SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A baby girl, her parents and uncle who were kidnapped at gunpoint from their central California business two days ago were found dead Wednesday, the sheriff of Merced County said.
“Our worst fears have been confirmed,” Sheriff Vern Warnke told reporters Wednesday night.
A farmworker found the bodies close together in a Merced County orchard, he said.
The announcement came after authorities released surveillance video of a man kidnapping 8-month-old Aroohi Dheri; her mother Jasleen Kaur, 27; father Jasdeep Singh, 36; and uncle Amandeep Singh, 39, on Monday.
Authorities said they were taken by a convicted robber who tried to kill himself a day after the kidnappings.
“There’s no words right now to describe the anger I feel and the senselessness of this incident,” Warnke said. “I said it earlier: There’s a special place in hell for this guy.”
Investigators, including crime lab technicians from the California Department of Justice, would be processing the crime scene through the night, Warnke said. He didn’t immediately supply other details.
The family members were taken 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.
Relatives of Jesus Salgado, 48, contacted authorities reporting that he had admitted to them he was involved with the kidnapping, Warnke told KFSN-TV on Tuesday. Salgado tried to take his own life before police arrived at a home in nearby Atwater, and he has since been hospitalized.
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