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Tests Confirm Body Found In Canal Is Suspected NorCal Kidnapper

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Juliani Cardenas (left) and Jose Esteban Rodriguez. (CBS)

Juliani Cardenas (left) and Jose Esteban Rodriguez. (CBS)

PATTERSON, Stanislaus County (AP) — Authorities say they have confirmed that a body pulled from a Central California canal belongs to the suspected kidnapper of a 4-year-old boy.

California Department of Justice officials said Tuesday that investigators matched Jose Esteban Rodriguez’s palm print from his arrest record with the left palm of the body found earlier this month.

The 27-year-old’s body was recovered in the Delta-Mendota Canal on Feb. 12, a week after tests confirmed that another body found in the canal belonged to 4-year-old Juliani Cardenas

Rodriguez allegedly snatched Cardenas from his ex-girlfriend’s mother in Patterson in January.

The kidnapping prompted a massive search after a farmworker reported seeing Rodriguez’s car go into the canal with a man and a boy inside.

(© 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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