Hoshiarpur (Punjab): The news of the kidnapping of an Indian-origin family of four, including an eight-month-old child, in the US state of California, has left their relatives back home here in a state of shock.
A 48-year-old man considered a "person of interest" in the kidnapping of the four-member Sikh family has been taken into custody and is in critical condition, authorities in the US said. The victims are still missing though.
The family was kidnapped at a business in Merced County, California, on Monday.
The family members were identified as eight-month-old Aroohi Dheri, her 27-year-old mother Jasleen Kaur, her 36-year-old father Jasdeep Singh, and her 39-year-old uncle Amandeep Singh.
Jasdeep's parents Dr Randhir Singh and Kirpal Kaur are natives of Harsi Pind village in Tanda block of Hoshiarpur.
Charanjit Singh, a neighbour of Randhir Singh, said Jasdeep's parents were in a state of shock and not in a position to talk.
Randhir Singh and Kirpal Kaur retired from the health and education departments, respectively.
According to Charanjit Singh, Randhir Singh returned to India from abroad on September 29. Upon arrival, he left for a pilgrimage in Uttarakhand. When he reached Rishikesh, he received a call from daughter-in-law Jaspreet Kaur from the US who told him about the incident of kidnapping of her husband Amandeep Singh and other family members.
After learning about the incident, Randhir Singh came back to his village on Tuesday evening, and is preparing to leave for the US Tuesday night, his neighbour said.
The people of Harsi Pind and its adjoining villages rushed to the house of Randhir Singh to support the family and prayed for the safe return of the kidnapped persons to their home, said Charanjit Singh.
He further claimed that Union minister and Hoshiarpur MP Som Parkash had also telephoned Randhir Singh and assured him of full support from the central government.
Tanda Deputy Superintendent of Police Kulwant Singh said he had also visited the house of Randhir Singh and assured full support to him.
A vehicle owned by one of the family members was found on fire late Monday, which led law enforcement in the US to determine that the four had been kidnapped.
According to a news release, detectives received information Tuesday morning that one of the victim's bank cards was used at an ATM in Atwater in Merced County.
"Investigators obtained the surveillance photo of a subject making a bank transaction where the person is similar in appearance to the surveillance photo from the original kidnapping scene," the Merced County Sheriff's Office statement said.
Before law enforcement involvement, the suspect identified as Jesus Manuel Salgado "attempted to take his own life," and is currently in "custody, receiving medical attention and in critical condition."
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