Video shows missing California family kidnapped at gunpoint

The “only lead” available to investigators in the search for a kidnapped family from central California is a man unconscious following a suicide attempt, authorities announced on Wednesday by releasing surveillance video of the abduction.

Jesus Manuel Salgado, who was originally taken into custody as a “person of interest”, is now being labeled a suspect by Merced County Sheriff’s investigators.

Before deputies could visit Salgado, 48, on Tuesday, he attempted to kill himself. He is now in a sedated hospital with detectives ready to speak to him as soon as he regains consciousness, officials said.

“We have to pray that this suspect will be convinced to talk to us because this person is our only lead right now on the whereabouts of people,” Sheriff Vern Warnke told reporters.

He is under “medically induced sedation” because doctors need him under control to provide life-saving treatment, according to the sheriff.

“They didn’t want him struggling,” Warnke said. “I can tell you that every time he approached consciousness, he was violent.”

The fate of Aroohi Dheri, 8 months, her parents, Jasleen Kaur, 27, and Jasdeep Singh, 36, and the baby’s uncle, Amandeep Singh, 39, was still a mystery on Wednesday, sources said. responsible.

Aroohi Dheri, 8 months, her parents, Jasleen Kaur, 27, and Jasdeep Singh, 36, and the baby's uncle, Amandeep Singh, 39.
Aroohi Dheri, 8 months, her parents, Jasleen Kaur, 27, and Jasdeep Singh, 36, and the baby’s uncle, Amandeep Singh, 39.Merced County Sheriff’s Office

During a half-hour meeting with reporters at the Merced County Board of Supervisors chambers, the Sheriff’s Department released surveillance video showing the now-unconscious suspect who allegedly kidnapped the family during two separate car journeys.

A man walking on Highway 59 in Merced could be seen carrying a trash bag and entering the family business. But just before entering, he drops the bag and appears to pull out a handgun, the video showed.

The man was wearing a hoodie and his face was obscured by a mask.

There were no surveillance cameras inside the company, officials said.

Minutes later, the gunman could be seen walking Jasdeep Singh and Amandeep Singh to the back of the company, Unison Trucking, with their hands tied behind their backs at around 9:11 a.m.

They got into Amandeep Singh’s black Dodge van and left at 9:13 a.m.

This truck returned to the family business at 9.19am before the suspect was seen taking Jasleen Kaur, who was carrying her baby, through the back door into the truck and driving away.

“From this point on, we no longer see any of the four victims on video at the scene or the suspect vehicle or the suspect,” Deputy Corey Gibson said.

The capture of Salgado in nearby Atwater came after his own family called authorities.

“He attempted suicide before any contact with law enforcement,” Warnke said.

“The family had told our suspect that they had in fact contacted law enforcement because of what he told them. Rather than speak to law enforcement, he attempted suicide. ”

The kidnapping only came to the attention of authorities after firefighters and highway patrol came across a burning truck, which later turned out to be Amandeep Singh’s black Dodge pickup. , officials said.

When Singh’s relatives could not reach him, investigators drove to the family’s trucking business where they obtained surveillance video showing the abduction, authorities said.

Two mobile phones belonging to the victims were also found by a farmer in nearby Dos Palos, officials said.

Sukhdeep Singh, a brother of the victims, pleaded with local residents to refresh their memories or check surveillance video for anything out of the ordinary this week.

“(The sheriff’s deputies) are doing the best they can with what they can do, but we need the public’s help right now,” Singh said, his voice choking with emotion.

“Please help us and move forward so my family can get home safely.”

The suspect was convicted of robbery in 2005 before his parole in 2015.

“We don’t have a motive,” Sheriff Warnke said. “Since parole, we haven’t had any major contact with this person. But we kind of think that’s the motive right now until we prove otherwise.”

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