Merced, CA – The Merced County Sheriff’s Office released terrifying security video on Wednesday that showed a family with a baby being kidnapped at gunpoint from a business in Merced on Monday afternoon (video below).
The kidnapping, for which authorities still have no motive, occurred just after 1 p.m. on Oct. 3, KFSN reported.
The sheriff’s department released video on Wednesday that captured portions of the kidnapping and clearly showed the suspect taking out a handgun before he followed one of the family members inside the business.
Authorities have been searching for eight-month-old Aroohi Dheri; her mother, 27-year-old Jasleen Kaur; her father, 36-year-old Jasdeep Singh; and her uncle, 39-year-old Amandeep Singh.
The video released on Oct. 5 showed brothers Jasdeep and Amandeep Singh with their arms zip-tied behind their backs being marched out of the business at gunpoint.
Then the suspect put the restrained men in the backseat of a waiting pickup truck, the video showed.
A large dog who appears tied up in the backyard can be seen barking as the kidnapping took place.
The video showed the suspect drove the pickup truck away from the business but returned a few minutes later and went back inside.
A moment later, the suspect stepped out of the business still holding a weapon in his hand and then Kaur came out of the trailer holder baby Aroohi.
The gunman marched baby and mother to the waiting pickup truck, helped them get inside, and then drove away, the video showed.
None of the kidnapping victims have yet been found.
Police arrested a person of interest on Tuesday afternoon, KFSN reported.
Authorities said Jesus Manuel Salgado tried to kill himself before he was taken into custody and remains in critical condition at a nearby hospital.
The Merced County Sheriff’s Office said family members of Salgado had contacted authorities and reported that he had admitted he was involved in the kidnapping, KFSN reported.
Officials said one of the victims’ bank cards was used to take money out of an ATM in Atwater, nine miles north of Merced, KFSN reported.
Merced County Sheriff Vern Warnke said the kidnapper has made no contact with authorities or family of the victims and so far, there have been no ransom demands of any kind.
“If you guys have any helpful tips or video, please provide them to the sheriff’s department,” a family member pleaded. “They’re trying the best with what they can do, but we need the public’s help right now. Please help us so my family can come home safe.”
Sheriff Warnke said the kidnappers had intentionally destroyed specific evidence in order to cover up their crime but didn’t release any additional details of what it was, KFSN reported.
The Merced County District Attorney’s Office said Salgado was arrested for a similar incident in December of 2005.
He was charged with home invasion robbery with a gun, witness intimidation, and attempted false imprisonment but his victims weren’t hurt, KFSN reported.
Salgado was released from prison in June of 2015.
Sheriff Warnke said agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the California Department of Justice, and multiple other local law enforcement agencies were assisting in the search for the missing family and the investigation of their disappearances, KFSN reported.
Watch the terrifying kidnapping unfold in the video below: