All four members of a California family kidnapped on Monday were found dead Wednesday, hours after authorities released surveillance footage showing their abduction by an armed man who took them away in a pickup truck.
“Tonight, our worst fears have been confirmed,” Merced County Sheriff Verne Warnke said at a press conference Wednesday night. “We found the four people from the kidnapping, and they are in fact deceased.”
“There’s just, there’s no words right now to describe the anger I feel at the senselessness of this incident,” he said. “There’s a special place in hell for this guy and I mean it.”
The bodies of Jasdeep Singh, 36, Amandeep Singh, 39, and 27-year-old Jasleen Kaur and her 8-month-old child, Aroohi Dheri, were discovered by an area farmer at around 5:30 p.m. “during the course of his job duties,” Warnke said.
The family was seen being taken away from a local business at about 9:00 a.m. Monday by an armed man in a pickup truck, first taking the men away with their wrists zip-tied, then returning six minutes later and taking Jasleen Kaur and her child.
The sheriff described the bodies as having been found “relatively close together.” He did not offer further details but said he will be issuing an update about “how things occurred” in the “horribly, horribly senseless” crime.
“We don’t know motivation yet,” he added.
A person of interest identified as 48-year-old Jesus Manuel Salgado was taken into custody after allegedly being linked to the case because he used a credit card belonging to one of the victims at an ATM. According to police, however, Salgado tried to kill himself and was previously reported to be unable to answer questions.
On Wednesday night, the sheriff indicated that may have changed. Without naming Salgado, Warnke said, “We’ve got information from the suspect. We’re going to keep that close to our chest at this point, but that suspect has in fact been talking to us.”
The Sheriff’s Office will be working through the night to process the crime scene along with investigators from the Department of Justice and the family has been notified.
“We’re hoping that now they can at least have some kind of closure to what’s going on,” Warnke said. “It’s not the closure we were hoping for, it’s not the closure they were hoping for.”
As far as closure goes now, he didn’t think twice.
“I’m hoping our D.A. files for the death penalty.”
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