Burned truck tied to kidnapping of family near Merced, investigators say. Here’s the latest

Merced County Sheriff

Update: Person of interest arrested in kidnapping of family in Merced County.

Merced County Sheriff investigators say a burning truck located in Winton is connected to the kidnapping of a family reported Monday at a Highway 59 business, just south of Merced.

The information is the latest development in the disappearance of 8-month-old Aroohi Dheri, the child’s 27-year-old mother Jasleen Kaur, father Jasdeep Singh, 36, and uncle Amandeep Singh, 39.

Sheriff’s detectives believe the family members were kidnapped at gunpoint from the business in the 800 block of South Highway 59. No motive has been released, and detectives have released surveillance photos of the alleged suspect.

“We are working with the California Department of Justice, the Federal Bureau of Investigations and other local law enforcement agencies to bring this family home safely,” investigators said in a news release Tuesday.

Investigators say the discovery of the burning truck in Winton before noon Monday led to the kidnapping investigation.

According to a sheriff’s news release, at 11:39 a.m. Monday firefighters with Cal Fire’s Madera-Mariposa-Merced unit were dispatched to Buhach Road and Oakdale Road in Winton after a black 2020 Dodge Ram truck was reported on fire.

California Highway Patrol officers arrived around 12:35 p.m., and requested help from the Merced Police Department to contact the truck’s registered owner, Amandeep Singh.

Merced police arrived at the residence, but they were unable to reach Amandeep Singh. They did reach family related to the victims.

After family members were unable to reach the victims, the four were reported missing to the Merced County Sheriff’s Office.

Deputies then responded to the business on South Highway 59, and determined the four family members had been kidnapped.

Deputies are asking for anyone with information about the kidnapping to call (209) 385-7547. Tips are confidential and you can remain anonymous.