PATTERSON, Calif. -- The mother of a missing Northern California boy whose kidnapping prompted a statewide Amber Alert says she doesn't think the suspected abductor would hurt the child.

Tabitha Cardenas spoke at a candle light vigil on Wednesday, a day after 4-year-old Juliani Cardenas was allegedly kidnapped by his mother's ex-boyfriend.

Authorities say Cardenas was snatched a from his grandmother's arms by 27-year-old Jose Esteban Rodriguez at a home in Patterson.

Stanislaus County sheriff's divers have begun searching a section of the Delta-Mendota canal near Patterson where a witness reported seeing a vehicle go in. The vehicle fits the description of the car used in the kidnapping.

Sheriff's spokesman Royjindar Singh says the search will resume around 10 a.m. Thursday.