Update Monday A watery graveyard of human wreckage (Modesto Bee)

For decades, a stretch of the Delta-Mendota Canal near Patterson has been a place of fatal car wrecks, suicides and accidental drownings…The Delta-Mendota now is the focal point in the search for 4-year-old Patterson resident Juliani Cardenas and his suspected kidnapper, Jose Esteban Rodriguez. A farmworker told authorities he saw a car matching Rodriguez’s Toyota Corolla, with a man and a boy in it, plunge into the canal Tuesday, soon after Rodriguez is suspected of having snatched Juliani from his grandmother’s arms.Fresh tire tracks and other evidence support the farmworker’s story, sheriff’s officials say, and there has been no trace of Juliani or Rodriguez since Tuesday.

KCRA is providing rolling updates as events occur.

Update 9:06 p.m. Sheriff’s deputies: Statewide amber alert called off (KFSN Fresno)

Sheriff’s deputies in the north valley have called off a statewide amber alert for a young boy kidnapped four days ago. The victim is 4-year-old Juliani Cardenas. Investigators say his mother’s ex-boyfriend took him from his home in Patterson. Authorities have focused their search on a nearby canal after a witness reported seeing a vehicle matching the description of the alleged kidnapper go into the water. Officers from the Merced county sheriff’s department again assisted in the search today using special equipment that can see under the murky water. “It’s sonar technology, it’s soundwaves that are sent out and then received by the unit, that’s interpreted into a picture that we can see, a dimensional picture with shadows and shapes,” Cdr. James Buttrey said. The Merced county sheriff’s department announced tonight they would suspend their search for the car in the canal until early next week. Full article

Earlier post:

KCRA Sacramento is providing rolling updates of what’s going on at the Delta-Mendota Canal in Stanislaus County, where authorities, acting on a tip, continue to search for a car driven by 27-year-old Jose Esteban Rodriguez, a suspect in the kidnapping of four-year-old Juliani Cardenas.

Four cars thus far have been found in the canal, none of which turned out to be connected to the case. The following chilling post from KCRA helps explain why the canal continues to be such a focus:

Good morning. Signing on now. I just spoke with Stanislaus County Sheriff Adam Christianson who has finally helped clarify that the farmworker/witness who saw a car go into the canal Tuesday afternoon ALSO saw “a man and a boy” in it. by Sharokina Shams/Staff at 1/22/2011 4:44:19 PM8:44 AM

Meanwhile, the story has gone national.

Yesterday’s developments here.

  • reena

    i have been following this story since it happened, something came to my attention and is bothering me, the farmworker says he saw a car going into the canal that matched the description of the vehicle they have been looking for, AND seen a man and a boy in it…BUT, he doesnt call the police right away that evening, INSTEAD he waites till the next day after he hears about the abduction….i just dont understand it, im lost for words!!!!!!!!

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Jon Brooks

Jon Brooks writes mostly on film for KQED Arts. He is also an online editor and writer for KQED's daily news blog, News Fix. Jon is a playwright whose work has been produced in San Francisco, New York, Italy, and around the U.S.

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