Why Was Indian Family of 4, Including 8-Month-Old Baby, Kidnapped in California? Suspect in Custody After Attempting Suicide

The California police is working incessantly to find a family of four who were kidnapped by an armed man from a business in Merced County in California's Central Valley on Monday. A man was taken into custody on Tuesday after attempting to take his life.

The Merced County Sheriff's Office said the family includes 8-month-old baby Aroohi Dheri; Jasleen Kaur, 27; Jasdeep Singh, 36; and Amandeep Singh, 39. It said the family was "taken against their will".

Kidnapped Family
The family of four was taken by force at gunpoint on Monday. Merced County Sheriff’s Office

Naindeep Singh, executive director of Jakara Movement, a Punjabi Sikh community organization in central California, said the victims' relatives told him the family was taken from their gas station and convenience store they own.

Case of Kidnapping

"We have a lowlife out there who kidnapped an 8-month-old baby, her mom, her dad and her uncle," Sheriff Vern Warnke said in a video statement. He highlighted that the sheriff's office has made no contact with the kidnapper and there have been no offers for ransom. "Investigators also believe that the kidnapper destroyed evidence in an attempt to cover their tracks." The police found Amandeep Singh's black 2020 Dodge Ram pickup truck set alight on the side of a county road on Monday.

The sheriff's office detected ATM activity in one of the victims' accounts in Atwater, California, in Merced County on Tuesday morning. Surveillance footage revealed a man similar in appearance to the suspect at the abduction site. The police identified him as Jesus Manuel Salgado. The police said the 48-year-old suspect tried to take his own life prior to him being taken into custody. "Salgado attempted to take his own life. He is in our custody, currently receiving medical attention and in critical condition," the sheriff's office said.

Suspect
Police are looking for the suspect seen on a surveillance footage. Merced County Sheriff’s Office

Warnke said they have no "why" of the kidnapping. "We have no motivation behind it. We just know that they are gone."

Ongoing Search

Detectives are looking for additional information. The police have deployed aircraft to search for the missing family. "We are pleading with the public to help in the effort," Warnke said. "We are asking for your help and we have got to bring this family home safely." The FBI, the California Department of Justice and other local law enforcement agencies are helping with the search and investigations.

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