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Sheriff: Baby among 4 family members kidnapped in California

family kidnapped.jpg
Posted at 9:26 AM, Oct 04, 2022
and last updated 2022-10-04 22:56:31-04

MERCED, Calif. (AP) — Sheriff's officials in central California released photos of a possible suspect in the kidnapping of four members of a family, including an 8-month-old child.

The Merced County Sheriff's Office said the child's mother, father and uncle were taken against their will at gunpoint from a business in the city of Merced on Monday.

Sheriff Vern Warnke said the kidnapper has made no ransom demands or contact of any kind.

"We have no motivation behind it. We just know that they are gone," Warnke said in a briefing posted on the department's Facebook page.

Deputies are searching Merced and surrounding areas for the baby, Aroohi Dheri; the child's mother, Jasleen Kaur, 27; father Jasdeep Singh, 36; and uncle Amandeep Singh, 39.

The sheriff's department released two still images from surveillance footage of a possible suspect and asked for the public's help in identifying the man. He's seen wearing a dark hooded sweatshirt, dark shorts and a light blue disposable face mask.

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)

The sheriff said detectives believe the suspect destroyed unspecified evidence in an attempt to cover his tracks.

Merced is a city of 86,000 people about 125 miles (200 kilometers) southwest of San Francisco in the San Joaquin Valley.

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This story has been corrected to show Jasleen Kaur is 27, not 36.