Homicide missing family baby
Bajwa Singh, 36, a resident of Atwater, lights a candle at a vigil for the Kaur and Singh family, kidnapped and murdered recently in Merced, Oct. 6. REUTERS/Nathan Frandino

A suspect has been arrested on murder and kidnapping charges after four members of a California family, including a baby girl, were found dead two days after their abduction.

The Merced County Sheriff’s Office said on Facebook that it had booked Jesus Manuel Salgado, 48, into jail on four counts of murder and kidnapping.

The office had added that it will continue to follow up on any leads of additional people who may have been involved in the “horrific incident.”

Within hours, on Friday morning, officials announced the arrest of Alberto Salgado, the murder suspect’s brother. He is accused of criminal conspiracy, being an accessory and destroying evidence.

Salgado is accused of kidnapping Jasleen Kaur, 27, her 8-month-old daughter Aroohi Dheri, the baby’s father Jasdeep Singh, 36, and the baby’s uncle, Amandeep Singh, 39. Police say the four were abducted at gunpoint Monday morning from the family’s trucking company in Merced, about 150 miles east of San Jose.

The sheriff’s office also noted two other developments for the victims’ grieving loved ones, directing the public to the family’s GoFundMe page. The fundraiser had drawn more than $85,000 in donations as of Friday evening.

In addition, the office updated the status of a family dog that had been at the scene of the kidnapping. Authorities said the pet was “under the loving care of the family.”

Police were alerted to the crime after finding Amandeep Singh’s black 2020 Dodge Ram pickup truck burning on the side of a county road. While investigating, sheriff’s deputies were unable to reach the family and determined they had been abducted, leading them to the trucking business.

Authorities took Salgado into custody after the family’s ATM card was used at a nearby bank. Salgado was hospitalized after trying to kill himself before he was apprehended by authorities.

A motive has yet to be determined, the sheriff said.

– Staff and wire reports


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Ellen Bullock