A suspect who authorities think may have kidnapped a family of four in California is in custody.
Four members of a family, including an 8-month-old baby, were taken at gunpoint from a business in Merced on Monday.
Jasdeep Singh, Amandeep Singh, Jasleen Kaur, and baby Aroohi Dheri have not been seen since Monday morning, when security camera footage showed a suspect escorting them into a pickup truck.
Police located suspect Jesus Salgado in the nearby city of Atwater when he tried to use one of the victims’ ATM cards to withdraw money.
Salgado, 48, appears to be the same person seen in surveillance footage taking the family from their business in South Merced.
Salgado attempted to take his own life before police were able to pick him up. He was taken to a local hospital, where he is currently in critical condition.
Investigators are hopeful that he will awaken and provide some answers. ‘We’re hoping that he will cooperate, because first and foremost we want the family back,’ Merced County Sheriff Vern Warnke said on Wednesday.
At this time, investigators have also not been able to link the victims to Salgado in any way.
Salgado has a prior history with law enforcement, including a conviction for robbery in 2005. However police have not had any contact with him since he was released on parole in 2015.
The sheriff’s department also released the video footage from the surveillance cameras outside the business on Monday morning.
In footage, Salgado appears to lead Jasdeep and Amandeep out of their business with their arms zip tied behind their backs.
The suspect then puts them in the back seat of a pickup truck and drives off the premises.
The truck returns five minutes later and the same man goes back into the business. In less than a minute, he brings Jasleen and Aroohi out with him.
Investigators are still searching for answers in the perplexing case. They believe it is Salgado deliberately destroyed evidence to cover his tracks on Monday.
It is not clear what exactly what evidence was destroyed, but the Merced County Fire Department did find Amandeep’s pickup truck on fire.
They also think Salgado probably didn’t act alone.
‘We don’t have any evidence to say that he didn’t [act alone], but 43 years doing this – everything points to there was probably somebody else,’ Warnke said. ‘I fully believe there was at least one other person involved, but we don’t have any evidence to support that. It’s just the circumstances surrounding this.’
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