"There's a special place in hell for this guy," the Sheriff of Merced County in California has said of the suspect who abducted four members of an Indian-origin Sikh family, including an eight-month-old baby girl, found dead in an orchard.
"There are no words right now to describe the anger I feel and the senselessness of this incident," Merced County Sheriff Vern Warnke said on Wednesday night after authorities confirmed the death of four members of the family, who were missing since Monday.
"There's a special place in hell for this guy," Warnke said of suspect Jesus Manuel Salgado, who was convicted of armed robbery in 2005 and spent 11 years in prison.
The 48-year-old on Tuesday attempted suicide in the nearby town of Atwater after being arrested for the murder.
The sheriff said while there is no evidence at this time to indicate another person was involved, "I still think that we're by the time we get done here we'll be able to tie in at least one other person." A farmworker called around 5.30 pm (local time) to report the bodies of the family, including an eight-month-old baby, whose abduction was captured on surveillance video.
Sheriff Warnke said detectives when arrived at the spot determined the remains were those of eight-month-old Aroohi Dheri; her mother Jasleen Kaur, 27; her father Jasdeep Singh, 36; and her uncle Amandeep Singh, 39, originally from Harsi Pind in Hoshiarpur, Punjab, were kidnapped from their newly-opened trucking business in Merced County, California, on Monday.
The suspect on Tuesday attempted suicide in the nearby town of Atwater after being arrested for the murder.
Warnke, refraining from providing much information citing the ongoing investigation, said that investigators had spoken with Salgado who was convicted in 2005 of armed robbery, which involved false imprisonment.
The sheriff's office said the suspect's own family contacted authorities reporting that Salgado had admitted to being involved in the kidnapping.
"The suspect has been talking off and on, based upon his condition. And we still have investigators with the suspect and we are gleaning information from that," Warnke said, adding that the investigation was "now gearing towards putting this rotten son of a gun in prison".
"I can tell you that every time he has even come near consciousness he has been violent," Warnke added, elaborating that doctors had sedated him as they did not want him "thrashing around".
California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation said he was released from prison in 2015 and discharged from parole three years later.
He was also convicted of possession of a controlled substance, the corrections agency said.
The family's relatives have been notified, the sheriff said, adding: "A whole family wiped out, and we still don't know why." Warnke added there was no evidence currently to indicate Salgado knew the family prior to the kidnapping.
"As of right now, we believe it was random," Deputy Alexandra Britton said. "We don't have evidence to prove otherwise." Salgado has not been charged as of now, according to CNN News.
Sheriff Warnke said that after the kidnappings, an ATM card belonging to one of the victims was used in Atwater, about 14 kilometers north of Merced, adding that the kidnapper made no ransom demands in what he believes was a financially motivated crime.
The sheriff hoped the district attorney pursued the death penalty for the suspect who in a chilling new video showing the moment the family was kidnapped took away Jasdeep and Amandeep Singh with their hands zip-tied together.
Moments later, the video shows the kidnapper leading Jasleen and her eight-month-old baby, Aroohi, out of the building into a truck.
Family members told KXTV-TV that the office for Unison Trucking Inc, the family's business, had only opened about a week earlier.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)