California Family: A man has been arrested in the kidnapping and murder of 4 family members in Merced. Here’s what we know


A man arrested in connection with this week’s kidnapping and murder of four members of the california family – including a baby girl – worked for the victims’ family business, the sheriff’s spokesman said.

Jesus Manuel Salgado, 48, was officially arrested on Thursday evening of four counts of murder and four counts of kidnapping in the case, Merced County Sheriff’s spokeswoman Alexandra Britton said, although Salgado was arrested two days earlier.

Authorities say the family members – 8-month-old Aroohi Dheri, her parents Jasleen Kaur and Jasdeep Singh, and the child’s uncle, Amandeep Singh – were abducted Monday from the family’s trucking business in the city of Merced, in central California, and parts 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 abuser.

“The circumstances around this, when we’re able to release everything, should make you angry,” Warnke said.

Investigators learned the family was missing after a family vehicle was found abandoned and on fire Monday morning, authorities said.

Salgado was arrested as a suspect in the case on Tuesday after his family told law enforcement that he admitted to involvement in the kidnappings, authorities said.

Salgado worked for the victims’ company, Merced County Sheriff’s spokeswoman Alexandra Britton told CNN on Thursday. She did not provide details, including what position he had held.

CNN was unable to identify an attorney for Salgado and calls to family members went unanswered.

As the investigation continues into the motive for the murders, here’s what we know about the case.

Surveillance footage produced by Authorities show how the four family members were taken against their will from their workplace in Merced on Monday morning.

At 8.30am on Monday, the video shows Jasdeep Singh arriving in the company parking lot, followed by Amandeep Singh arriving nine minutes later.

Shortly before 9 a.m., Jasdeep encounters a man outside the company. The man was carrying a white trash bag and pulled out what appeared to be a gun, the video shows.

At around 9:11 a.m., the video shows Jasdeep and Amandeep having their hands tied behind their backs and getting into a truck, which leaves soon after.

A few minutes later, the vehicle returns to the parking lot and the man enters the company. The man exists with a gun in hand, dragging down Jasleen Kaur as she holds 8-month-old Aroohi.

Later Monday, a farmer found two of the victims’ cellphones on a road, authorities said. At one point, the farmer answered one of the phones and spoke with a relative of the victims.

Salgado served a long prison sentence for a similar crime in 2007. He was sentenced to 11 years behind bars on charges of first-degree robbery with the use of a firearm and attempted abusive imprisonment, according to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.

Also in 2007, he was convicted of possession of a controlled substance, the corrections department said. He was paroled in 2015 after serving his sentence and completed his parole in 2018, according to the department.

Before police welcomed him on Tuesday – initially as a person of interest – Salgado attempted suicide and received medical treatment that required him to be sedated because he was acting violently while he was was conscious, Warnke said.

Jesus Salgado is accused of kidnapping an 8-month-old girl, her mother, father and uncle from their business on October 3 in Merced, California.

Officials believe Salgado is the prime suspect in the case, but the sheriff pointed out that other people may be involved.

“I strongly believe we will find out and find out that it wasn’t just him involved,” Warnke said Wednesday.

Salgado was speaking to investigators, Warnke said, but did not specify what information he might have shared.

“We got information from the suspect, we’re going to keep that close to our chest at this point,” Warnke said.

Salgado was sentenced to Merced County Jail, the sheriff’s office said Thursday evening.

Among the questions that remain unanswered is the motive for the family’s murder.

“We have a whole family wiped out, and for what? We don’t know yet,” Warnke said Wednesday after the bodies were recovered.

Authorities also haven’t revealed how the family died, but did say it appears they were killed where they were found, and the killings took place before the sheriff’s department was notified. Monday that the family was missing.

A day after the family’s abduction, authorities learned that an ATM card belonging to one of the victims had been used at a bank in Atwater, Calif., the sheriff’s office said in a statement. Atwater is about nine miles northwest of Merced.

It is unknown if Salgado was the person who used this card, according to Britton.

“Investigators have obtained a surveillance photo of a subject performing a banking transaction where the person appears to resemble the surveillance photo from the original abduction scene,” the sheriff’s office said earlier this week.

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