California missing family of four found dead, including 8-month-old: Merced County officials
( Fox )
Members of the California family that were kidnapped at gunpoint and have been missing since Monday have been found dead, according to Merced County officials.
Merced County Sheriff Vern Warnke said on Wednesday that their "worst fears have been confirmed" as deputies found the bodies of each of the four family members, including the 8-month-old.
The deceased persons include 8-month-old Aroohi Dheri, her parents – Jasleen Kaur, 27, and Jasdeep Singh, 36 – and her uncle, Amandeep Singh, 39.
"Tonight our worst fears have been confirmed. We found the four people from the kidnapping and they are, in fact, deceased," Warnke told a group of reporters late Wednesday night.
"There are no words right now to describe the anger I feel and the senselessness of this incident," the sheriff added.
Warnke also said: "There’s a special place in hell for this guy."
Earlier on Wednesday, authorities released surveillance video from their business in Merced, California that showed a man kidnapping the baby, her parents, and her uncle.
The video showed the suspect initially walking by the property before returning and talking to one of the men.
Moments later, the video shows the suspect leading the two men, whose hands were zip-tied behind their backs, out of the business trailer and into the back of Amandeep Singh's pickup truck.
The suspect then led Jasdeep Singh, who was carrying the baby into the truck as well. He then drove away.
Warnke previously said the suspect made no ransom demands, though he believed the crime was financially motivated. Family members said nothing was stolen from their business property.
The discovery of the bodies comes the day after California authorities arrested a convicted robber believed to be responsible for the kidnapping and two days after authorities located the stolen truck on fire outside Merced.
On Tuesday, Merced County Sheriff's Office announced Jesus Manuel Salgado, 48, was taken into custody in severe condition as he attempted to take his own life.
Salgado was located after he used one of the victim’s credit cards at an ATM in Atwater, which is located less than 10 miles from Merced.
"On October 4, 2022, in the morning hours, Merced County Sheriff 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. Investigators obtained the surveillance photo of a subject making a bank transaction where the person is similar in appearance to the surveillance photo from the original kidnapping scene," the MCSO said in a statement.
Salgado's relatives reportedly contacted authorities and told them he admitted to being involved with the kidnapping.
The Merced County Sheriff said authorities are "still working" to investigate the crime and Justice Department officials would be "processing the scene" throughout the night.