Sheriff wants man charged with kidnapping Merced family and faces death penalty – Orange County Register
MERCED – Prosecutors on Monday charged a California man with kidnapping and murdering an 8-month-old baby, her parents and uncle.
Jesus Salgado is accused of kidnapping the family at gunpoint from their truck shop on October 3. Authorities say Salgado, a former employee with a longstanding dispute, likely killed her within an hour.
Their bodies were not found until late Wednesday when a farm worker discovered the remains of Aroohi Dheri in an almond orchard in a remote area of the San Joaquin Valley, California’s agricultural heartland; her 27-year-old mother, Jasleen Kaur; her 36-year-old father Jasdeep Singh; and her 39-year-old uncle Amandeep Singh.
Salgado, 48, attempted suicide the day after the kidnappings before being taken into custody. He faces four counts of first-degree murder with special circumstances, the Merced County Attorney’s Office said Monday. If convicted, he could spend the rest of his life in prison without the possibility of parole.
The specific circumstances state that the murders were committed during the commission of a kidnapping and were part of multiple murders in the same case.
Salgado appeared in court on video Monday, KFSN reported. He declined to plead and asked for more time to find an attorney. He is scheduled to appear in court again on Thursday.
Merced County Sheriff Vern Warnke declined to discuss the condition of the remains of the adults in the orchard last week, saying it was unclear how the baby died. Warnke said the child had no visible trauma.
Warnke called for the death penalty for Salgado. But District Attorney Kimberly Lewis said Monday she would delay that decision until next year.
Salgado is also charged with arson and possession of a firearm by a prohibited person. He was previously convicted of first-degree robbery using a firearm in Merced County, attempted false incarceration, and attempting to prevent or dissuade a victim or witness after holding a family he worked for at gunpoint and forced her to follow his orders almost 20 years ago.
In 2007 he was sentenced to 11 years in state prison in this case. According to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, he was released in 2015 and paroled three years later. He also has a conviction for possession of a controlled substance, the department said.
Salgado’s younger brother Alberto Salgado, 41, was arrested late Thursday and charged with criminal conspiracy, aiding and abetting and destruction of evidence.
https://www.ocregister.com/2022/10/11/california-man-charged-in-familys-kidnapping-slaying-2/ Sheriff wants man charged with kidnapping Merced family and faces death penalty – Orange County Register