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Kidnapped California Family Found Murdered, Authorities Still Have No Motive

Merced County, CA – Authorities confirmed on Wednesday night that the family of four who was kidnapped from a business in Merced on Monday had been found dead in an “extremely remote” area.

Merced County Sheriff Vern Warnke said the bodies were discovered at about 5:30 p.m. on Oct. 5 in an “extremely remote” area near the intersection of Indiana and Hutchinson Roads, northeast of Dos Palos, The Fresno Bee reported.

“Our worst fears have been confirmed,” Sheriff Warnke told reporters. “There’s no words right now to describe the anger I feel and the senselessness of this incident.”

The sheriff said the bodies of 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 were found “relatively close together” in a field, The Fresno Bee reported.

The suspect in the kidnapping and murder of the family – 48-year-old Jesus Manuel Salgado – is in custody in a nearby hospital after he tried to kill himself just before he was arrested.

“I said it earlier, there is a special place in hell for this guy,” Sheriff Warnke said.

The sheriff said the victims’ family members had been notified of the gruesome discovery, The Fresno Bee reported.

“Now that we have the whereabouts of our victims, now we have to do the criminal investigation, gather up all the evidence and tie everything together,” he said.

Sheriff Warnke said that although Salgado remained sedated, he had begun talking to investigators, The Fresno Bee reported.

“The suspect has been talking off and on, based upon his condition. And we still have investigators with the suspect, and we are gleaning information from that,” the sheriff said.

“This investigation is now gearing towards putting this rotten son of a gun in prison,” he added.

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 Oct. 5 that showed 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 had been searching for the family, which included an eight-month-old baby girl, for three days.

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.

Police took Salgado into custody on Tuesday afternoon shortly after he tried to kill himself, KFSN reported.

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.

The Merced County District Attorney’s Office said Salgado was arrested for a similar incident in December of 2005.

Written by
Sandy Malone

Managing Editor - Twitter/@SandyMalone_ - Prior to joining The Police Tribune, Sandy wrote the Politics.Net column for the Wall Street Journal and was managing editor of Campaigns & Elections magazine. More recently, she was an internationally-syndicated columnist for Conde Nast (BRIDES), The Huffington Post, and Monsters and Critics. Sandy is married to a retired police captain and former SWAT commander.

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Written by Sandy Malone


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