Jose Esteban Rodriguez
Saturday morning search for Juliani Cardenas
PATTERSON, CA - The Stanislaus County Sheriff's Department resumed its search of the Delta-Mendota Canal Tuesday morning for any sign of 4-year-old Juliani Cardenas who was kidnapped one week ago.
The fourth search of the canal will be farther south than previous searches. Investigators say the canal is 20 to 25 feet deep in areas and the current moves very quickly, so it's possible the car got pulled downstream.
Divers from the Stanislaus County Sheriff's Department and divers from the Merced County Sheriff's Department will be positioned several miles apart in their search of the canal.
"We're still missing a vehicle that made those tire tracks. Out of five cars pulled, none match those fresh tracks," said Raj Singh with the Stanislaus County Sheriff's Department.
Juliani's mother: Ex-boyfriend unstable
The mother of Juliani said she believes her son is alive but increasingly fears for his safety. Tabitha Cardenas said she received new information that makes her believe ex-boyfriend Jose Rodriguez was either high or mentally unstable at the time he allegedly took Juliani.
"When I think he took my son, he was on meth. I really believe that," said Cardenas, who went on to say that during her four- year relationship with Rodriguez, she saw him take drugs on occasion.
"I've seen him use coke. That was preferred over meth. He told me that meth made him all crazy," she said.
Cardenas said she would never consider Rodriguez a frequent drug user, that he preferred to drink alcohol. After their relationship ended in August, Cardenas said she didn't know what Rodriguez was doing besides going to work at Patterson Frozen Foods.
"I found out a couple of days ago that he lost his job and I believe it was a week before he took my son," she said.