A family of four, including an infant, kidnapped monday morning Out of business in central California’s Merced County, officials announced Wednesday night.
In a news briefing, Merced County Sheriff Vernon Warnke said the bodies of the four victims were found “while on duty” by farm workers around 5:30 p.m. local time.
The victim was found “relatively nearby,” Warnke added. He did not say whether investigators had determined their cause of death.
The sheriff stressed that the victims were “found in a very rural farm area, so not many people come out here.”
On Monday morning, the victims were a young girl, her parents, and her uncle who were kidnapped from a business in Merced County. They were identified as 8-month-old Aroohi Dheri, her mother Jasleen Kaur, 27, her father Jasdeep Singh, 36, and her uncle Amandeep Singh, 39.
on tuesday, person interested in kidnapping Arrested. Jesus Manuel Salgado, 48, was taken into custody Tuesday morning after a credit card belonging to one of the victims was used at an ATM in Atwater, Merced County, the sheriff’s office said. said.
The sheriff’s office said Salgado attempted suicide before being arrested. He was hospitalized in critical condition.
At a press conference Wednesday morning, before the bodies were found, sheriff officials Surveillance footage released They said the victims were being driven out of business by armed men.
The video shows the man leaving the building with Jasdeep and Amandeep, both holding hands and placing them in the back of a pickup truck. The truck leaves, but returns in 6 minutes. The suspect goes back inside and quickly leaves with Kaul and his daughter Alohi Deli.
No word yet on the motive for the abduction or any possible connection between Salgado and the victim. Warnke said Salgado was convicted of robbery in 2005. Salgado was released on parole in 2015 and has had no major contact with law enforcement since, Warnke said.
Warnke said Salgado was unable to contact investigators as of Wednesday morning. He has not yet been charged with criminal charges in this case.
An investigation was prompted when an Amandeep-registered pickup truck was found ablaze late Monday morning on a country road in Winton, a community a few miles north of the city of Merced.
When California Highway Patrol officers tried to contact Amandeep but were unable to do so, they contacted the family who had also been unable to contact Amandeep. Eventually, the family reported all four of her missing. By early Monday afternoon, sheriff’s investigators determined that four people had been kidnapped from the company.
— Victoria Albert contributed to this report.
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