Kidnapping in central California: Shocking new video shows suspect kidnapping two family members, mother and baby

MERCED, California– Authorities in central California’s Merced County on Wednesday released chilling new video showing the moment four family members, including an 8-month-old child, were kidnapped.

None of the family members were found.

The family were abducted at gunpoint from a shop in Merced on Monday, authorities said. During a news conference Wednesday, the Merced County Sheriff’s Office released surveillance video showing the moments before the kidnapping.

The video shows two family members – 36-year-old Jasdeep Singh and 39-year-old Amandeep Singh – emerging from the back door of the store with their hands tied.

Moments later, video shows the kidnapper leading Jasleen Kaur and her 8-month-old baby Aroohi Dheri out of the building and into a truck.

“We continue to appeal to the public for help with any information that may help us determine the family’s whereabouts,” the Merced County Sheriff’s Office said.

Jesus Manuel Salgado, the person of interest, was taken into custody Tuesday afternoon and remains sedated in hospital after attempting suicide.

Authorities say MPs have been informed that one of the victim’s ATM cards was used at a bank in Atwater, a town about 9 miles north of Merced. Authorities added that a farmer answered the victim’s phone after she was found in the middle of the road.

RELATED: 4 family members kidnapped from Merced store, picture of suspect released

A motive for the kidnapping has not been established, but authorities believe it is financial.

During Wednesday’s press conference, Warnke said he believes at least one other person was involved in the kidnapping, but no further details were given.

Detectives obtained information identifying Salgado as a person of interest and that he attempted suicide before police arrived, authorities said in a statement, without specifying where he was taken into custody.

The sheriff’s office said his own family contacted authorities and reported that Salgado admitted to them that he was involved in the family’s kidnapping.

The kidnapper took the baby, the child’s mother, father and uncle, Merced County Sheriff Vern Warnke said.

“If you guys have any helpful tips or videos please provide them to the sheriff’s department… they’re trying their best with what they can do, but we need the public’s help right now,” one of the missing family members told relatives during the press conference on Wednesday. “Please help us so my family can go home safely.”

The sheriff’s department released two stills from surveillance footage of the possible suspect on Monday, asking the public for help in identifying the man. He was wearing a dark hooded sweatshirt, dark shorts and a light blue disposable face mask.

The sheriff said detectives believe the kidnapper destroyed unspecified evidence to cover his tracks.

The sheriff’s office said in a statement Tuesday that Amandeep Singh’s vehicle was set on fire around 11:40 a.m. Monday. Merced police and family members were unable to contact him or the couple. Shortly thereafter, the Merced County Sheriff’s Office responded to the matter and determined that they had been kidnapped.

The sheriff’s office said the FBI, the California Department of Justice and other local law enforcement agencies are helping with the investigation.

According to Warnke, this is not the first time Salgado has held victims against their will.

According to the Merced County District Attorney’s Office, a similar incident occurred in December 2005. Salgado ended up in jail on charges of burglary with a firearm, intimidation of witnesses and attempted deprivation of liberty. The victims were not injured. He was released in June 2015.

KFSN-TV and Associated Press contributed to this report.

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https://abc13.com/california-kidnapping-abduction-surveillance-video-footage-merced-jesus-manuel-salgado/12297480/ Kidnapping in central California: Shocking new video shows suspect kidnapping two family members, mother and baby

Russell Falcon

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