'I was so scared': Family recounts 2005 home invasion by Jesus Salgado who robbed them at gunpoint
MERCED, CALIFORNIA: Jesus Salgado, the man who allegedly abducted and murdered a California Sikh family over a feud related to their trucking business, reportedly tried a similar stunt on a different trucking family back in 2005. The 48-year-old served eight years in prison for robbing a couple and their 16-year-old daughter at gunpoint a year after he was fired by the family from their trucking business. At the time, the family suspected that he stole from the company, The Los Angeles Times reported.
Salgado has now been charged with four counts of murder and four counts of kidnapping for the killing of eight-month-old Aroohi Dheri; her mother, Jasleen Kaur, 27; father, Jasdeep Singh, 36; and uncle, Amandeep Singh, 39. Salgado's brother, Alberto Salgado, has also been charged in the plot.
Kathy and her daughter Katrina saw the surveillance footage of the Sikh family being kidnapped and eventually realized the same suspect had robbed them at gunpoint in their dark garage 17 years ago. “Because of what he did to us, in his mind, he had to smarten up. He didn’t get away with it,” Katrina told The Los Angeles Times. She recalled how she was in the house with Kathy and a friend when her father called to “tell Mom to open the door ’cause I bought a rug.'" A masked Salgado was behind him with a gun.
Saldago went on to duct tape to restrain him, his wife, 16-year-old Katrina and her friend before he “stole all the money we had, rings, that kind of stuff.” “I was so scared,” mom Kathy said of opening the household safe containing valuables. “And I expected to hear the shot as soon as [the safe] was open.” He ordered the family to jump into the pool before fleeing. A few days later, he was nabbed by the police.
On Monday, October 3, 2022, four members of the Sikh family were recently kidnapped by Salgado at gunpoint. Later, Merced County Sheriff Vern Warnke confirmed the four victims were found dead in a rural farm area on Wednesday night, October 5, saying his "worst fears have been confirmed".
"We found the four people from the kidnapping and they are in fact deceased," Warnke said, according to the Daily Mail. "There is no words to describe the anger I feel, and the senselessness of this incident." Referring to the killer, he said, "There's a special place in hell for this guy, and what we're going to deal with tonight is bad." Before the family was found dead, police released disturbing surveillance footage of the family being kidnapped at gunpoint. Their bodies were discovered in an orchard near Indiana Road and Hutchinson Road by a farm worker, who subsequently contacted authorities.
Salgado was arrested in Merced on Tuesday, October 4. He allegedly used the ATM card of one of the family members after kidnapping them. He was rushed to a hospital after trying to kill himself before being taken into custody.