4 members of family abducted from California business found dead, sheriff says

four family members including a newborn, who were Monday morning kidnapping The dead have been found from a business in Central California’s Merced County, officials announced Wednesday night. The victims were traced to a remote farm area in Merced County.

At a news briefing, Merced County Sheriff Vernon Warnke said the bodies of the four victims were discovered at around 5:30 p.m. local time by a farm worker “in the course of his job”.

Warneke said the victims were found to be “relatively close together”. He did not disclose whether investigators had determined the cause of his death.

The sheriff stressed that the victims were found in an “extremely rural farm area, where not many people visit.”

Person of interest caught in kidnapping of a California family;  4 victims missing
Undated photos of a family: baby Aarohi Dheri, her mother, Jasleen Kaur, her father, Jasdeep Singh and her uncle (R) Amandeep Singh were kidnapped from a business in Merced County, California on October 3, 2022 .

Merced County Sheriff’s Office

On Monday morning, the victims – a newborn girl, her parents and her uncle – were abducted from a business in Merced County. They were identified as 8-month-old Aarohi Dheri, her mother, 27-year-old Jasleen Kaur, her father, 36-year-old Jasdeep Singh and her 39-year-old uncle Amandeep Singh.

on Tuesday, person interested in kidnapping was captured. Jesus Manuel Salgado, 48, was taken into custody Tuesday morning after using the credit card of one of the victims at an ATM in the Merced County city of Atwater, the sheriff’s office said.

The sheriff’s office said Salgado attempted suicide before being arrested. He was admitted to the hospital in serious condition.

Person of interest caught in kidnapping of a California family;  4 victims missing
Left: An undated photo of 48-year-old Jesus Manuel Salgado, who is interested in the disappearance of a family of 4 from a business in Merced County, Central California, on October 3, 2022. On the left are surveillance photos of a man believed to have been taken on Salgado October 3.

Merced County Sheriff’s Office

At a Wednesday morning news conference, before the bodies were discovered, sheriff’s officers surveillance footage released In which he said the victims were shown being taken out of business by an armed man.

In the video, the man can be seen exiting the building with Jasdeep and Amandeep, both zip-tied in their hands, and placing them in the back of a pickup truck. The truck leaves, but returns after six minutes. The suspect goes back inside, and soon leaves with Kaur and her daughter Aarohi Dheri.

Nothing is yet known about the motive for the kidnapping or a possible connection between Salgado and the victims. Warneke said Salgado was convicted of robbery in 2005. Salgado was paroled in 2015 and has not had any major contact with law enforcement since then, Warneke said.

Warneke said Salgado had not been able to communicate with investigators as of Wednesday morning. He has not yet been criminally charged in the case.

The sheriff’s office said the investigation began when a pickup truck registered to Amandeep was found on Monday morning on a rural road in Vinton, a community a few miles north of the town of Merced.

California Highway Patrol officers attempted to contact Amandeep, and when they were unable to do so, they reached out to a family member, who was also unable to contact Amandeep. Eventually the family informed about the four missing. By Monday afternoon, sheriff’s investigators had determined that all four had been abducted from business.

, Victoria Albert contributed to this report.

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