US: Kidnapped Indian-origin family, including baby girl, found dead

The bodies of all four victims were discovered in an orchard in California



By AP

Published: Thu 6 Oct 2022, 8:44 AM

Last updated: Thu 6 Oct 2022, 12:34 PM

The sheriff of Merced County in California says a baby girl and three other family members who were kidnapped at gunpoint have been found dead.

Sheriff Vern Warnke announced Wednesday that the bodies were found in a Merced County orchard and told reporters: "Our worst fears have been confirmed."

The announcement came after authorities released surveillance video of a man kidnapping 8-month-old Aroohi Dheri, her parents and uncle from their business Monday in Merced in the San Joaquin Valley southeast of San Francisco.

Authorities earlier said the four were taken by a convicted robber who tried to kill himself a day after the kidnappings. The kidnapper made no ransom demands but the sheriff said he believed it was a financially motivated crime.

Authorities at a news conference Wednesday showed surveillance video of a man kidnapping the baby, Aroohi Dheri; the child's mother, Jasleen Kaur, 27; father Jasdeep Singh, 36; and uncle Amandeep Singh, 39, from their business in Merced, a city of 86,000 people about 125 miles (200 kilometers) southeast of San Francisco in the San Joaquin Valley, California's agricultural heartland.

The video showed the suspect first walking by the property before talking to one of the men.

Later, it shows him leading the men, who had their hands zip-tied behind their backs, into the back seat of Amandeep Singh's pickup truck. The suspect then went back to the trailer that served as the business office and led Jasdeep Singh, who was carrying her baby in her arms, out and into the truck before the suspect then drove away.

Family members said nothing was stolen from the trucking company but that their relatives were all wearing jewelry. Merced County Sheriff Vern Warnke said that after the kidnappings, an ATM card belonging to one of the victims was used in Atwater, a city about 9 miles (14 kilometers) north of Merced.

Warnke said the kidnapper made no ransom demands in what he believes was a financially motivated crime.

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