California family, including baby, found dead after armed kidnapping

Four members of a California family, including a baby, were found dead two days after

authorities said they were kidnapped at gunpoint in an incident that set off a manhunt.

Law enforcement officials had been searching for 8-month-old Aroohi Dheri, mother Jasleen Kaur, 27, father Jasdeep Singh, 36, and the baby’s uncle Amandeep Singh, 39, since they were reported missing on Monday. 

Surveillance footage captured outside the family’s business in Merced, a city of nearly 90,000 people east of San Jose, showed them being led out and driven away by an armed man

“Tonight, our worst fears have been confirmed,” Merced County Sheriff Vern Warnke said Wednesday in a news conference.

“We found the four people from the kidnapping, and they are in fact deceased.”

Officers were called to an “extremely rural farm area” around 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday by a farmhand who came across the victims’ bodies while at work, Warnke said.

Deputies and detectives arrived at the scene and found the bodies of the victims “relatively close together,” he said.

Authorities at a news conference played CCTV footage that showed an armed man walking into a building off South Highway 59 that was identified as the family’s trucking business.

The man was then seen leaving with the family members, some of whom appeared to have their hands zip-tied behind their backs, and loading them into a vehicle before driving away.

Earlier in the day, authorities said they took a person of interest in the kidnapping into custody.