Court documents show the man suspected of abducting and killing a Merced County family has previously served time in prison for another crime that was eerily similar.
Jesus Manuel Salgado was taken into custody by Merced County Sheriff’s deputies for allegedly abducting and killing 8-month-old Aroohi Dheri, her parents Jasleen Kaur, 27, and Jasdeep Singh, 36, and her uncle Amandeep Singh, 39.
He is undergoing medical treatment after trying to commit suicide prior to being taken into custody by sheriff’s deputies Tuesday.
The bodies of the baby, her parents and uncle were found Wednesday evening by a farm worker in a rural area of the county just northeast of Dos Palos.
Salgado is currently the sole suspect in the case. Video surveillance footage shows the family being kidnapped at gunpoint Monday morning from Gateway Parking, a business they operated just south of Merced off South Highway 59.
Prior to Salgado being taken into custody, detectives received information that one of the victims’ ATM cards had been used at an ATM located at a bank in the City of Atwater.
Convicted of Merced County home invasion
Court documents show Salgado was convicted on a methamphetamine possession charge in 2001, but his criminal history was just beginning.
According to Merced County prosecutors, Salgado was convicted of witness intimidation and a residential robbery with gun enhancements on Nov. 7, 2006 and released on parole from prison on June 21, 2015.
In that case, a family told deputies Salgado dressed in a black ski mask and robbed them at gunpoint at their home in Merced County.
The incident was reported Dec. 19, 2005. A man who lived at the home said he had driven into his garage when Salgado opened the driver’s side door and pointed a gun at him, according to the sheriff’s report.
The man’s wife, daughter, and her friend were home at the time. Salgado bound the man’s hands behind his back, took his wallet from his pants pocket and demanded the PIN for his credit card. “Better tell me the truth because I’m taking your daughter with me,” Salgado told the victim, according to the sheriff’s report.
The victim told Salgado his PIN code. Salgado then entered the house and ordered the victim’s wife to bring a safe into the garage. With Salgado holding her at gunpoint, the wife opened the safe.
Salgado reached into the safe and grabbed a large amount of cash and a bag containing jewelry. He then ordered the family into the swimming pool at gunpoint, and threatened to come back and kill them if they notified law enforcement, according to the sheriff’s report.
After Salgado left, the victims called 911. Salgado was located by sheriff’s deputies a day later and arrested after giving inconsistent statements during interviews. He was on probation at the time of his arrest.
Current status of homicides case
Sheriff Warnke said prior to this week, law enforcement hadn’t had any interaction with Salgado after he was released on parole.
Prosecutors with the Merced County District Attorney’s Office said charges have not yet been filed against Salgado, pending completion of the Sheriff Office’s investigation.
Deputies are asking for anyone with information about the kidnapping to call 209-385-7547. Tips are confidential and you can remain anonymous.