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Sheriff: 8-month-old among 4 family members 'taken against their will' in California

missing family.jpg
Posted at 3:28 PM, Oct 04, 2022

Authorities in Northern California are searching for four family members, including an 8-month-old girl, who "were taken against their will" on Monday.

The Merced County Sheriff's Office said on its Facebook page that Aroohi Dheri, her parents, 27-year-old Jasleen Kaur and 36-year-old Jasdeep Singh; and the child's uncle, 39-year-old Amandeep Singh, were taken from a business in Merced County.

"We have a low life out there that kidnapped an eight-month-old baby, her mom, her dad, and her uncle," Sheriff Vern Warnke said in a video statement.

Warnke said no motive is known, adding that investigators "just know that they are gone."

The sheriff said the kidnapper had not made any contact or ransom demands.

Although Warnke didn't identify the type of business the family was taken from, according to the Associated Press, they were reportedly taken from their gas station and convenience store.

The sheriff's office released images of a possible suspect, asking the public to help identify the man.

California-Family Kidnapped
This surveillance image provided by Merced County Sheriff's Office shows a possible suspect sought by authorities in the kidnapping of four members of a family, including an 8-month-old child. Deputies are searching Merced and surrounding areas for the baby, Aroohi Dheri; the child’s mother, Jasleen Kaur, father Jasdeep Singh, and uncle Amandeep Singh, who were taken against their will at gunpoint from a business in the city of Merced, Calif. on Monday, Oct. 3, 2022. (Merced County Sheriff's Office via AP)

Warnke said investigators found evidence they believe the suspect destroyed "in an attempt to cover their tracks."

On Tuesday, the sheriff's office announced that Amandeep Singh's black 2020 Dodge Ram truck was found on fire Monday at approximately 11:39 a.m.

About an hour later., officers went to Amandeep Singh's home but couldn't find him; however, they did find another family member, the sheriff's office said.

The sheriff's office said that when the relative couldn't reach the three missing adults, the relative reported them missing.

At around 1:04 p.m., deputies responded to the business, and as they investigated, "detectives determined that the individuals were kidnapped," the sheriff's office said.

The sheriff's office said they are working alongside the California Department of Justice, the Federal Bureau of Investigations, and local law enforcement agencies "to bring this family home safely."

According to the Associated Press, Merced is between San Francisco and Fresno.