Officials with the California Department of Justice notified Stanislaus County Sheriff’s detectives today that DNA samples submitted for testing in order to determine positive identification of four year old kidnapping – murder victim Juliani Cardenas, came back as a positive match to his mother Tabitha Cardenas.
4 year old Juliani Cardenas was abducted by Jose Rodriguez on January 18, 2011 from Patterson, California.
Law enforcement has not located Jose Rodriguez as of February 4, 2011.
Cheek swab samples from Juliani’s mother Tabitha Cardenas were matched against samples taken during the autopsy of Juliani. Tabitha Cardenas was notified by detectives of the positive results.
The use of DNA is a technique that analyzes the unique attributes of a person’s DNA. When properly conducted, DNA testing not only provides exclusionary evidence in criminal cases, but can also provide positive evidence of a person’s identity without bias.
Jose Rodriguez, 27 years old, dated Juliani’s mother, Tabitha Cardenas, but was not Juliani’s biological father.
Rodriguez allegedly physically took young Juliani from his grandmother in Patterson on January 18, 2010 and an Amber Alert was issued.
On January 28, 2011, a silver 2003 Toyota Corolla matching the Amber Alert description was found and recovered from the Delta-Mendota Canal by a private dive team. The car was confirmed to be the same car Rodriguez was reported to have been driving.
Merced County Sheriff Department Deputy Tom MacKenzie reported sad news on Tuesday, February 1, 2011 at around 11am.
“A small child was pulled from the Delta Mendota Canal whose physical and clothing description match that of the missing Amber Alert child from Stanislaus County,” said Merced Deputy MacKenzie. “No positive identification has been made and will not be made until DNA testing is done.”
The body was discovered 31 miles south of Patterson where Juliani was taken, near Santa Nella.