A person of interest in the kidnapping of a California family of four has been taken into custody after attempting suicide, authorities said.
Jesus Manuel Salgado, 48, was arrested Tuesday afternoon after Merced County investigators linked him to Monday’s kidnapping of 8-month-old Arrohi Dheri; mother Jasleen Kaur, 27; father Jasdeep Singh, 36; and the child’s uncle, Amandeep Singh, 39.
The family, abducted from a Merced business, remained missing. The Merced County Sheriff’s Office scheduled a news conference for Wednesday.
Salgado was in critical condition with self-inflicted injuries, authorities said.
His capture deepens the mystery surrounding the kidnapping. Authorities didn’t say how they think Salgado is linked to the victims. Merced County Sheriff Vern Warnke said there’s been no contact from a kidnapper and no ransom demand.
“So far we have no idea behind why the kidnapping, we have no motivation behind it,” Warnke said in a video statement.
Authorities initially said Salgado was seen using a victim’s ATM card at a bank in Atwater, eight miles northwest of Merced, on Tuesday morning. Later, they said a surveillance photo of the person using the ATM is not Salgado, but they are working with the bank to obtain the correct photo.
The family was discovered missing late Monday morning after a black 2020 Dodge Ram truck registered to Amandeep Singh was found burning near Atwater, the sheriff’s office said.
Investigators, unable to contact the family members, determined they’d been kidnapped from a business in Merced. It’s unclear how authorities reached that conclusion.