Amber Alert: 4-year-old Juliani Cardenas was abducted in Patterson

FRESNO, Calif.

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A dive team with the Stanislaus County Sheriff's Department resumed their search for Cardenas near the Delta-Mendota Canal outside of Patterson on Thursday. A car was pulled from the Canal late Thursday morning. The car was described as a Lexus with Saturn hubcaps.

Authorities confirmed that the Lexus pulled from the canal was not the car they were searching for. They have since suspended the search at the canal.

Crews pulled another car out of the water on Wednesday.

Divers first came out to the canal Wednesday afternoon based on a tip from a farmworker who said he saw a car go into the canal around 5pm Tuesday. He said that car matched the description of the one driven by kidnapping suspect, /*Jose Rodriguez*/, who was caught on surveillance video at a Chevron gas station in Patterson just before the abduction.

Authorities have been searching for that Toyota Corolla since they say Rodriguez grabbed /*Juliani Cardenas*/ from his home Tuesday afternoon and sped away with him. But again, it was not the suspect's car that was pulled from the water.


Missing Child Description:
Juliani Cardenas
3' 6" and 40 pounds with black hair and brown eyes
He was last seen wearing dark pants and a light blue shirt.

Suspect Description:
Jose Rodriguez
5' 9" and 180 pounds with black hair and brown eyes
Rodriguez was last seen wearing a white and black shirt, checkered pants and a beanie.

Investigators think he was possibly headed to San Jose in a Silver Toyota Corolla with a California license plate 6HBW445. The front passenger side may have a smaller, "donut" spare tire.

Authorities say it can be hard to remember an entire license plate number, so if you see any light colored Toyota Corolla with the last numbers of 445, please call 911.

The boy's grandmother said the kidnapper snatched little Juliani Tuesday afternoon from her home in Patterson, right in front of her. Now authorities have launched a statewide Amber Alert to try to safely track down the boy and his abductor.

A desperate plea from the grandmother of 4-year-old Juliani Cardenas: "Please everyone, bring my grandson back."

Investigators say 27-year-old Jose Rodriguez took the child from the Grandmother at her home in broad daylight.

"I think he was mad at my daughter," said Cardenas.

Rodriguez had a previous relationship with the mother but is not the biological Father. Their relationship ended months ago but the grandmother said Rodriguez has remained bitter.

She said he made several attempts to grab the boy and even went to his school to hunt him down -- but the boy was home sick.

Then around 4 p.m. on Tuesday, the grandmother said he forced his way into the house, pushed Her to the floor and snatched the child.

"So our primary concern right now is the safety of the child and locating the suspect and the vehicle he's driving," said Sheriff Adam Christianson with the Stanislaus County Sheriff's Office.

On Tuesday night authorities activated the statewide Amber Alert system of highway signs and also posted the information on the Justice Department's new Amber Alert Facebook page.

Police believe the little boy is in danger. "We're concerned because he has a criminal history, he's been convicted of violent crimes and anytime you have a child who is forcibly removed from someone who has care and custody of the child, there is certainly cause to be concerned."

The man authorities are looking for is believed to be the ex-boyfriend of the child's mother.


Action News has also just learned there is surveillance video from a gas station in this area that shows the suspect getting out of his car and going in to buy something at the gas station just about 30-minutes before Juliani was taken.

We're working to get a copy of that video and will bring it to you as soon as possible.


Action News and will provide updates as soon as they become available.

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