A person of interestfrom a local business in Central California’s Merced County was apprehended Tuesday, authorities said. The family, which includes an infant, remains missing.
Jesus Manuel Salgado, 48, was taken into custody after a credit card belonging to one of the victims was used Tuesday morning at an ATM in the Merced County city of Atwater, the Merced County Sheriff’s Office said.
Surveillance video from the bank showed a person using the card who was similar in appearance to the person of interest who was seen in earlier surveillance photos taken at the kidnapping scene, the sheriff’s office said.
Salgado attempted suicide prior to being arrested, the sheriff’s office said. He was hospitalized in critical condition. The exact details of his capture were not provided. A news conference was scheduled for Wednesday morning.
On Monday morning, an infant girl, her parents and her uncle were kidnapped from a Merced County business, the sheriff’s office said. They were identified as 8-month-old Aroohi Dheri, her mother, 27-year-old Jasleen Kaur, her father, 36-year-old Jasdeep Singh, and her 39-year-old uncle, Amandeep Singh.
They remain missing as of late Tuesday afternoon, the sheriff’s office said, and several agencies are engaged in the search.
There was no word on a motive or the possible connection between Salgado and the victims. It’s also unclear if investigators are searching for multiple suspects.
The investigation was prompted when a pickup truck registered to Amandeep Singh was found ablaze late Monday morning on a rural road in Winton, a community a few miles north of the city of Merced, the sheriff’s office said.
California Highway Patrol officers attempted to contact Amandeep, and when they were unable to do so, they reached a family member, who was also unable to contact Amandeep. Eventually, the family member reported all four missing. Early Monday afternoon, sheriff’s investigators determined that the four had been kidnapped from the business.
“We’ve got evidence to indicate that the individuals involved in this destroyed evidence in an attempt to cover up their tracks,” Merced County Sheriff Vernon Warnke said in a video released Monday night, prior to Salgado’s capture.