Four members of an Indian-origin family in California, including a baby, were kidnapped at gunpoint and led to a truck, revealed security camera footage that was released by investigators hours before they were found dead.
The bodies of eight-month-old Aroohi Dheri, her 27-year-old mother Jasleen Kaur, her father Jasdeep Singh, 36, and her uncle Amandeep Singh, 39, were found at an orchard on Wednesday. They were kidnapped from a building in Merced County on Monday.
Seeking help from the public to track them down, the Merced County Sheriff's Office had released a chilling video of the moment the family was kidnapped.
The video, aired by American news networks, shows Jasdeep and Amandeep Singh coming out with their hands zip-tied together. Moments later, the kidnapper - he has a gun - leads Jasleen and her 8-month-old baby, Aroohi, out of the building into a truck.
The kidnapping surfaced when the police were alerted to an abandoned car on fire. The car belonged to Amandeep Singh. When the police found no one at his home, they contacted a relative, who couldn't reach the family either. The family was then reported missing. When security footage revealed kidnapping, the investigation widened, and the FBI and other agencies were pulled in.
A farm worker near the orchard found the bodies last evening and immediately contacted the police. All the bodies were found close together.
The suspect, Jesus Manuel Salgado, was arrested on Tuesday and is in hospital after he tried to kill himself.
The sheriff's office said Salgado's family reported him after he allegedly confessed that he was involved in the kidnapping.
"There's a special place in hell for this guy," said Merced County Sheriff Vern Warnke on the suspect.
"There are no words to describe the anger I feel," the Sheriff told reporters.
The family was from Punjab's Hoshiarpur, where relatives had put out fervent appeals for help.