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Sacramento Sikh community holds vigil for slain Merced family

Sacramento Sikh community holds vigil for slain Merced family
Sacramento Sikh community holds vigil for slain Merced family 02:45

SACRAMENTO - A vigil was held Monday at the state capitol to remember the lives of four people, including an 8-month-old, killed in Merced County.

Jesus Salgado was arrested for their murders and faced a judge today.

In Sikh tradition, gatherings begin with the Ardas, a prayer for peace.

 "We're going to pray that their souls find peace, that their souls find love and their souls find unity with the creator," says Sacramento community leader, Jasjit Singh.

Sacramento's Sikh community, along with local elected officials, gathered on the steps of the state capitol to mourn the loss of four family members killed in Merced County: an 8-month-old baby girl, her 27-year-old mother Jasleen Kaur, her 36-year-old father Jasdeep Singh, and her 39-year-old uncle Amandeep Singh.

"I think all of us just felt like a part of us was lost. We're a small but mighty community," Says Singh.  

The Sacramento Valley is home to approximately 40,000 Sikh individuals. West Sacramento Sikh temple organized Monday's gathering and asked for community support during their time of grief.

West Sacramento Mayor Marth Guerrero says the city is providing resources to the local population.

 "Making sure we do everything we can to provide protection and also comfort, given the horrible circumstances of the loss of this innocent family," said Mayor Martha Guerrero.

Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg also promised support.

"You never have to feel alone. Our hearts break for you. Our souls and are beings are with you in this time of incredible grief," he said.

According to the Merced County Sheriff's Office, the family was kidnapped by Jesus Salgado -

"We have a whole family whipped out and for what? We don't know yet," said, Merced County Sheriff Vernon Warnke.

Surveillance video shows the family being led out of a building into a pickup truck in zip-tie handcuffs. Law enforcement says days later their bodies were discovered in San Joaquin County.

Salgado was arrested for the crime after trying to take his own life. He faces several charges, including four counts of first-degree murder.

Salgado did make a court appearance but he did not enter a plea and was given more time to find an attorney.

Prosecutors say they reserve their right to seek the death penalty.

Salgado is due back in court on Thursday. If he does not have his own attorney by then the court will assign one.

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