A 48-year old man is in custody in connection with the kidnapping of a family reported Monday at a Highway 59 business, just south of Merced, according to the Merced County Sheriff’s Office.
Jesus Manuel Salgado, 48, was identified as a person of interest in the investigation into the disappearance of 8-month-old Aroohi Dheri, her parents Jasleen Kaur, 27, Jasdeep Singh, 36, and her uncle Amandeep Singh, 39.
Detectives received information that one of the victim’s ATM cards was used at an ATM located at a bank in the City of Atwater, according to a news release by the Merced County Sheriff’s Office.
Prior to law enforcement involvement, Salgado attempted to take his own life. Salgado is now receiving medical attention and in critical condition, deputies say.
The Sheriff’s Office, with the help of several law enforcement agencies continue to actively look for the all four kidnap victims, who have not been located.
Merced County Sheriff Detectives received information that one of the victim’s ATM cards was used in Atwater in the early morning hours on Tuesday.
Investigators obtained the surveillance photo of a subject making a bank transaction and the person was similar in appearance to the surveillance photo from the original kidnapping scene.
Background on the case
At approximately noon, working in conjunction with our local law enforcement partners, the Sheriff’s Office received information that identified Salgado as a person of interest in the investigation.
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. 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.
Deputies are asking for anyone with information about the kidnapping to call (209) 385-7547. Tips are confidential and you can remain anonymous.