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Jesus Manuel Salgado, 48, in custody for kidnapping in California

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A person of interest has been taken into custody in connection with the kidnapping of a California family – including an 8-month-old baby – whose vehicle went up in flames, police said.

Jesus Manuel Salgado, 48, was detained Tuesday after investigators caught him on surveillance cameras using one of the victim’s ATMs in Atwater, according to the report. Merced County Sheriff’s Office.

Before police called in Salgado, who was considered armed and dangerous, he tried to take his own life, police said. He is undergoing medical treatment while in custody and is in critical condition.

California fire officials responded around 11:40 a.m. Monday to a report of a burned-out 2020 Dodge Ram truck in Winton, recorded by Amandeep Singh. When neither police nor relatives were able to contact Singh, they reported him and three others missing.

The Merced County Sheriff’s Office said the four family members were taken against their will Monday from a business on the 800 block of South Highway 59 in the southern Merced area around 1:00 p.m. the same day.

Police found Jesus Manuel Salgado after he was caught using one of the victims’ ATMs on surveillance videos.
Merced County Sheriff’s Office via Facebook

Police are still looking for the missing victims, identified as 8-month-old Aroohi Dher; her mother, Jasleen Kaur, 27; father, Jasdeep Singh, 36; and Uncle Amandeep Singh, 39. Officials have sought the public’s assistance to help locate them.

Merced County Sheriff Vernon Warnke said in a video update Tuesday that his investigators had not determined why the “lowlife” kidnapped the family. No ransom has been demanded since they were taken on Monday, he added.

The sheriff said it appears that those “involved” destroyed evidence as they tried to cover their tracks.

“People will be working on this for 24 hours until we have a break on this,” Warnke vowed. “We need to get this family home safely.”

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