Suspect In Kidnapping Of Family Caught. Family Still Missing.

Jesus Manuel Salgado
Jesus Manuel Salgado

According to Merced County Sheriff’s Office officials, a 48-year-old man was arrested on Monday after a family was kidnapped at a Highway 59 business south of Merced.

An investigation into the disappearance of eight-month-old Aroohi Dheri, her parents Jasleen Kaur and Jasdeep Singh, and her uncle Amandeep Singh has led to the identification of Jesus Manuel Salgado as a person of interest.

The four family members on the left three photos and the suspect on the right.

According to the Merced County Sheriff’s Office, detectives received information that one of the victim’s ATM cards was used at an ATM located at a bank in Atwater.

A number of law enforcement agencies, including the Sheriff’s Office, are actively searching for the four kidnapped victims.

In the early morning hours of Tuesday, Merced County Sheriff Detectives received information that one of the victim’s ATM cards had been used in Atwater. According to investigators, a surveillance photo of a subject making a bank transaction matched the surveillance photo from the kidnapping scene.

A person of interest in this investigation, Salgado, was identified by our local law enforcement partners at about noon.

Salgado attempted suicide before law enforcement intervened. According to deputies, Salgado is receiving medical attention and is in critical condition.

Prior to knowing there was a kidnapping:

Investigators say a burning truck found in Winton before noon Monday prompted the kidnapping investigation.

The Sheriff’s Department reported that at 11:39 a.m. on Monday, Cal Fire firefighters were called to Buhach Road and Oakdale Road in Winton after a fire was reported in a black 2020 Dodge Ram truck.

A California Highway Patrol officer arrived around 12:35 p.m. and requested assistance from the Merced Police Department to locate the truck’s registered owner, Amandeep Singh.

Singh could not be located when the Merced police arrived at his residence. A member of the victim’s family was reached.

The Merced County Sheriff’s Office was notified after family members were unable to contact the missing victims. When deputies responded to the business on South Highway 59, they discovered the four family members had been kidnapped.

Sheriff’s detectives believe the family members were kidnapped at gunpoint from the location.

For more on this story, please consider these sources:

  1. Update: Person of interest found in kidnapping of Merced County family, sheriff says  Merced Sun-Star
  2. A family of 4 is missing after being ‘taken against their will’ in central California, officials say  CNN
  3. 4 family members, including infant, kidnapped from CA business, deputies say  ABC7
  4. Baby and parents missing after being ‘taken against their will’ from Merced business, sheriff says  The Mercury News
  5. Police Seek Clues in Kidnapping of Baby, Parents and Uncle  The New York Times
John Nightbridge is a veteran reporter, researcher, and economic policy major from UCLA. Passionate about world issues and potential ways to solve them is a significant focus of his work. Writing freelance and reading the news are John's passions at work. Outside of work, it's all about sky diving, surfing, and stock market modeling.