New video shows kidnapping of missing family of four as person of interest arrested

‘We are devastated, we are shocked, we are dying every moment,’ a relative of the kidnapped family of four told a press conference

Bevan Hurley,Sravasti Dasgupta
Thursday 06 October 2022 11:31 BST
Kidnapping of California family of four captured on surveillance footage
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Authorities in Merced, California, released chilling footage of the moment a family of four were kidnapped at gunpoint from their trucking business.

The surveillance footage shows a masked suspect leading brothers Amandeep Singh, 39, and Jasdeep Singh, 36, from a building on Monday with their hands zip-tied behind their backs.

The truck departs for a few minutes before returning, when Jasdeep’s wife Jasleen Kaur, 27, and their 8-month-old child Aroohi Dheri, are led from the building into the truck.

A person of interest is in custody, and late on Wednesday night police said the four had been found dead in an orchard.

“Our worst fears have been confirmed,” said Merced County Sheriff Vern Warnke, at a news conference late on Wednesday night.

Mr Warnke did not release any information about how and when the victims were believed to have been killed.

He said they were found close to each other when discovered by a farm worker in a remote area.

“We are devastated, we are shocked, we are dying every moment,” an unnamed relative said at an earlier news conference Wednesday.

The video footage was released by the Merced County Sheriff’s Office at the news conference as they appealed for information from the public.

8-month-old Aroohi Dheri, her mother Jasleen Kaur (27) and her father Jasdeep Singh, left, and Amandeep Singh, right, remain missing
8-month-old Aroohi Dheri, her mother Jasleen Kaur (27) and her father Jasdeep Singh, left, and Amandeep Singh, right, remain missing (Merced County Sheriff’s Office)
This undated image released by Merced County Sheriff’s Office shows a person of interest outside the kidnapped family’s business
This undated image released by Merced County Sheriff’s Office shows a person of interest outside the kidnapped family’s business (Merced County Sheriff’s Office)
An image of the suspect in Monday’s kidnapping in Merced County, California, released by police
An image of the suspect in Monday’s kidnapping in Merced County, California, released by police (Merced County Sheriff’s Office )

On Tuesday, the sheriff’s office announced they had arrested 48-year-old Jesus Manuel Salgado in the city of Atwater, 17 miles from Merced.

He is described as a person of interest in the case. Mr Salgado is in critical condition in hospital after trying to take his own life, the sheriff’s office said.

Officers are waiting for his condition to improve before they can interview him and Sheriff Warnke said he believes at least one other person is involved in the kidnapping.

The footage released by the sheriff’s office shows Jasdeep Singh arrive at the business on the 800 Block of South Highway 59 in Merced County at 8.30am on Monday.

Mr Singh is seen coming into contact with the suspect, and they walk toward the building.

The suspect then pulls out a firearm and enters the business.

The two brothers are seen being led from the building at around 9.11am and put into the back seat of a pickup truck.

The truck leaves and returns a few minutes later, and the suspect enters the premises again. Jasleen Kaur and her child Aroohi are seen exiting with the suspect a minute later.

Sheriff Warnke told ABC News he did not know if the family had any “prior history” with Mr Salgado.

“That person right now is our sole lead,” the sheriff said.

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