Suspect held in Indian American family murders

Merced County Sheriff Vern Warnke said that the suspect in the murders of the Indian-origin family in California had an old dispute with the deceased.

Jesus Manuel Salgado was a former employee who had a longstanding dispute with the family that "got pretty nasty," Sheriff Warnke said. A family spokesperson told ABC 30 that Salgado was a former employee who used to drive for the victims' company.

Relatives of the slain family told investigators that Salgado had sent angry text messages or emails about a year ago after working with their trucking business, Warnke said.

"I believe that he had someone else with him and at least helping him do some of the things. As far as the homicide itself, we are going to let the evidence take us where it needs to take us," Warnke said.

The suspect in the kidnapping and killing of the four California family members, including their baby, was arrested on October 6. Salgado was arrested on four counts of murder and four counts of kidnapping.

Salgado, 48, is accused of kidnapping and killing 8-month-old Aroohi Dheri, her parents Jasleen Kaur and Jasdeep Singh, and her uncle Amandeep Singh. He was booked into the Merced County Jail, the sheriff's office said in a statement.

Salgado was previously in prison for nearly a decade after being convicted of attempted false imprisonment, first-degree robbery and possession of a controlled substance, according to records from the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.

The family was kidnapped at gunpoint - an abduction recorded on surveillance video - from their trucking business on October 5 morning in Merced, authorities said. Investigators learned they were missing after a family vehicle was found abandoned and on fire that morning, authorities said.

The suspect attempted suicide sometime before he was taken into custody, and he has been receiving medical attention.


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