Sheriff's deputies: Statewide amber alert called off

FRESNO, Calif.

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.

And even though the statewide amber alert was called off investigators are still searching for 27-year-old Jose Rodriguez.

The search has now narrowed to the valley and San Jose areas.

Rodriguez is described as 5'9", 180-pounds with black hair and brown eyes.

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

He drove a silver Toyota Corolla. California license plate 6HBW445.

If you see this car or know where Rodriguez might be, you are urged to call 911 immediately.

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