Body found in canal where kidnapped boy discovered

FRESNO, Calif.

And they believe it's the man accused of kidnapping and killing a 4-year-old boy.

Investigators say Jose Rodriguez grabbed Juliani Cardenas from his Patterson home last month and then drove his car into the canal just hours later.

Tabitha Cardenas hasn't been sleeping all that much over the past few weeks.

Even though her son had been found in the Delta-Menodota Canal earlier this month, only the news of his accused abductor's fate puts full closure to this terrible tragedy.

Tabitha Cardenas says the sleepless nights not knowing where her ex-boyfriend Jose Rodriguez was took a toll on her both physically and emotionally.

"Sometimes when I was sleeping, I would lay down to go to sleep and I would hear footsteps and they would sound like Jose's footsteps. And they would be like kind of creepy. Just little things like that."

Stanislaus County Sheriff's Deputies say the 27-year-old snatched Tabitha's 4-year-old son Julani Cardenas from his grandmother's arms last month and drove his car into the Delta-Mendota Canal.

On Saturday dive teams recovered a body floating in that same canal whose physical and clothing description matches Rodriguez's.

Investigators received a tip from water authority workers who were stunned.

"It was creepy. I was curious even though it was creepy. I just kind of wished I was at a different location, I really didn't want to be around that at all," David Frances said.

Action News travelled to Tabitha Cardenas' home in Patterson where the expecting mother says her new baby girl is helping her get through this difficult time.

"What I need in my life is another baby. That's just what I need. I mean it's not a replacement but it helps to ease the pain."

And Tabitha didn't have to go very far to pick out a name for her.

"I was deciding on whether she's going to be named Juliani Jolyssa or Jolyssa Juliani. But after I found out that they found my son. Then I was like ok we're going to name her Juliani."

Jose Rodgriuez is not Julani's father but he is the father of Tabitha Cardenas' expected newborn.

The Stanislaus County Cornor is scheduled to perform an autopsy on the body found in the canal on Tuesday.

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