Local News

4 Dead in Merced Abduction, Murder

By: Saya Alvares and Bridie Beamish

Sports and Culture Editors

On Oct. 3, a man abducted a family of four from their family business in Merced, California, later killing everyone. The family, consisting of Jasleen Kaur, Jasdeep Singh, their eighth month old baby Aroohi Dheri, and the baby’s uncle, Amandeep Singh, were led out of their place of work at gunpoint.

Surveillance video showed the lead suspect, Jesus Manuel Salgado, force Jasdeep and Amandeep outside of the building and into Amandeep’s truck with their hands zip-tied. Salgado then drove away and returned a few minutes later to take Kaur, who walked out while carrying her child. The police reported the family missing when a relative contacted the local station, unable to get into contact with Amandeep. The family truck was later found on fire 10 miles north of Merced.

Salgado was taken into custody on Oct. 4 after authorities found him using one of  the victim’s ATM cards at a bank in Atwater. That same day, Salgado attempted to take his own life, making it difficult for law enforcement to question him. However, on Oct. 5, a farmer found all four family members deceased in an orchard in Merced County and contacted law enforcement, who confirmed the identity of the remains. The following day, the police arrested Salgado. 

Salgado faces charges of four counts of first-degree murder with special circumstances, kidnapping, arson, and possession of a firearm by a prohibited person. These charges means he faces life in prison without eligibility for parole. Salgado is already a convicted felon with a record dating back to 2007, including a case involving first-degree robbery, witness intimidation, and possession of a controlled substance. Salgado was a former employee of the victims’ family trucking company. There was a long-term disagreement between the two parties, which resulted in salgado parting ways from the company.

Salgado’s brother, Alberto Salgado, was also arrested on Oct. 6 and accused of criminal conspiracy, being an accessory, and destroying evidence in connection to the kidnapping and murders. The Merced County Jail is holding the brothers, but have not yet charged J. Salgado for the crimes. It is currently unknown if either of them have attorneys.

On Oct. 6, Jaspreet Kaur, the wife of victim A. Singh, created a GoFundMe page to help support the victims’ family members. She wrote regarding the victims, “As immigrants to America, they worked tirelessly for 18 years to achieve safety, security, and community for themselves and their families… [they] were the primary bread earners for the family, supported their elderly parents, and lived under one roof.” 

The city of Merced has also come together to mourn the loss of beloved community members, holding nightly vigils at Bob Hope Square. In response to the community, Kaur declared, “We are grateful for the prayers, and tremendous support was shown to us by our community. While nothing can fill this void, your prayers and donations will support the upbringing and education of Ekam (6), and Seerat (9) and provide financial relief to Jass, Randhir, and Kirpal in these difficult times.”

(Sources: New York Times, CNN, LA Times, San Francisco Chronicle, Fresno Bee, ABC7)


Categories: Local News, News, Web Exclusive

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