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Search for 4-year-old continues

Search for 4-year-old continues

Juliani Cardenas, 4, was kidnapped Tuesday afternoon in Patterson.


POSTED January 21, 2011 9:50 p.m.

The fourth day of searching for a missing 4-year-old Patterson boy ended Friday with no new leads for investigators.

Juliani Cardenas was kidnapped Tuesday afternoon in Patterson when the suspect, Jose Esteban Rodriguez, 27, pushed over the boy’s grandmother and snatched the little boy from her arms.

They were seen driving away in a silver or beige Toyota Corolla with a California license plate number of 6HBW445. The vehicle was also described as having tinted windows and oversized aluminum wheels.

Rodriguez is the ex-boyfriend of Juliani’s mother.

An Amber Alert was issued Tuesday after the abduction and has been active ever since.

The Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Department dive team has been dredging the Delta-Mendota canal for the last few days after a farmworker reported seeing a similar vehicle drive into the canal. The farmworker also said there was a man and a child in the vehicle, according to the sheriff’s department.

On Friday the sheriff’s department was using sonar equipment to search the canal. So far four stolen vehicles have been pulled from the canal, but none have been tied to the kidnapping.

The sheriff’s department considers the canal their best lead because Rodriguez has not used his cell phone or credit cards since the abduction.

Juliani is Hispanic, standing 3 feet, 6 inches tall and weighing about 40 pounds. He has black hair and brown eyes. He was wearing black “Spiderman” shoes that light up, a light blue sweat shirt, a pajama shirt and black sweat pants.

Rodriguez is Hispanic, standing 5 feet, 9 inches tall and weighing 180 pounds. He has black hair and brown eyes. He was last seen wearing a white and black shirt, checkered shorts, and a beanie.

To contact Sabra Stafford, e-mail sstafford@turlockjournal.com or call 634-9141 ext. 2002.

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