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.
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.