Outpouring of support for Cardenas family

FRESNO, Calif.


If you click on donate it takes you to a Sylar Newton Foundation Paypal account.

The address:
P.O. box 1155 Molalla
Oregon 97038

Donations are being accepted for Juliani's service. If there are funds remaining after the service is paid for, it will go to help Juliani's sister who is due in March. All monies collected by Sylar Newton Foundation will be sent to Bank of the West.


The all-out search for 4-year-old kidnapping victim Juliani Cardenas ended here in Merced County.

A water authority worker found the boy's body near Santa Nella, about 30 miles downstream from the Stanislaus County spot where Fresno's Action Towing pulled the suspect's car out of the Delta-Mendota Canal.

"We recovered the body of a small child whose physical description and clothing description matches that of our kidnapping victim," Stanislaus County Sheriff Adam Christianson said.

The discovery hit hard at the Cardenas home in Patterson.

Juliani's mother is 8 1/2 months pregnant with the suspect's baby girl and an ambulance stood by in case she had complications.

Action News was there when Tabitha Cardenas later left the home for a regularly scheduled doctor's visit.

"This is a normal, routine visit," Patterson city council member Annette Smith said. "Obviously, today she had a fairly large shock and I would say it's in her best interest to take care of herself, take care of the baby she's carrying."

Emotions ran high all over Patterson, including among the law enforcement officers who spent two weeks searching for Juliani.

They issued a homicide warrant for Jose Rodriguez, the suspected kidnapper.

The sheriff believes Rodriguez will also be found in the canal, but even after they close the case, he says his officers won't easily shake it off.

"Many of the people involved have children of their own and it's tough," he said. "It's tough even for me. All along, we wanted to find little Juliani alive."

The sheriff's department is waiting for DNA results to positively identify Juliani Cardenas, but the Sheriff says there's no doubt it's him.

He's also asking the Sheriff's Departments in Merced, Madera, and Fresno Counties to keep searching the canal, trying to find Rodriguez.

Tabitha Cardenas did not speak on camera Tuesday, but she posted a message on Facebook after learning about the grim discovery in the Delta-Mendota Canal.

Her Facebook messages are open for anyone to read on the social networking site.

Tabitha said "I have the worst news in the world to tell you. My son's body has been found in the canal. No DNA has confirmed it - but it's his clothes and shoes and it's a 4-year-old boy. So I want everyone to pray that Jose's body is found so we can all know that he's burning in hell and I don't have to worry about him taking my unborn baby girl."

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