A person of interest has been arrested in the family’s kidnapping in California, but all 4 victims are still missing

Person of interest in the kidnapping of a family of four from a local business in Central California’s Merced County was arrested Tuesday, authorities said. The family, which includes an infant, remains missing.

Jesus Manuel Salgado, 48, was taken into custody after using a credit card belonging to one of the victims at an ATM in Atwater, Merced County, the Merced County Sheriff’s Office said.

Surveillance video from the bank showed a person using the card who was similar in appearance to the person of interest seen in earlier surveillance photos taken at the scene of the kidnapping, the sheriff’s office said.

Person of interest arrested in California family kidnapping.  4 victims remain missing
Left: An undated photo of 48-year-old Jesus Manuel Salgado, a person of interest in the disappearance of a family of four from a business in Merced County, Central California on October 3, 2022. At left are surveillance photos of a man believed to be Salgado taken on October 3rd.

Merced County Sheriff’s Office

Salgado attempted to kill himself before being arrested, the sheriff’s office said. He was hospitalized in critical condition. The exact details of his arrest were not released. The press conference was scheduled for Wednesday morning.

A little girl, her parents and her uncle were abducted from a Merced County business Monday morning, the sheriff’s office said. They have been identified as 8-month-old Aroohi Dheri, her mother, 27-year-old Jasleen Kaur, her father, 36-year-old Jasdeep Singh, and her 39-year-old uncle, Amandeep Singh.

They remain missing as of late Tuesday afternoon, the sheriff’s office said, and multiple agencies are involved in the search.

There was no word on a motive or possible relationship between Salgado and the victims. It’s also unclear if investigators are looking for multiple suspects.

Person of interest arrested in California family kidnapping.  4 victims remain missing
Photos of the missing family of four: infant Aroohi Dheri, her mother, Jasleen Kaur, her father, Jasdeep Singh and her uncle (R) Amandeep Singh, who were abducted from a business in Merced County, California on October 3, 2022.

Merced County Sheriff’s Office

The investigation began when a truck registered to Amandeep Singh was found burning late Monday morning on a rural road in Winton, a community a few miles north of the city of Merced, the sheriff’s office said.

California Highway Patrol officers attempted to contact Amandeep and when they were unable to do so, they reached a family member who was also unable to contact Amandeep. Eventually, the family member reported all four missing. Early Monday afternoon, sheriff’s investigators determined the four had been kidnapped from the business.

“We have evidence to show that the individuals involved in this evidence destroyed their tracks in an attempt to cover their tracks,” Merced County Sheriff Vernon Warnke said in a video released Monday night before his arrest. Salgado.

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