The case of the four family members who were kidnapped from a business in Merced County, California this week has taken a tragic turn.
As readers will recall, on Wednesday, we covered the awful disappearance of 36-year-old Jasdeep Singh, his 39-year-old brother Amandeep Singh, his 27-year-old partner Jasleen Kaur, and the couple’s 8-month-old baby Aroohi Dheri. Now, police in Merced have confirmed that all four of them were discovered dead in a remote farm area of the Central Valley county — and police have apprehended a person of interest in the case.
In a news briefing on Wednesday evening, Merced County Sheriff Vernon Warnke confirmed the bodies of all four family members were discovered at about 5:30 p.m. local time by a farm worker in Merced County. The victims, Warnke said, were discovered “relatively close together” by that worker “in an extremely rural farm area.” The sheriff did not disclose a possible cause of death for any of the victims.
Also yesterday, police announced that they had apprehended a person of interest in the kidnappings. A 48-year-old man identified as Jesus Manuel Salgado (pictured above, right) was taken into custody after cops approached him at some point on Tuesday. He had used an ATM card of one of the victims at a bank machine in the nearby city of Atwater. According to the Associated Press, Salgado allegedly attempted suicide prior to being detained by cops. He survived, though, and he is currently in a local hospital in critical condition. Police have not been able to question him yet.
Sheriff Warnke and his team are still trying to figure out a motive in the killings. Surveillance camera footage released earlier on Wednesday shows an armed man who appears to match a description similar to Salgado leading the family away from their business in Merced County. Both Jasdeep and Amandeep had their hands tied together by zip ties.
Warnke told reporters at his Wednesday night press conference that the Department of Justice had been brought in to process the crime scene and assist in the case. It is unclear whether Salgado had a previous relationship with the family, or it was a random incident. The enraged Sheriff also said:
“There’s no words right now to describe the anger I feel and the senselessness of this incident. 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.”
Salgado does have a criminal history. He was convicted in 2005 for the armed robbery of his former boss’ family in the Central Valley. He served prison time for that incident before being paroled in 2015. According to CBS News, he “has not had any major contact with law enforcement” since leaving prison after that situation.
Here is more on the awful situation from ABC 10 News (below):
So, so sad. We send our condolences to the family members, friends, and loved ones of these poor victims. RIP.
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