Person of Interest Captured in Kidnapping of California Family, Victims Still Missing: Authorities

Person of Interest Merced Kidnapping
Jesus Manuel Salgado, 48, has been identified as a person of interest in the kidnapping of a California family.Merced County Sheriff's Office

A person of interest in the kidnapping of a California family has been captured, authorities said. They say he attempted suicide and is in critical condition, but the victims are still missing.

A person of interest has been captured in connection with the kidnapping of a California family, authorities said. But the victims, including an 8-month-old baby, remain missing.

Jesus Manuel Salgado, 48, was apprehended Tuesday after the credit card of one victim was used at an ATM, according to the Merced County Sheriff's Office.

Salgado had attempted suicide before investigators arrived and is currently hospitalized in critical condition, the sheriff's office said. Specific details of his capture were not given.

On Monday, the baby, her parents and her uncle were kidnapped at gunpoint from the family's newly opened trucking business in California's central county, authorities said.

The family was identified as 8-month-old Aroohi Dheri, her mother, 27-year-old Jasleen Kaur, her father, 36-year-old Jasdeep Singh, and her 39-year-old uncle, Amandeep Singh.

Family kidnapped in central California. - Merced County Sheriff's Office

Sheriff Vern Warnke said investigators have no motive for the abductions, and no leads about where the family might be.

"We are hoping he recovers because right now, he is our only lead to the family," Warnke said of the hospitalized person of interest. "We still have no leads on where the family is, what their condition is."

Warnke told KFSN-TV that surveillance video from the family business showed the victims being led in groups of two, from the building.

"It's very evident they did not want to go," he said. "There's a gun involved and restraints and so on."

The sheriff said the person of interest's family had alerted authorities, reporting that Salgado had admitted to them he was involved with the kidnapping, the station reported.

"Having three adults is one thing, but we have an infant girl that there is a whole bunch of needs here," Warnke said. "Anybody here that is a parent understands that. She's got diapers. Special food that you have got to have."

Anyone with information is asked to call sheriff's investigators at 209-385-7445.

Related Story