New Delhi: Consulate General of India in San Francisco is in contact with the family of the four members of Indian origin who were murdered in California and is providing all the necessary assistance, India said on Friday adding that the Merced county police is investigating the matter.
A Sikh family of four, including 36-year-old Jasdeep Singh, 27-year-old Jasleen Kaur, their eight-month-old child Aroohi Dheri, along with 39-year-old Amandeep Singh were abducted.
Later, the bodies of four family members, who originally hail from Punjab in India were discovered lying close to each other by a farm worker in a remote orchard in Merced county, Sheriff Vern Warnke said on Wednesday. Terming the incident "sad and unfortunate", Ministry of External Affairs Arindam Bagchi said, "Our consulate general had put out some a tweet earlier. They are is in contact with family. We are aware of this. Merced county police is investigating it. We are in touch. The investigation is ongoing. This is a very shocking incident."
During a weekly presser, Bagchi said that India will provide all the assistance that it can.
The Indian-Origin family was kidnapped at gunpoint - an abduction recorded on surveillance video - from their trucking business Monday morning in Merced, authorities said. Investigators learned they were missing after a family vehicle was found abandoned and on fire that morning.
Later the police discovered the bodies of all four family members. The suspect in the kidnapping and murders of four Indian-origin family members in California, including a baby, was arrested late on Thursday. Jesus Manuel Salgado was arrested on four counts of murder and four counts of kidnapping.
The suspect attempted suicide sometime before he was taken into custody, and he has been receiving medical attention. Salgado was previously in prison for nearly a decade after being convicted of attempted false imprisonment, first-degree robbery and possession of a controlled substance, according to records from the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.
Salgado has a previous conviction for armed robbery and witness intimidation, and according to neighbours, he may have prowled outside the family's business months before he attacked them, reported San Francisco Chronicle.
"He would walk up and down the street for quite a while in front of that business and beyond, yelling at people," said Rene Calvazos, 64, who lives near the vast parking lot owned by the Singh family.
Salgado was arrested in 2005, Warnke said, for a home invasion case "in which he kept his boss and (their) family at gunpoint over money he thought he was owed. I think this is the same kind of thing."
Salgado received an 11-year state prison sentence in 2007 for first-degree armed robbery, attempted false imprisonment, and dissuading or tampering with a witness or victim under specified circumstances. A month later, he was handed an eight-month sentence for possession of a controlled substance.
He served an eight-year prison term and was paroled from 2015 until 2018.