California: Four of Indian family missing, kidnapper in custody

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A suspect in California was taken into custody for allegedly kidnapping four of a Sikh family, including an eight-month-baby, who are still missing.

The suspect, identified as 48-year-old Jesus Salgado, kidnapped the family at gunpoint on Monday in Merced County, around 200 km southeast of San Francisco

He was declared a ‘person of interest’ by the police after he used the victims’ ATM card.

Naindeep Singh, the head of a local Sikh community organisation, said that the four were taken from the gas station and convenience store they own, reports AP news agency.

The family members that were kidnapped are eight-month-old Aroohi Dheri and her parents — 27-year-old mother Jasleen Kaur and 36-year-old father Jasdeep Singh–and the baby’s uncle Amandeep Singh, 39.

On Tuesday, the man attempted to take his own life prior to “law enforcement involvement” and is currently in critical condition receiving medical attention, the Merced County Sheriff’s Office said.

The cops were able to confirm the identity of the accused after analysing the surveillance photo from the ATM in Atwater, a city about 14 km north of Merced.

“The person is similar in appearance to the surveillance photo from the original kidnapping scene,” the sheriff’s office said in a statement.

As per the cops, the accused destroyed unspecified evidence in an attempt to cover his tracks.

In a statement, they said that firefighters on Monday found a pickup truck belonging to Amandeep Singh that was on fire.

The Merced Police Department officers then reached Amandeep Singh’s home where a family member tried to reach the couple.

After they were unable to reach their members, the Merced County Sheriff’s Office was called in.

The motive of the murder is unknown so far, the sheriff office said.

“Investigators continue to follow up on all leads and are working diligently to find the family,” the sheriff’s office said.

 “We continue to ask for the public’s help with any information that may assist us in locating the family’s whereabouts.”

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