A man is in custody in connection with the kidnapping and death of four family members in California earlier this week, a local Sheriff reported.
In the early morning hours on Oct. 4, Jesus Manuel Salgado, 48, was identified by a bank ATM camera in the City of Atwater after using one of the victim’s cards and was later taken into custody on Tuesday, according to the Merced County Sheriff’s Office. Salgado reportedly tried taking his own life before he was apprehended by authorities.
On Wednesday around 5:30 p.m., authorities responded to a report of a deceased person at Indiana Road and Hutchins Road in the Dos Palos area where they found the bodies of all four family members that were reported missing on Monday in a row of an almond orchard. Eight-month-old Aroohi Dheri, her parents, Jasleen Kaur and Jasdeep Singh, and her uncle, Amandeep Singh, were allegedly kidnapped by Salgado from the Merced family’s business around 1 p.m. on Monday, according to the Sheriff’s report. Police have not released further information about the crime regarding motive or cause of death as the investigation is ongoing.
BREAKING NEWS – KIDNAPPING INVESTIGATION THREE ADULTS & 8-MONTH BABY
— Merced County Sheriff's Office (@MercedSheriff) October 4, 2022
On Oct. 3 CAL FIRE Madera-Mariposa-Merced responded to a report of a vehicle on fire which was later identified as a black 2020 Dodge Ram Truck registered to Amandeep. A separate family member was unable to contact Amandeep along with the other victims who were then reported missing to Merced County Sheriff’s Office. Sheriffs determined the family had been kidnapped after responding to their business on South Highway 59 around 1:04 p.m. County Sheriffs employed the California Department of Justice (CDJ) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to aid in their search.
“We have a low life out there that kidnapped an eight-month-old baby, her mom, her dad, and her uncle,” said Merced County Sheriff Vern Warnke following the family’s disappearance, according to 23 ABC. “So far, we have no idea why the kidnapping. We have no motivation behind it. We just know that they are gone. We’ve got evidence to indicate that the individuals involved in this destroyed evidence in an attempt to cover their tracks.”
“There’s no words right now to describe the anger I feel and the senselessness of this incident,” said Sheriff Warnke during a Wednesday night press conference. “I said it earlier: There’s a special place in hell for this guy. … I’m just livid inside because this was completely, totally senseless. We have a whole family wiped out and for what? We don’t know yet.”
This story is still unfolding awaiting further details from Merced County Sherriff’s Department.