Sikh family kidnapped, killed in California, migrated from India in search of safety and American dream, relatives say

Days before eight-month-old Aroohi Dheri was killed, she thundered one of her first words. She used to call her father Jasdeep Singh, 36, but it turned out to be the only time she could do so.

“She said ‘papa’ for the first time,” Jasdeep’s cousin Amalinder Singh told NBC News.

Baby Aloohi, her parents Jasdeep and Jasleen Kaur, 27, and her paternal uncle Amandeep Singh, died Wednesday in rural Merced, California, not far from where they were taken two days ago. was discovered.

Jesus Manuel Salgado, former employee Arrested at Jasdeep and Amandeep transport companies and charged with murder and kidnapping. His brother, Alberto Salgado, was also arrested and charged with aiding him.NBC News was unable to identify an attorney for either suspect.

The days following the news of the death were painful for those left behind, Amarinda Singh said. Jasleen’s parents, who live in India, were unable to meet her granddaughter. A close-knit circle of cousins ​​in California is also reeling from the loss.

“I felt like someone had pulled the earth out from under my feet,” Shin said of the moment he learned of his death.

According to Singh, the American Dream brought cousins ​​Jasdeep and Amandeep across the sea when they were teenagers. Singh still remembers spending months at her home the summer before her family moved in 2004.

The US represented a security commitment to all of them, he said.

“We wanted to be in a place where we felt safe and where the kids thought they were safe,” he said. “And if we work hard, if our children work hard, we will know that they can make a life for themselves.”

His cousin Amandeep, he said, was a living embodiment of that. He spent his first years in the country doing blue-collar jobs as a cashier and factory worker, eventually buying his first truck.

“He started the business with one truck that he owned,” says Singh. “He was driving about five days a week. There were weekends when he wasn’t home. He was coming home every seven to ten days.”

The business he spent his life working to grow was eventually taken away from him, according to security camera footage. ‘s image is now shattered, Singh said.

“I follow the news. I’ve heard a lot of things that happen. School shootings, mass shootings, whatever happens in America,” he said. “But I never thought something like that would land so close to our family.”

Shin met the family a week before they were found dead. He said they discussed plans for Thanksgiving, which Amandeep always valued spending with his extended family.

“We grew up together as children in India, so he wanted our children to grow up together so that they could get to know each other and have the same kind of bond that we do.

The last time he saw baby Alohi, she met Shin’s three-month-old baby for the first time. was doing

“I think they both had twinkles in their eyes every time I saw them around Alohi,” he said. “They just loved being together as a family. They loved her.” The name literally means “one who has the spirit of God.” ”

Shin said he still struggles to understand why someone hurt them.

“It is totally unjust,” he said. “I think everyone can at least agree that an 8-month-old baby hasn’t done anything wrong to anyone and doesn’t deserve to do something like this.”

Amandeep’s wife, Jaspreet Kaur, remains a single mother. Singh said she wasn’t eating or talking and her 6-year-old and her 8-year-old children are having trouble understanding what happened. Her brother still asks if her father is coming home. The brother’s aging parents are also left alone.

“They were all devastated by what happened,” he said.

Singh and several relatives helped the rest of the family set up a GoFundMe, which has now raised over $340,000.

However, after the turmoil, a hole remains in Shin’s family, and he feels their loss everywhere.

“I can still hear what they said. I can still feel them hugging me. I can still remember what we do.” he said. “I will miss them all.”

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/asian-america/sikh-family-kidnapped-killed-california-immigrated-india-looking-safet-rcna51468 Sikh family kidnapped, killed in California, migrated from India in search of safety and American dream, relatives say

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