A week ago, a baby girl, her parents and her uncle were kidnapped from a business in Merced County, California. It was a fact that drew attention in the city and nearby towns, since it was not common.
The mobilization began immediately in the area because they had surveillance camera recordings showing how an armed man took them away. Two days later, last Wednesday, Sheriff Vern Warnke broke the news: “ Our worst fears have been confirmed.” The baby, her parents Jasdeep and Jasleen Kaur, 27, and her paternal uncle Amandeep Singh, were found dead.
Days before the crime, Aroohi Dheri, 8 months old, stammered one of her first words. She was calling her dad, Jasdeep Singh, 36, and it would turn out to be the only time she could do it.
Amandeep left a widow and two small children, Jasdeep left her parents. Jasleen’s parents, who live in India, were never able to meet her granddaughter. A close-knit circle of cousins in California is also reeling from her loss, according to a recent account on NBC News.
“I felt like someone had pulled the Earth out from under my feet,” Singh said of the moment he learned of the deaths. “I felt numb, I felt empty, I couldn’t think.”
The American Dream brought his cousins Jasdeep and Amandeep across the ocean as teenagers, according to Singh. The two grew up in a small town in Punjab; Singh still remembers spending months at his home during the summer before the families emigrated in 2004.
The United States represented a promise of security for all of them, he said.
“We wanted to be in a place where we feel safe, where we think our children are safe.”, said. “And where we would know that if we worked hard, if our children worked hard, they could make a living for themselves.”
“He started his business with a single truck that he owned,” Singh said. “I was driving like five days a week. Some weekends when I wouldn’t be home. I would be home every seven to 10 days.”
“I follow the news. I have heard many things that happen. School shootings and mass shootings and whatever else happens in the United States,” she said. “But I never thought something like this would come so close to our family.”
Singh saw the family a week before they were found dead. He said they discussed his plans for Thanksgiving.a holiday that Amandeep always enjoyed in this country.
Following the tragedy, Singh and some relatives helped the remaining immediate family members organize a GoFundMe fundraiser, which has now totaled more than $340,000.
Melissa Galbraith is the World News reporter for Globe Live Media. She covers all the major events happening around the World. From Europe to Americas, from Asia to Antarctica, Melissa covers it all. Never miss another Major World Event by bookmarking her author page right here.