untamed wilderness.”

The ranch bills itself on its website as “a new beginning for troubled and at-risk youth” and says its situated on 30,000 acres in the state’s Black Range.

Anyone with information about these missing children should immediately call the New Mexico State Police at (575)835-0741.

Story developing; check back for updates.

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Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber covers U.S. and world news. He is based in Maryland.