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Update Thursday 3:30 p.m. For the latest developments, click here.

Update Thursday 7:05 a.m. From Fox 40 Sacramento this morning:

Hope Fading for 4 Year Old Kidnap Victim

Dive teams spent three hours searching the waters of the Delta-Mendota Canal early Wednesday night. The man-made waterway is just 17 feet deep, but visibility is zero on the bottom—it’s like searching for something with your eyes closed. As night fell the degree of difficulty multiplied for divers; and three separate searches turned up two just cement blocks and a stolen car. No signs of 4 year old Juliani Cardenas… Investigators are convinced there’s another car in the canal. In fact, they say it could’ve passed through a series of filters and ended up on the other end of the canal. Divers are due back in the water by 9 a.m. Thursday.

Update 5:54 p.m. From NBC Bay Area:

A sheriff’s deputy said that a car pulled from a Stanislaus County canal Wednesday afternoon was not connected to an Amber Alert case. That news put the search for four year old Juliani Cardenas of Patterson back on the front burner for all law enforcement agencies in California.

Officials searched the canal after a man said he saw it go in the water in the hours after Cardenas was kidnapped just a few miles away.

Authorities have been looking for little Juliani since Tuesday afternoon. His mother’s ex-boyfriend took the child from his grandmother’s arms and drove off in a silver Corolla. The car pulled from the waters Wednesday was black.

Update 4:19 p.m. Four-year-old Juliani Cardenas was abducted last night in Patterson. The suspect has been identified as 27-year-old Jose Esteban Rodriguez. The latest on the story from News 10 Sacramento:

A dive team from the Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Department is preparing to enter the Delta Mendota Canal after receiving information a car matching the description of one driven by the suspect in a Patterson abduction was seen going into the water Tuesday.

Sheriff’s spokesman Deputy Raj Singh said fresh tire tracks have found near the canal near Patterson….

Christianson said divers have completed dragging the canal and reported snagging something. Full article

Update 11:54 a.m.: Fox 40 in Sacramento has posted a report that includes a surveillance video of the suspect buying a beer at a Chevron station off of I-5 in the Central Valley town of Patterson, right before four-year-old Juliani Cardenas was abducted. The suspect’s car is described as a silver or beige Toyota Corolla with a California license plate number: 6HBW445.


Earlier post:

From KGO:

A statewide Amber Alert has been issued for a 4-year-old boy who was forcibly taken from his grandmother’s arms.

The Sheriff of Stanislaus County believes the suspect may be headed to San Jose with the child. The boy, Juliani Cardenas was abducted in Patterson, south of Tracy late Tuesday afternoon. Officials say the suspect is his mother’s ex-boyfriend.

The suspect is identified as 27-year-old Jose Esteban Rodriguez. He has a criminal history, including a conviction for involuntary manslaughter, and having sex with a minor. Juliani’s grandmother is pleading for the public’s help in returning her grandson.

The suspect’s car is described as a silver or beige Toyota Corolla with a California license plate number: 6HBW445

Juliani is described as a Hispanic boy, 3 feet 6 inches tall and 40 pounds, with black hair and brown eyes.

He was last seen wearing dark pants and a light blue shirt.

Rodriguez is described as a Hispanic man, 5 feet 9 inches tall and 180 pounds, with black hair and brown eyes.

He was last seen wearing a white and black shirt, checkered shorts, and a beanie.

KCBS TV has a video report.

Amber Alert Update: Canal Search for Car Continues 21 January,2011Jon Brooks


Jon Brooks

Jon Brooks is the host and editor of KQED’s health and technology blog, Future of You. He is the former editor of KQED’s daily news blog, News Fix. A veteran blogger, he previously worked for Yahoo! in various news writing and editing roles. He was also the editor of EconomyBeat.org, which documented user-generated content about the financial crisis and recession. Jon is also a playwright whose work has been produced in San Francisco, New York, Italy, and around the U.S. He has written about film for his own blog and studied film at Boston University. He has an MFA in Creative Writing from Brooklyn College.

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