Attorneys says boys from troubled youth camp safe and going home

The attorney for a southern New Mexico ranch accused of abuse says nine teenagers reported missing by state police are safe and being returned to their parents.

State police Friday launched an air and ground search of the 30,000-acre ranch in Sierra County after finding no one at the Tierra Blanca High Country Youth Program.

Program operators had been ordered to send the kids back to their parents or surrender them to the state after staff members were accused of beating and shackling students.

Ranch attorney Pete Domenici Jr. said in a statement Friday evening that the boys had been on a previously scheduled activity away from the ranch for several days. He says they are safe and have already been picked up by their parents or their parents are en route to pick them up.