California sheriff confirms ‘worst fears’ after deceased bodies of kidnapped family discovered

A family of four in Merced County, California, was kidnapped on Monday and local authorities suspected that they would not be found alive.

On Wednesday, the local sheriff revealed during a press conference that their “worst fears have been confirmed” after all four victims were found deceased, Fox News reported.

The sheriff added that “There’s a special place in hell for this guy” in reference to the already apprehended suspect in the heinous crime.

The primary suspect is already in custody

Local Fox affiliate KMPH reported that the search began Monday morning after Cal Fire put out a vehicle fire on the side of a road and the burnt-out truck, a black 2020 Dodge Ram, was traced back to its registered owner, Amandeep Singh, though authorities were unable to contact him.

It was soon discovered that other family members — Jasleen Kaur, Jasdeep Singh, and their 8-month-old baby, Aroohi — were also missing, and a search of a family-owned business revealed by the afternoon that the four family members had been kidnapped.

According to Fox News, surveillance camera footage at the business revealed the suspect and showed him leading the two adult men, with their hands zip-tied behind their backs, to the back of the truck, followed soon thereafter by the adult woman and her infant child.

That suspect, a convicted felon named Jesus Manuel Salgado who attempted to kill himself and is now hospitalized, was taken into custody on Tuesday after he was caught using an ATM card stolen from the family, as well as after some of his own family members had contacted authorities to reveal that he had admitted to the kidnapping.

“Worst fears have been confirmed”

Local ABC affiliate KFSN reported that all four bodies of the kidnapping victims were found together Wednesday by a farm worker in an orchard.

“Tonight our worst fears have been confirmed. We found the four people from the kidnapping and they are, in fact, deceased,” Merced County Sheriff Vernon Warnke told reporters during a Wednesday night press conference.

“There are no words right now to describe the anger I feel and the senselessness of this incident,” he continued, and later added, “There’s a special place in hell for this guy.”

The tragic incident is still under investigation, and though no ransom demands were made and nothing of value was stolen, the sheriff suspects the horrific crime may have been financially motivated. According to KFSN, he also suspects the kidnapper and murderer may not have acted alone, and believes there may be at least one other suspect who was involved.

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