Jesus Salgado Arrested in Killing of Four Indian Family Members in California

Jesus Manuel Salgado, 48, has been arrested for the kidnapping and killing of 8-month-old Aroohi Dher, parents Jasleen Kaur, 27; Jasdeep Singh, 36; and uncle Amandeep Singh, 39. Salgado, who formerly worked for the family’s trucking business, killed them on Monday in Merced, California, CNN reports.

Merced County Sheriff Vernon Warnke said the murdered family owned Unison Trucking Inc. in Merced and were Punjabi Sikhs. He said Salgado had a dispute with the family some time ago but decided to murder them last week. He said he had never seen the extent of evil unleashed on the deceased family in his 43 years in law enforcement, and he urged prosecutors to seek the death penalty for the suspect.

According to Warnke, surveillance video showed that Salgado visited the business premises of the murdered family on Monday morning. He cornered Jasdeep and Amandeep and had their hands tied behind their backs as he ordered them into a truck, brandishing a firearm. He drove the truck away and later returned for Jasleen who was holding baby Aroohi to her chest; Salgado ordered them into the truck and left with them as well.

Later that Monday, the family’s truck was found in Winton, 10 miles north of Merced where the family was kidnapped. The truck had been set ablaze. A farmer also found two smartphones belonging to Jasdeep and Amandeep on the road where they fell. He answered one of the phones which kept ringing and spoke with a family member of the brothers. He later contacted the authorities.

On Wednesday, the bodies of the four family members were found in an almond orchard in Dos Palos. Warnke would not reveal the conditions of the bodies but said an autopsy would be conducted on baby Aroohi. Relatives also reported the family members missing on Wednesday, and one ATM card belonging to one of the victims was used at a bank in Atwater, California, shortly after.

The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation said Salgado was sentenced to 11 years imprisonment in 2007 for first-degree robbery with a firearm and for attempted false imprisonment. He was later sentenced for drug possession that same year. After serving his sentence, he was released on parole in 2015 and completed the parole in 2018.

After his arrest on Tuesday, Salgado became violent and attempted to take his own life, but he was sedated in a hospital and booked into jail. He was charged with four counts of murder and four counts of kidnapping. His relatives said he confessed to the crime. Warnke said he believes that other suspects may have helped Salgado to execute his crime and that the authorities are investigating this angle.