Suspect in murder of Punjabi family in US once worked for them: Police

Chandigarh: The suspect in the California kidnapping and murder of a Punjabi Sikh family of four, including an eight-month-old baby, worked for the victims’ trucking business and had a long-standing feud with them, police said.

“This (Thursday) evening, Jesus Manuel Salgado, the suspect in the kidnapping and murder of Aruhi Deri, Jasleen Kaur, Jasdeep Singh and Amandeep Singh, was booked into the Merced County Jail,” the Merced County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement. .

He was arrested on four counts of murder and four counts of kidnapping.

“Our detectives, along with investigators from supporting agencies, will continue to follow up on any leads of other people who may have been involved in this horrific incident,” the statement added.

Merced County Sheriff Vern Warnke told the media that the brutal slaying was one of the worst crimes he has investigated in his 43 years in law enforcement.

He said the long-running dispute between Salgado and the victims “got pretty nasty.”

He said the family was likely killed within an hour of their abduction on Monday morning, when they were taken at gunpoint from the trailer of their truck.

Salgado was captured on surveillance video leading the brothers, whose hands were zip-tied behind their backs, into the back of Amandeep Singh’s pickup truck and then driving off.

According to Warnke, Salgado was convicted in 2005 of armed robbery and false imprisonment. He was paroled in 2015 and knew the victims.

The family from Hoshiarpur in Punjab was abducted on October 3.

Investigators are still following leads on any potential accomplice in the killings who are believed to have acted as Salgado’s accomplice.

Earlier, the Merced County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement that detectives received information that one of the victim’s ATM cards had been used at a machine located at a bank in the town of Atwater.

“Investigators have obtained a surveillance photo of a subject conducting a bank transaction where the person resembles the appearance of the surveillance photo from the original kidnapping scene.

“At approximately noon, working in conjunction with our local law enforcement partners, the Sheriff’s Office received information that identified Jesus Manuel Salgado (age 48) as a person of interest in this investigation.

“Before law enforcement could intervene, Salgado attempted to take his own life. Salgado is in our custody, currently receiving medical attention and is in critical condition.

In response to the gruesome murder, Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann sought the intervention of the External Affairs Minister to prompt the US government to conduct a thorough investigation into the crime.

In a statement, the chief minister said it was unfortunate that a Punjabi family hailing from Harsi village in the state’s Hoshiarpur district was killed in California.

He said that this is a highly condemnable incident which has shocked everyone, especially Punjabis living all over the world.

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