A sheriff's deputy said that a car pulled from a Stanislaus County canal Wednesday afternoon was not connected to an Amber Alert case. That news put the search for four year old Juliani Cardenas of Patterson back on the front burner for all law enforcement agencies in California.
Officials searched the canal after a man said he saw it go in the water in the hours after Cardenas was kidnapped just a few miles away.
Authorities have been looking for little Juliani since Tuesday afternoon. His mother's ex-boyfriend took the child from his grandmother's arms and drove off in a silver Corolla. The car pulled from the waters Wednesday was black.
Sheriff Adam Christiansen said a migrant worker said he saw a car go into the water Tuesday evening, but did not report it until he heard about the missing child's case Wednesday.
The suspect has been identified as Jose Esteban Rodriguez. Police said he has a criminal history include a manslaughter conviction in 1999.
A statewide Amber Alert remains in effect. Drivers are being told to look for a silver Corolla with one spare tire on a back wheel. The California license plate is 6HBW445. If you see the car, call 911.
The two were possibly en-route from Patterson to San Jose where the suspect's mother lives.
He is is the ex-boyfriend of Juliani's mother and is not the boy's biological father, Stanislaus County Chief Tori Hughes said. Rodriguez is a 27 year-old Hispanic male, 5' 9" tall, weighing approximately 180 pounds, with black hair, brown eyes, last seen wearing a white and black shirt, checkered shorts, and a beanie.
Juliani is a Hispanic boy, 3' 6" tall, 40 pounds with black hair, and brown eyes, last seen wearing dark pants, light blue shirt.