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What we know about the kidnapping and death of a family in California

(CNN) — Investigators in the kidnapping and death of four members of a California family, including their baby, revealed new details Thursday about the man suspected of kidnapping them at gunpoint from their business and then allegedly killing them.

Jesus Manuel Salgado, 48, was arrested Thursday night on four counts of murder and four counts of kidnapping, Merced County Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Alexandra Britton told CNN Thursday night.

Salgado, who was a former employee at the family business, was arrested as a suspect in the case after his family told police that he admitted involvement in the kidnapping, according to Britton.

A week after her abduction, a family of four, including an 8-month-old baby, was found kidnapped in California.

A week after her abduction, a family of four, including an 8-month-old baby, was found kidnapped in California.

The arrest comes after Aroohi Dheri, 8 months; her parents Jasleen Kaur and Jasdeep Singh, and the boy’s uncle, Amandeep Singh, were kidnapped Monday from the family’s trucking business in the central California city of Merced.

Two days later, the family’s bodies were recovered from an orchard in Merced County after a farmworker alerted authorities.

When Merced County Sheriff Vern Warnke announced that the family’s bodies had been found Wednesday night, he called the killings “totally senseless.”

“The circumstances around this, when we’re able to publish everything, should make them very, very angry,” Warnke said.

The armed kidnapping of the family at their business was caught on surveillance video. Footage showed the suspect holding a firearm and forcing the family into a pickup truck and then driving them away from the business’s parking lot in Merced.

CNN has not been able to identify an attorney for Salgado and calls to his family members have gone unanswered.

As the investigation into the motive behind the murders continues, here’s what we know about the case.

How was the family kidnapped?

Surveillance footage released by the Merced County Sheriff’s Office shows the four family members being taken against their will from their workplace Monday morning.

At 8:30 a.m. Monday, the video shows Jasdeep Singh arriving in the business’s parking lot, followed by Amandeep Singh arriving nine minutes later.

Shortly before 9 am, Jasdeep meets the suspect outside the business. The suspect was carrying a white garbage bag and pulled out what appeared to be a firearm, the video shows.

At around 9:11 am, the video shows Jasdeep and Amandeep with their hands tied behind their backs and getting into a van, which leaves shortly after.

Minutes later, the vehicle returns to the parking lot and the suspect enters the business. The suspect walks out with a gun in his hand and leads Jasleen Kaur away as she holds 8-month-old Aroohi.

Later Monday, a farmer found two of the victims’ cellphones on a road, authorities said. At one point, the peasant answered one of the phones and spoke with a family member of the victims.

What do we know about the suspect?

Investigators released this photo Monday of a man they say is suspected in the kidnappings.

Salgado served a lengthy prison sentence for a similar crime in 2007. He was sentenced to 11 years behind bars for charges including robbery using a firearm and attempted false imprisonment, according to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.

Also in 2007, he was sentenced for possession of a controlled substance, the corrections department said. He was paroled in 2015 after completing his sentence and completed parole in 2018, according to the department.

Before police took him into custody Tuesday, initially as a person of interest, Salgado attempted suicide and received medical treatment that caused him to be sedated because he was acting violently while conscious, Sheriff Warnke said.

Deputies believe Salgado is the prime suspect in the case, but the sheriff stressed that others may be involved.

“I fully believe that we will find out and find that there was more involved besides him,” Warnke said Wednesday.

Salgado was speaking with investigators, Warnke said, but did not elaborate on what information he may have shared.

“We got information on the suspect, we’re going to keep that to ourselves at this point,” Warnke said.

Salgado has been booked into the Merced County Jail, the sheriff’s office said Thursday night.

How has the investigation been developed?

Among the questions that remain unanswered is the motive for the family’s murder.

“We have a whole family wiped out, and why? We don’t know yet,” Warnke said Wednesday after the bodies were recovered.

Authorities have also not disclosed how the family died, but they did reveal that they were apparently killed where they were found, and the killings occurred before the sheriff’s department was notified Monday that the family was missing.

Investigators initially learned the family was missing after an abandoned family vehicle was found on fire Monday morning, authorities said.

A day after the family’s abduction, authorities learned that an ATM card belonging to one of the victims was used at a bank in Atwater, California, the sheriff’s office said in a statement. Atwater is about 9 miles northwest of Merced.

It’s not clear if Salgado is the person who used that card, according to Britton.

“Investigators obtained a surveillance photo of a subject conducting a banking transaction in which the person is similar in appearance to the surveillance photo from the original abduction scene,” the sheriff’s office said earlier this week.

CNN’s Natasha Chen, Cheri Mossburg, Jason Hanna and Jack Hannah contributed to this report.

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