Surveillance Video Released in Kidnap of California Family

Person in custody has been violent 'every time he has even come near consciousness'
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 5, 2022 6:50 PM CDT

Police searching for a missing family in central California have released surveillance video showing the moment they were kidnapped at gunpoint from their trucking business in Merced. Police say the video shows an armed man taking brothers Jasdeep and Amandeep Singh out of a building Monday morning with their hands apparently zip-tied behind their backs, ABC reports. They got into the back of Amandeep Singh's pickup truck. The truck left and returned six minutes later. The gunman was then seen leaving the building with Jasdeep Singh's wife, Jasleen Kaur, and Aroohi Dheri, their 8-month-old daughter. The truck then left a second time and did not return. The truck was later found on fire in a rural area.

Police say a farmer found a phone belonging to one family member on a street in Dos Palos, around 30 miles southwest of Merced, on Monday, and an ATM card belonging to one of the victims was used Tuesday in Atwater, 9 miles from Merced. Relatives have appealed for the public', CNN reports. "Every store, gas stations, everybody who has cameras please check the cameras,” Sukhdeep Singh, a brother of one of the victims, said Wednesday. “We need the public’s help right now. Please help us … so my family comes home safe." A 48-year-old man was taken into custody as a "person of interest" in the investigation Tuesday, but police say Jesus Manuel Salgado was in critical condition after a suicide attempt, and investigators have not been able to speak with him.

Merced County Sheriff Vern Warnke said relatives informed police that Salgado, who has served time in state prison for first-degree robbery with the use of a firearm, had admitted being involved in the kidnappings, the AP reports. Warnke said Salgado tried to kill himself before police arrived at his Atwater home. The sheriff said at a news conference Wednesday that he believes the motive was financial and that at least one other person was involved. He said Salgado has been under medical sedation, but investigators hope he will tell them where the family is. "I can tell you that every time he has even come near consciousness he has been violent," the sheriff said. "First and foremost, we want the family back," he said. (Read more California stories.)

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