ATWATER — Authorities in Merced County have a person of interest in their custody who, they say,.
On Tuesday morning, Merced County sheriff detectives received information that one of the victims’ ATM cards was used at an ATM in the city of Atwater. According to a Merced County Sheriff’s Office statement, investigators obtained the surveillance photo of the man making a bank transaction and determined that he matched a surveillance image of the suspect taken at the kidnapping scene.
At around noon, law enforcement identified the person of interest as 48-year-old Jesus Manuel Salgado. Before he was arrested, Salgado attempted to take his own life. He is in critical condition.
The motive for the kidnapping is unclear.
The sheriff’s office says detectives are still trying to find 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.
A truck belonging to one of the victims was found on fire Monday, which led to the kidnapping investigation.
Sheriff Vernon Warnke pleaded for the public’s help in a video released Monday night.
“No contact has been made, nor ransom demands. Nothing from the suspect in this,” Warnke said.
“We need your help. We’ve got detectives out canvassing. We’ve got aircraft out looking for evidence. People are gonna be working 24 hours on this until we get a break in this.
“We’re asking for your help. We need your help. And we’ve gotta bring this family home safely.”
Atwater is located eight miles northwest of Merced.