By Brendan O’Brien
(Reuters) – A suspect has been arrested on murder and kidnapping charges after four members of a California family, including an 8-month-old girl, were found dead in a rural area two days after their abduction, authorities said.
The Merced County Sheriff’s Office said on Facebook on Thursday night that it had booked Jesus Manuel Salgado, 48, into jail on four counts of murder and kidnapping. The office said it will continue to follow up on any leads of additional people who may have been involved in the “horrific incident.”
Salgado is accused of kidnapping Jasleen Kaur, 27, her baby girl Aroohi Dheri, the baby’s father Jasdeep Singh, 36, and the baby’s uncle, Amandeep Singh, 39. Police say the four were abducted at gunpoint on Monday morning from the family’s trucking company in Merced, about 150 miles (240 km) east of San Jose.
Police were alerted to the crime after finding Amandeep Singh’s black 2020 Dodge Ram pickup truck burning on the side of a county road. While investigating, sheriff’s deputies were unable to reach the family and determined they had been abducted, leading them to the trucking business.
Authorities took Salgado into custody after the family’s ATM card was used at a nearby bank. Salgado was hospitalized after trying to kill himself before he was apprehended by authorities.
A motive has yet to be determined, the sheriff said.
(Reporting by Brendan O’Brien in Chicago; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)