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Police release surveillance video of California family's kidnapping

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Posted at 5:28 PM, Oct 04, 2022

Authorities in California released a surveillance video at a news conference on Wednesday concerning the kidnapping of four family members, including an 8-month-old baby, in Merced.

In the video displayed at the news conference, a suspect is seen walking with two of the kidnapped victims, identified as 36-year-old Jasdeep Singh and 39-year-old Amandeep Singh, at gunpoint, Merced County Sheriff’s Office said.

The sheriff's office said that a suspect had been found and that he tried to kill himself Tuesday. Authorities said he was hospitalized in critical condition.

The family is still missing.

The Merced County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement that investigators identified Jesus Salgado, 48, after he used a victim's ATM card.

The office said the family was kidnapped Monday at gunpoint from a Merced business without providing further details.

Detectives obtained a surveillance photo from the ATM in Atwater, a city about 9 miles north of Merced, and “the person is similar in appearance to the surveillance photo from the original kidnapping scene,” the office said in a statement.

The sheriff’s office released two still images of a possible suspect seen in surveillance footage on Monday and asked for the public’s help in identifying him.

As of Wednesday morning, he remained sedated, officials said. They said whenever he has been conscious at the hospitals, he has gotten violent.

The kidnapper took the baby, Aroohi Dheri; the child’s mother, Jasleen Kaur, 27; father Jasdeep Singh and uncle Amandeep Singh, said Merced County Sheriff Vern Warnke in a video published Monday on Facebook.

Warnke said the kidnapper made no ransom demands or contact of any kind.

Family members told KXTV-TV that the family, which has a trucking company, was taken from an office that they had only opened about a week earlier.

“My husband is very peaceful and calm person. We don’t have any clue why they kidnapped them,” said Jaspreet Caur, wife of the kidnapped uncle.

The sheriff said detectives believe the kidnapper destroyed unspecified evidence in an attempt to cover his tracks.

The sheriff's office said in a statement Tuesday that firefighters on Monday found a pickup truck belonging to Amandeep Singh that was on fire. Officials said there was no evidence that anyone was inside the burning truck.

Merced Police Department officers went to Amandeep Singh's home where a family member tried to reach him and the couple. When they were not able to reach their family members, they called the Merced County Sheriff’s Office to report them missing, the office said.

The sheriff's office said the FBI, the California Department of Justice, and other local law enforcement agencies are helping with the investigation.

Merced is a city of 86,000 people about 125 miles (200 kilometers) southeast of San Francisco in the San Joaquin Valley.