SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) — An emotional vigil was held Monday to remember a Merced family who was kidnapped and killed one week ago.
The shocking and senseless deaths of a couple, their child and an uncle brought together people who wanted to celebrate their lives and their goal of achieving the American dream.
It has been a week since the tragedy unfolded in the Merced area.
“Finding out that these acts can occur time and time again is heartbreaking,” Gurleen Kaur, a community member, said.
The Sacramento community is also mourning the heinous murder of a Central Valley Family.
“We will always stand with you through thick and thin,” Mayor Darrell Steinberg said.
“This is so tragic, and I do not want us to forget what happened. I want us to be reminded that this a constant threat,” West Sacramento Mayor Martha Guerrero said.
Community members and elected leaders attended an interfaith memorial vigil, allowing the community to grieve, pray and speak about the crime and its impact.
“If there is anything that death and loss has taught me is that we sometimes remember to be grateful when it is too late,” one speaker said.
Anguish and sorrow over losing 8-month-old Aroohi Dheri, her parents 27-year-old Jasleen Kaur and 36-year-old Jasdeep Singh and Aroohi’s uncle 39-year-old Amandeep Singh was felt by many.
One week ago, the four were abducted at gunpoint from their trucking business near Merced. A few days later, their bodies were discovered at an orchard.
“Please try to talk about these tragedies to your family members so you have plans in place for possible what-if scenarios. The best thing we can do is prepare ourselves for the worst case,” a speaker said.
The violence has not only shaken the Central Valley, but also the Sikh community in many places.
“We are an invisible yet visible minority,” Jasjit Singh, a community member, said.
Those in attendance remember the family killed as hard-working people, hoping to reach the American dream. As they remember and come together, they also hope some sort of reform occurs.
“To think that this man was not reprimanded as he should have been 10 years ago, and this has happened again when it could have been prevented is a huge loss for us all,” Kaur said.
There is a GoFundMe page set up for the victim’s family.