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New Mexico Gov.: Evidence backs abuse claims at youth ranch

Published On: Oct 14 2013 02:15:07 PM CDT
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -

Gov. Susana Martinez says evidence found at a New Mexico youth ranch for troubled kids corroborates allegations of abuse by current and former students.
    
Martinez made the comments Monday in defense of the state's handing of an investigation into the Tierra Blanca High Country Youth Program near Hillsboro ranch.
    
An Amber Alert and state police manhunt was launched Friday after officers found the ranch empty when they arrived to take custody of the children.
    
Pete Domenici, the ranch's attorney, said the children were safe and being returned to their parents.
    
Martinez says officers issued the alert as they moved to verify the return of the children to their parents. The alert was cancelled on Sunday.
    
Police continue to seek the operator of the ranch, Scott Chandler, for questioning. Chandler has denied any children have been harmed.
    
Martinez says investigators also need to question each of the students.

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