Arrests for kidnapping, murder in the death of a California family
Two brothers are currently under arrest in connection with the kidnapping and murder this week of four members of a California family, one suspected of murder and the other charged with being an accomplice, the authorities announced on Friday. authorities.
Jesus Manuel Salgado — a former employee of the victims’ family business — was formally arrested on Thursday night on four counts of murder and four counts of kidnapping in the case, the Merced County Sheriff’s spokeswoman said, Alexandra Britton.
Salgado’s brother, Alberto Salgado, was also arrested in the case Thursday night on preliminary charges of criminal conspiracy, aiding and abetting and destroying evidence in connection with the case, Britton told CNN on Friday.
Authorities say the four slain family members – 8-month-old Aroohi Dheri, her parents Jasleen Kaur and Jasdeep Singh, and the child’s uncle, Amandeep Singh – were abducted from the trucking company on Monday. family in the central city of Merced, California. , and parts of the abduction were captured on surveillance video.
The bodies of the four were found in a Merced County orchard on Wednesday after a farmhand alerted authorities to the remains.
As Merced County Sheriff Vern Warnke announced the family’s bodies were found Wednesday night, he said « there’s a special place in hell » for the attacker.
« The circumstances around this, when we’re able to release everything, should make you angry, » Warnke said.
Jesus Salgado was arrested on Tuesday after his family told law enforcement he admitted to involvement in the kidnappings, authorities said.
The sheriff’s office did not immediately release details of the charges against Alberto Salgado, other than the charges for which he was being held.
Jesus Salgado, 48, worked for the victims’ company, Britton told CNN on Thursday. She did not provide details, including what position he had held.
CNN was unable to immediately identify the Salgado brothers’ attorneys and calls to family members went unanswered.
As the investigation continues into the motive for the murders, here’s what we know about the case.
HOW WAS THE FAMILY ABDUCTED?
Surveillance footage released by authorities shows how the four family members were taken against their will from their workplace in Merced on Monday morning.
At 8.30am on Monday, the video shows Jasdeep Singh arriving in the company parking lot, followed by Amandeep Singh arriving nine minutes later.
Shortly before 9 a.m., Jasdeep encounters a man outside the company. The man carries a white trash bag and pulls out what appears to be a gun, the video shows.
At around 9:11 a.m., the video shows Jasdeep and Amandeep having their hands tied behind their backs and getting into a truck, which leaves soon after.
A few minutes later, the vehicle returns to the parking lot and the man enters the company. The man walks out with a gun drawn, dragging away Jasleen Kaur as she holds 8-month-old Aroohi.
Investigators learned the family was missing after a family vehicle was found abandoned and on fire Monday morning, authorities said.
Also on Monday, a farmer found two of the victims’ cellphones on a road, authorities said. At one point, the farmer answered one of the phones and spoke with a relative of the victims.
WHAT DO WE KNOW ABOUT THE SUSPECTS?
Officials said they believed Jesus Salgado – the person they arrested on Tuesday – was the prime suspect in the case.
But even before his brother’s arrest was announced on Friday, the sheriff said people other than the prime suspect could have been involved.
« I strongly believe we will find out and find out that it wasn’t just him involved, » Warnke said Wednesday.
Authorities have yet to say how, precisely, Albert Salgado is connected to the case.
As for Jesus Salgado: He served a long prison sentence for a similar crime in 2007. He was sentenced to 11 years behind bars on charges of first-degree robbery with the use of a firearm and attempted murder. abusive imprisonment, according to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.
Also in 2007, he was convicted of possession of a controlled substance, the corrections department said. He was paroled in 2015 after serving his sentence and completed his parole in 2018, according to the department.
Before police took Jesus Salgado away on Tuesday – initially as a person of interest – Jesus Salgado attempted suicide and received medical treatment that required him to be sedated because he was acting violently while he was conscious, Warnke said.
Jesus Salgado was speaking to investigators, Warnke said, but did not specify what information he might have shared.
« We got information from the suspect, we’re going to keep that close to our chest at this point, » Warnke said.
Both Salgado brothers were incarcerated in Merced County Jail, the sheriff’s office said.
HOW DID THE INVESTIGATION CONDUCT?
Among the questions that remain unanswered is the motive for the family’s murder.
« We have a whole family wiped out, and for what? We don’t know yet, » Warnke said Wednesday after the bodies were recovered.
Authorities also haven’t revealed how the family died, but did say it appears they were killed where they were found, and the killings took place before the sheriff’s department was notified. Monday that the family was missing.
A day after the family’s abduction, authorities learned that an ATM card belonging to one of the victims had been used at a bank in Atwater, Calif., the sheriff’s office said in a statement. Atwater is about 9 miles northwest of Merced.
Who used this card was not immediately clear, according to Britton.
« Investigators have obtained a surveillance photo of a subject performing a banking transaction where the person appears to resemble the surveillance photo from the original abduction scene, » the sheriff’s office said earlier this week.