The terrifying kidnapping and murder in Merced, California of 8-month-old Aroohi Dheri, her mother and father, Jasleen Kaur and Jasdeep Singh, and her older brother, Amandeep Singh, has horrified and heartbroken loved ones of this close-knit Sikh family. .
A grieving close relative of the brothers told CNN, “You can’t even understand. They had just started a family, created family memories…it was so short, it’s so heartbreaking.
Two brothers, Jesus Manuel Salgado and Alberto Salgado, were arrested in connection with the kidnapping and murder of family members.
Jesus, a former employee of the victims’ family business, was arrested Thursday night on four counts of murder and four counts of kidnapping in the case, Merced County Sheriff’s spokeswoman Alexandra Britton said.
Alberto was also arrested in the case Thursday night on preliminary charges of criminal conspiracy, aiding and abetting and destroying evidence in connection with the case, Britton told CNN on Friday.
Authorities say the four slain family members were abducted from the family’s trucking business in Merced on Monday, and portions of the abduction were captured on surveillance video.
The bodies of the four were found in a Merced County orchard on Wednesday after a farmhand alerted authorities to the remains.
As Merced County Sheriff Vern Warnke announced the family’s bodies were found Wednesday night, he said “there is a special place in hell” for the attacker.
“The circumstances around this, when we’re able to release everything, should make you angry,” Warnke said.
CNN was unable to immediately identify the Salgado brothers’ attorneys and calls to family members went unanswered.
The Singh brothers came to America with their parents in 2002 from Punjab, India. Struggling to find work and master English, the family at one point slept in their car, the family member says.
“They worked very, very hard to get here. They worked in warehouses, hourly jobs,” the family member told CNN.
It was older brother Amandeep who decided that driving a truck would give him independence, so he got his commercial truck driver’s license. After establishing himself, he bought a second truck and involved his younger brother Jasdeep. And in what is another example of immigrants being part of the American dream, the couple later expanded, buying more trucks and opening their own trucking and shipping service in Merced.
According to the family member, Jasleen came to the United States in 2019 and soon after married Jasdeep. Because she had a background in billing and accounting, she handled the books for the trucking company.
Earlier this year, Jasleen and Jasdeep became parents to Aroohi Dheri. The baby was part of a growing family that lived together – two grandparents, older brother Amandeep’s two young children and his wife, now a young widow.
About the family being together in their grief, the parent said: “There are different cycles of grief – it’s shock; it sinks. We go into memories and if you see something that reminds you of something, you burst into tears. If you see another person or other crying in the hallway, you burst into tears.