"American dream gone wrong", says the family of the Punjab-origin Sikh family of four, including an eight-month-old infant, who were murdered in California
Their immigrant dream ended when eight-month-old Aroohi Dheri, her parents Jasleen Kaur, 27, and Jasdeep Singh, 36, and her uncle Amandeep Singh, 39, were violently kidnapped from their trucking business in Merced on Monday and found murdered on Wednesday.
The family said in an online fundraiser on gofundme.com: "As immigrants to America, they worked tirelessly for 18 years to achieve safety, security, and community for themselves and their families."
The Merced County Sheriff's Office verified on Friday that the fundraiser was indeed the family's and the only one authorised by them after it had issued an alert about the possibility of unauthorised appeals.
The family's gofundme page said that they all lived under one roof with Randhir Singh and Kirpal Kaur, who were the parents of Amandeep Singh, and Jasdeep Singh, and the wife of Amandeep Singh, Jaspreet Kaur and their children, six-year-old Ekam and nine-year-old Seerat.
The two brothers were "the primary bread earners for the family (and) supported their elderly parents", the appeal said.
As of 8.45 p.m. in California on Friday, the appeal had received $102,238 from 1,070 people.
The appeal has a goal of $250,000 to support the education of Ekam and Seerat and "provide financial relief" to Jaspreet Kaur and the elderly parents.
The gofundme page gave a picture of a tight-knit, happy family now shattered by the tragedy.
The family said on the gofundme page that Amandeep Singh "routinely donated food to the local food bank and found comfort in his faith, never missing Sunday service in the temple".
Jasdeep Singh and Jasleen Kaur married three years ago in India and were re-united two years ago in the US after her immigration came through.
"They were barely starting to make memories together as a family with their baby," the family said.
"Aroohi loved to run around the house in her walker and was a joyous child" much loved by her grandparents and cousins, they added.
Randhir Singh and Kirpal Kaur were "overjoyed" by the birth of their granddaughter and "recently travelled to India to plan a Lohri celebrating Aroohi's arrival in the family", they said.
Jesus Manuel Salgado, a former convict who had worked for the family's trucking business, has been arrested formally and charged with four murders and kidnappings, according to the Sheriff's Office.
His brother, Alberto Salgado, was arrested on Thursday evening "for criminal conspiracy, accessory, and destroying evidence", the Office added.