Friday, January 28, 2011

Hope Running Out for Four Year Old Kidnap Victim

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This last Wednesday, I wrote about some of the bizarre twists and turns in searching for a four year old boy, kidnapped ten days ago. There was a tragic/comedic sense to the story as deputies, on the tip of a migrant farmworker, searched the Delta Mendota canal for the kidnapper's missing car. Day after day, vehicles were found, thirteen in all: cars, a pickup and a motorcycle, but no trace of the suspect's vehicle.

Today, they located the right car. Now, six hours after divers located it and sent a robotic camera to verify the license plate, they are just now pulling the car along with two others from the water. Because of the murky water, it is still not known if anyone is in the car. It was trapped in a "siphon", dangerous for divers to approach. Add to that, water temperature is 42 degrees with zero visibility, and only a four hour window between necessary water releases. And it's getting dark.

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(Jose) Rodriguez is accused of kidnapping 4-year-old Juliani Cardenas January 18th in Patterson. Cardenas was taken from his grandmother's arms and hasn't been seen since. There was an Amber Alert issued that night. There has been no cell phone or credit card activity on Rodriguez's accounts since the kidnapping.

Authorities repeatedly told the media they do not know what is in the car, and will not know for sure until the car is brought to the surface Friday afternoon.

However, unfortunately, officials say they think the two are inside. "Everything that we know, with respect to witness statements and corroborating evidence, says that that car went into the canal, and that Jose and Juliani went with it," said Sheriff Adam Christianson, with the Stanislaus County Sheriff's Office.


As long as the car was not found in the canal, one could hold out hope that little Juliani would turn up at a Motel Six, or a border crossing or spotted speeding down the freeway. When I heard, at lunch today, that the car had been positively identified, I lost hope.

The car was empty, according to Stanislaus County Sheriffs. The windows of the car were open, and it is not known if they might have escaped or if their bodies may have been swept away.

Pray for the family. Juliani's mother is eight months pregnant with Jose Rodriguez's child.

Cross posted at LCR.

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