Merced killings accused Jesus Salgado charged with four counts of first-degree murder


Charges have been filed against Jesus Manuel Salgado who is accused of kidnapping and killing four members of the same family of Indian Americans who used to reside in Merced. The Merced County District Attorney’s Office has filed four counts of first-degree murder with special circumstances against Jesus Manuel Salgado.

The special circumstances allege that the murders were committed during the commission of a kidnapping and that there were multiple murders in the same case. Salgado is also charged with Arson, and Possession of a Firearm by a Prohibited Person. Salgado’s prior serious offenses and factors in aggravation have been alleged in the complaint.

On October 3, a family of four – Eight-month-old Aroohi Dheri and her parents — 27-year-old mother Jasleen Kaur and 36-year-old father Jasdeep Singh and her uncle, 39-year-old Amandeep Singh – was abducted from their place of business in Merced, around 101 miles south-east of San Jose in California. After an intense search that involved the local police, the FBI, and the Department of Justice, their bodies were found on October 5 evening by a farm worker in a remote area near the intersection of Indiana and Hutchins roads, northeast of Dos Palos.

The 48-year-old Jesus Manuel Salgado, a former disgruntled employee of the trucking company owned by the victims, was arrested and booked into the Merced County Jail on four counts of murder and four counts of kidnapping. The suspect had attempted suicide as investigators closed in on him as a suspect in the case and he was in the hospital for two days before being sent to jail. His brother Alberto was also arrested on charges of criminal conspiracy, accessory, and destroying evidence.

Prior to this Salgado had been in jail for nearly a decade for a similar crime. Salgado was convicted of attempted false imprisonment of a family, robbery and home invasion at gunpoint, and intimidation of witnesses in 2007. He was sentenced to 11 years in prison and was released on parole in 2015.

“Salgado faces life in prison without the possibility of parole. District Attorney Kimberly Lewis will not be making a decision regarding the death penalty in 2022. The People are preserving their right to pursue the death penalty in the future. Salgado is scheduled to be arraigned on Monday, October 10, 2022, at 2:30 p.m. in the Merced Superior Court,” said a press release issued by the district attorney’s office of Merced County.

A fundraiser on GoFundMe started by the grieving relatives of the four family members who were killed has raised $367,338 of their $500,000 goal to support their families in California and also their elderly parents in India.

Jaspreet Kaur, the widow of Amandeep Singh who along with three other family members was murdered after being abducted on October 3, has said in her post on the GoFundMe site, that the fundraiser will be the Memorial Trust Fund of the Dheri Family which will help support the surviving members and extended family.

“This is the story of our shared American dream gone wrong. Our loving family was violently taken away from us on October 3. A criminal kidnapped and murdered our beautiful 8-month-old baby Aroohi, her mother Jasleen, her father Jasdeep (JB), and her uncle Amandeep (Aman). As immigrants to America, they worked tirelessly for 18 years to achieve safety, security, and community for themselves and their families. Aman and Jasdeep were the primary bread earners for the family, supported their elderly parents, and lived under one roof,” she has said.


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