4 Calif. Family Members Found Dead 2 Days After Kidnapping: 'Our Worst Fears Have Been Confirmed'

Jasleen Kaur, 27, Jasdeep Singh, 36, and their 8-month-old baby, Aroohi Dheri — as well as the baby's uncle, Amandeep Singh, 39 — have been found dead after being kidnapped earlier this week

The California family of four that was kidnapped earlier this week by an armed man at their business has been found dead two days after their abduction.

On Monday, Jasleen Kaur, 27, Jasdeep Singh, 36, and their 8-month-old baby, Aroohi Dheri — as well as the baby's uncle, Amandeep Singh, 39 — "were taken against their will from a business in the 800 Block of South Highway 59," near the city of Merced, the Merced County Sheriff's Office (MCSO) said in a prior press release.

The four individuals' bodies were later found on Wednesday night in an orchard by a farmworker, who called authorities to alert them around 5:30 p.m. local time, police said in a press conference that evening.

"Tonight, our worst fears have been confirmed," Sheriff Vernon Warnke said at the conference that was shared on MCSO's Facebook page. "We found the four people from the kidnapping, and they are in fact deceased."

baby is Aroohi Dheri, the mom is Jasleen Kaur, 27, the father Jasdeep Singh, 36, and an uncle Amandeep Singh, 39
Baby Aroohi Dheri; mom Jasleen Kaur; dad Asdeep Singh; and uncle Amandeep Singh. Merced County Sheriff's Office

Warnke did not detail how the family was killed, though he said it appears as though they were killed before they were reported missing on Monday. He added that the family of the victims has been notified of their deaths.

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After the family was kidnapped earlier in the week, authorities held a press conference on Wednesday where they showed video footage of them being placed by an armed suspect into a pickup truck.

An official said the suspect was seen talking to a man before walking into the family's business carrying a trash bag. He later appeared to pull out a firearm after dropping off the trash bag before entering the business, per the video shown by officials.

We believe this to be the suspect in today's kidnapping.
Merced County Sheriff's Office

In a second video shown at the press conference, the suspect was seen marching Jasdeep and Amandeep out through the back entrance of the business. Police said the victims appeared to be tied up with zip ties before they were placed into the backseat of a pickup truck.

The suspect drove the truck away at 9:13 a.m. local time before returning to the business moments later to take Jasleen and Aroohi out of the business "unrestrained" and into the truck, according to an MCSO official at the briefing.

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Detectives from MCSO identified the suspect as 48-year-old Jesus Manuel Salgado on Tuesday after receiving information from a bank in the city of Atwater, where he had used one of the victims' ATM cards, the officials said.

Authorities noted in the statement on Facebook at the time that Salgado had attempted suicide before he was apprehended, adding, he "is in our custody, currently receiving medical attention and in critical condition."

At a prior news conference, Sheriff Warnke shared that Salgado was convicted in 2005 of a crime involving armed robbery and false imprisonment. He was released on parole in 2015.

During the Wednesday evening press conference, Warnke detailed that the suspect has now been supplying information to authorities, and they are working to identify a motive for the killings. He later said that police believe others may have been involved in the slayings as well.

The investigation currently remains ongoing. It was not immediately clear if the suspect had obtained a lawyer to provide a comment to PEOPLE on his behalf.

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