Sadly, the four family members who were kidnapped from their family business in California on Monday have all been found murdered.
“Our worst fears have been confirmed,” Merced County Sheriff Vern Warnke announced on Wednesday night. “We found the four people from the kidnapping, and they are, in fact, deceased.”
Earlier this week, the sheriff’s office had released chilling security camera footage which showed a masked gunman forcing Jasleen Kaur, 27, Jasdeep Singh, 36, and Amandeep Singh, 39, to walk out of the back door of their Gateway Parking trucking company, all under duress. Jasdeep and Amandeep both had their hands zip-tied, and Kaur was carrying Aroohi Dheri, the 8-month-old daughter she shared with Jasdeep. Amandeep has been described as the baby’s uncle, though it is unclear whether he and Jasdeep were brothers.
Police believe that all four were forced into Amandeep’s black Dodge Ram truck, which was later set on fire.
Later that same day, a cell phone belonging to one of the victim’s was found in the middle of the road by a farmer, and an ATM card belonging to one of the victims had been used at an area bank, though when it was used is unclear.
Around 5:30 p.m. local time on Wednesday, in an “extremely remote” area, a local farmer discovered all four bodies, beginning with baby Aroohi, and immediately contacted authorities. It is unclear whether the same farmer who found the phone also found the victims, but police say the phone was found in the same general vicinity where the bodies were later discovered.
Warnke did not mince words when reporting the news of their deaths to the press.
“The circumstances around this, when we are able to release everything, should anger the hell out of you,” Warnke said.
“A whole family wiped out, and we still don’t know why,” he added.
Warnke did not specify how the four were killed, but he did speculate that they were killed in the location where they were found and suggested that they may even have died before they were reported missing.
Police have taken Jesus Manuel Salgado, 48, into custody and consider him a person of interest.
Right now, Salgado is receiving medical treatment after he allegedly attempted to commit suicide before law enforcement could apprehend him. He has been speaking with police at times, though Warnke claims that “every time he has come near consciousness, he’s been violent.”
Salgado has several violent prior convictions, including witness intimidation, false imprisonment, and first-degree robbery with the use of a firearm. He was also convicted of possession of a controlled substance. Police say that members of Salgado’s own family contacted authorities to report that Salgado had admitted to them that he was involved in the kidnapping.
Though Salgado has not been charged with any crime, Warnke claims that police have collected considerable “circumstantial evidence and direct evidence” in this case. Warnke also believes that this horrific crime was the work of at least two people.
“I fully believe that we will uncover and find out that there was more than just [one suspect] involved,” Warnke speculated.
“There is no words right now to describe the anger I feel and the senselessness of this incident,” he added. “I said it earlier, there’s a special place in hell for this guy.”
Meanwhile, the family of the victims is shattered with grief.
“It’s something that nobody is prepared for dealing with,” a relative identified only as Balwinder said on Wednesday. “We are just hoping and praying every moment.”
“We are devastated,” he continued. “We are shocked. We are dying every moment.”