The Toyota Carolla belonging to Jose Rodriguez, 27, was located by divers in the Delta-Mendota Canal near Patterson Friday; however, conditions were too dangerous to pull the vehicle out immediately.
Rodriguez is wanted for allegedly abducting 4-year-old Juliani Cardenas, the son of his estranged girlfriend, from his grandmother's home in Patterson Jan. 18.
KCRA-TV, Sacramento, said a candlelight vigil for the missing child would be held in Carmichael Friday night. Neither Cardenas nor Rodriguez has been seen since Jan. 18 despite a statewide Amber Alert.
Stanislaus County Sheriff Adam Christianson said the water level in the canal was being lowered to ease the current and allow divers to connect a tow cable to the car.
"Between now and then, we will not be in any rush," Christianson told reporters at the scene. "We cannot risk someone's life to get this car out (of the canal)."
The car was located by a remotely operated camera that captured a clear image of the license plate, but could not see inside the vehicle.