The murder of a Sikh family in California has sent shockwaves worldwide. Baby Aroohi Dheri; her parents, Jasdeep Singh and Jasleen Kaur; and her uncle Amandeep Singh were all found dead two days after being kidnapped.
The bodies of the four victims were found Wednesday in a remote area near Dos Palos, California, about 50 km south of Merced, California, from where they were abducted.
The family, originally from Harsi Pind, Hoshiarpur, Punjab, moved to the United States around two decades ago.
Sikh Family Murder In California: Who Were The Victims?
The family members kidnapped and killed include eight-month-old girl Aroohi Dheri, her 36-year-old Father Jasdeep, 27-year-old mother Jasleen, and her paternal uncle Amandeep Singh.
Days before the incident, the infant babbled one of her first words. Aroohi called for her dad, Jasdeep Singh, saying, “pappa.” Sadly, it would be the only time she ever spoke.
Jasdeep’s cousin, Amarinder Singh, told NBC News he felt numb, empty, and clueless after learning of the devastating news.
Amarinder mentioned how difficult the days after news of the deaths have been for those left behind. Jasdeep left his parents behind. Jasleen left hers, who lives in India, and never got the chance to meet their granddaughter.
Amandeep is survived by his wife, Jaspreet Kaur, and two young children. The widow has not been eating or talking, and her 6- and 8-year-old kids have struggled to grasp what has happened. The former still asks if his Father is coming home.
Besides, a circle of close-knit cousins in California also mourns the loss. A few relatives helped the remaining immediate family members set up a GoFundMe, which has now raised over $340,000.
Entry Into The United States In The Pursuit Of The American Dream
Jasdeep and Amandeep Singh grew up in a small village in Punjab, and the American Dream brought the two to the States when they were still teenagers in 2004.
Amandeep was the living embodiment of hard work and dedication as he spent his first years working blue-collar jobs as a cashier and a factory worker, eventually buying his first truck and starting his trucking business. He would drive five days out of the week and sometimes not be home, even on weekends.
Sadly, the same land that appeared to be a promise of security for them became the place of their untimely and unprecedented deaths.
Amarinder shared that he followed the news and had heard of school shootings and mass shootings but never imagined something like that would happen to his family. He saw the family one week before their death, and they talked of their plans for Thanksgiving.
Murder Suspect: Jesus Salgado And His Aide Alberto
Jesus Manuel Salgado, 48, a former staff member at the trucking Company of the brothers Jasdeep and Amandeep, has been arrested and charged with murder and kidnapping.
The charged man was also jailed for robbery after he held a family at gunpoint and terrorized them 17 years ago. He was sentenced to 11 years in prison in 2007 and paroled in 2015.
It was when he worked for a family, which also owned a trucking Company. He was fired in 2004 because the family suspected him of stealing money. The family consisted of Kathy, her husband, and her daughter Katrina, who was 16 then.
Jesus, identified as a person interested in the investigation, attempted to take his own life. He was taken to a hospital in critical condition and was jailed after being released from the hospital.
His younger brother, Alberto Salgado, was also arrested and charged with criminal conspiracy and evidence destruction. The lawyer for either suspect is unclear yet.
Investigators are trying to determine a motive, but it is possibly related to money. The officers mentioned there was no evidence to suggest a hate crime. The sheriff has said he hopes the district attorney pursues the death penalty for the culprit.