MERCED COUNTY, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) – The Merced County Sheriff’s Office laid out the timeline leading up to the bodies of 27-year-old Jasleen Kaur, 36-year-old Jasdeep Singh, 39-year-old Amandeep Singh, and eight-month-old Aroohi Dheri being found in an orchard field near Dos Palos on Wednesday night.
Merced County Sheriff Vernon Warnke said around 11:30 a.m. on Monday, the California Highway Patrol (CHP) received a call about a truck that was found burned near Buhach and Oakdale in Winton.
According to officials, they tried to make contact with the owner of the truck, Amandeep Singh.
Officers went to Amandeep’s home, but no one was there.
Detectives say they were able to get in contact with a family member of Amandeep. After several calls, the family member said something was “not right,” according to Sheriff Warnke.
Investigators then went to the family’s trucking business, where Sheriff Vern Warnke said “things didn’t look right.”
Detectives said, “We definitely have a crime” after accessing security footage at the trucking company.
Around 8:30 a.m. on Monday, Jasdeep can be seen on surveillance footage arriving at the trucking business near Highway 59 and 8th Street in a brown minivan. Amandeep, a family member of Jasdeep, can be seen arriving at the company in a pickup truck a short time later.
Twenty minutes later, Jasdeep was seen opening the back door of the business as the suspect, who authorities identified as Jesus Salgado, walked down the sidewalk on Highway 59.
Just before 9 a.m, officials said Salgado was captured on security cameras approaching the business as Jasdeep walked outside into the parking lot.
Jasdeep was seen on surveillance footage walking and speaking with Salgado before they both headed back into the business.
Investigators say Salgado walked up the ramp of the business, put down a trash bag, and was seen pulling out a gun.
A short time later, investigators say Jasdeep and Amandeep can be seen with their hand’s zip tied as they walked out of the business with Salgado following behind them. Footage shows the zip-tied men being put into the back seat of the truck.
Officials said Salgado was then filmed returning to the building. When he came back out from the business, Jasleen can be seen walking toward the truck while holding eight-month-old Aroohi. The truck then left the business with Salgado, Jasleen, and Aroohi inside.
According to officials, Salgado was seen at an ATM using one of the victim’s debit cards Tuesday.
Detectives said they received a call on the same day from family members of Salgado, who said they believed he was responsible for kidnappings. That’s when officials say Salgado tried to take his own life rather than talk to law enforcement.
He was rushed to a local hospital, where officials say he is still recovering.
Sheriff Warnke said by the time his office got involved in the investigation, he believed the murders had already been committed.
Authorities said they received a call around 5:30 p.m Wednesday from a rancher who came across the body of one of the victims in a remote field near Dos Palos
That same evening, Sheriff Warnke confirmed that the bodies found in the orchard were in fact the four missing family members, saying “our worst fears were realized tonight.”
As of Thursday morning, officials say they believe Salgado’s motive was related to money or anger.
Sheriff Warnke said he expects to have Salgado in his jail as soon as he is medically cleared from the hospital.