Sheriff: Missing 4-year-old's body found in Central Calif canal - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Sheriff: Missing 4-year-old's body found in Central Calif canal

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PATTERSON, Calif. (AP) - The body of a four-year-old boy who was kidnapped last week was found in a Central California canal Tuesday, sheriff's officials said.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Read AP's earlier story below.

PATTERSON, Calif. (AP) — The body of a child was found Tuesday in a Central California canal where a car linked to a nearby kidnapping case was recovered last week.

The child has not yet been identified, but Merced County Sheriff's Deputy Tom MacKenzie said the body matched the description of 4-year-old Juliani Cardenas, who was taken from his Stanislaus County home on Jan. 18, triggering a statewide Amber Alert.

"All I can say, it's a small child that matches the physical and clothing description of the missing Amber Alert child," MacKenzie said, adding that authorities would work on determining the identity.

Search teams have been combing the Delta-Mendota Canal for over a week for signs of Juliani and suspect Jose Rodriguez, an ex-boyfriend of the boy's mother.

Rodriguez's silver Toyota Corolla was pulled from the bottom of the canal on Friday with no signs of him or Juliani inside.

A water department worker at the canal spotted the body near the town of Santa Nella, about 30 miles downstream from the car, and called 911, MacKenzie said.

The Sheriff's Department planned to hold a news conference later in the day.

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