Grieving relatives of the Indian-origin family, whose four members were killed in California’s Merced county last week, have raised over $360,000 (Rs 2.97 crore) to support their surviving family members in California and their elderly parents in India.
The family of four, 8-month-old Aroohi Dehri, her mother Jasleen Kaur (27), her father Jasdeep Singh (36) and her uncle Amandeep Singh (39), were kidnapped and killed by Jesus Salgado, a disgruntled former employee of their trucking company, last week.
The GoFundMe page, created four days ago, thanks the community for the "tremendous support" shown to the family.
‘In Memory of The Dheri Family’
Amandeep Singh’s widow Jaspreet Kaur, in the GoFundMe fundraiser campaign aiming to raise $500,000, said that her husband and his brother had been in the United States for 18 years and supported not only their families in California, but also their aged parents in India.
The campaign has so far raised $360,407 USD.
“This is the story of our shared American dream gone wrong; our loving family was violently taken away from us on October 3rd…As immigrants to America, they worked tirelessly for 18 years to achieve safety, security, and community for themselves and their families.”Jaspreet Kaur
The campaign said that the funds would go towards helping Aroohi’s grandparents, Randhir Singh and Kirpal Kaur, and the family of Amandeep Singh, his wife Jaspreet and their two children – Ekam (6) and Seerat (9).
“Aroohi loved to run around the house in her walker and was a joyous child,” the fundraising post said about then now deceased 8-month-old. Her parents, Jasdeep and Jasleen got married in 2019 and spent a year apart during processes for Jasleen’s immigration.
“They were barely starting to make memories together as a family with their baby,” it added.
The GoFundme page described Amandeep as the “rock of his family, a great dad who always made time to cuddle his son Ekam, read with his daughter Seerat, and treasure their many art projects and other accomplishments.”
“He was a caring elder brother and a role model to his cousins,” the post added.
“Randhir and Kirpal were overjoyed in recent years to see their family grow. They were proud of their sons Aman and Jasdeep and cherished playing with their grand-daughter Aroohi,” the campaign read.
“Jass is now a single mother taking care of two bright children who are left without their father and cannot fathom why their dad will not return,” it added.
The Singh family was kidnapped from a business in the county on Monday, 3 October. Subsequently on Tuesday, Salgado was held by the police after he attempted to kill himself. On Wednesday, the police found and recovered the bodies of the four deceased family members.
A farm worker came across the deceased in an "extremely rural farm area" and subsequently notified authorities.
Salgado had once worked for the Singh family's trucking business and had a "pretty nasty" long-standing dispute with them, which culminated into the crime, authorities and a relative said.
Surveillance video from the kidnapping showed Jasdeep and Amandeep Singh coming out with their hands zip-tied together. Momentarily, Salgado with a gun led Jasleen and 8-month-old Aroohi out of the building into a truck.
The police were alerted of the crime after finding Amandeep Singh’s black pickup truck burning on the side of a county road on Monday. While investigating the burning truck, sheriff’s deputies were unable to reach the family and determined that they had been abducted.
Salgado was named a person of interest by the police after cameras captured a man resembling him using an ATM card belonging to one of the missing persons.
Prior to law enforcement involvement, Salgado attempted to take his own life.
It was revealed by the authorities and relatives that Salgado used to work for the family he eventually kidnapped and killed, and had a long and tumultuous dispute with them.