The bodies of four family members including an 8-month-year-old baby Aroohi Dheri on Wednesday were found on a farm in Merced County, California, the United States.
The three other victims were the child’s parents – Jasleen Kaur and Jasdeep Singh, as well as the uncle, Amandeep Singh lying dead in the same area according to Merced County Sheriff, Vern Warnke.
CNN said that the family members were abducted at gunpoint and forced into a truck by a man on Monday and the authorities have then declared them missing.
Warnke at a news conference said, “Tonight, our worst fears have been confirmed. Horribly, horribly senseless what happened here.”
Police announced that they have in their custody a man considered a person of interest in the case. The man is speaking with authorities and a motive remains unclear at this time, the sheriff said.
Before the bodies were found, family members were imploring the public for any information related to the case.
“Every store, gas stations, everybody who has cameras please check the cameras,” Sukhdeep Singh, a brother of one of the victims, told reporters Wednesday. “We need the public’s help right now. Please help us … so my family comes home safe.”
Another relative, identified only as Balvinder, described the family as “peace loving” and said they own a small business and are longtime residents of the area.
“We are devastated. We are shocked. We are dying every moment not finding any clues,” Balvinder said.
According to Warnke, the suspect in custody was convicted in 2005 in a case involving armed robbery and false imprisonment. He was paroled in 2015. Warnke said the man acted alone in the previous case and knew the victims.
In a video shown at a news conference earlier Wednesday, Jasdeep and Amandeep Singh were seen arriving at the family trucking business nine minutes apart.
And shortly before 9 am on Monday, Jasdeep encounters a man outside the business – who carried a trash bag and then pulled out what appeared to be a firearm.
Jasdeep and Amandeep, hands tied behind their backs, are later seen being ushered by the gunman into the back of a truck, which left and returned six minutes later.
The gunman then re-entered the area and was seen taking Jasleen, who carried baby Aroohi, to the truck.
A farmer found two of the victims’ cell phones on a road Monday, authorities said. The farmer at one point answered the phone and spoke with a relative of the victims.