Unsolved Murders | Missing People Canada

Listing Of Unsolved Murders & Missing People In Canada => USA & Other => Topic started by: capeheart on April 01, 2009, 06:38:38 PM

Title: SANDRA CANTU, | CALIFORNIA - MARCH, 2009 (Body Found 4/6/09)
Post by: capeheart on April 01, 2009, 06:38:38 PM
Sandra went missing this week from a trailerpark in California. She is only eight years old. Investigators have many leads and just tonite have 100 fresh leads. Apparently a 59 year old man was swimming in the pool where she was and on the news tonite, "he kissed her". They are searching cars and have many leads. Sandra was playing with another friend in the trailerpark, when she disappeared. Hopefully the police are redhot on the trail of what happened to Sandra and we get answers real soon. So sad that another young child is missing and nobody knows where she is. Prayers that Sandra will be returned safe and sound.  :'( :'( :'( :'( :'( :'( :'( :'( :'( :'(
Title: Re: SANDRA CANTU, MISSING IN CALIFORNIA - MARCH, 2009
Post by: Silverdog on April 01, 2009, 08:12:42 PM
Oh my lord, I didnt hear that there was a POI. Hope they find that guy fast and that Sandra is returned to her family, safe and sound!
Title: Re: SANDRA CANTU, MISSING IN CALIFORNIA - MARCH, 2009
Post by: lostlinganer on April 01, 2009, 08:33:02 PM
here's the link to a news video - exonerating the family of being involved - also had a pic of possible pedo. suspect who has ties with the family.

http://blinkoncrime.com/2009/03/30/sandra-cantu-missing-ca-girl-family-cleared-sex-offender-added-to-most-wanted-list/
Title: Re: SANDRA CANTU, MISSING IN CALIFORNIA - MARCH, 2009
Post by: Silverdog on April 01, 2009, 08:42:03 PM
Thanks Ling! That interview sounds very positive that they believe she is still alive. Lets hope!
ps..The pedo really looks like a creep.
Title: Re: SANDRA CANTU, MISSING IN CALIFORNIA - MARCH, 2009
Post by: capeheart on April 02, 2009, 10:47:40 AM
Thanks also Ling, for posting the video. I didn't realize that the incident with the older man at the pool occurred about two years ago, however they have questioned him. He should have been taken in then, but nobody reported that incident, which is a little weird. Especially when a 59 year old man kisses a six years old on the lips, she would have been six then. I do not know why this was never reported. Somebody should have held that guy's head underwater until he croaked. Well at least the FBI is in on this, so that is helpful. They seem confident they will find her alive, so they must have pretty good leads. They might even know where she is now and are waiting to move in and get her, hopefully. I did not see the pic that you were talking about. Okay, hopefully we get news soon. ::) ::) ::) 8) 8) 8) 8) 8)
Title: Re: SANDRA CANTU, MISSING IN CALIFORNIA - MARCH, 2009
Post by: lostlinganer on April 02, 2009, 12:13:45 PM
cape; the pic is just below the video....same link page
Title: Re: SANDRA CANTU, MISSING IN CALIFORNIA - MARCH, 2009
Post by: Im_new_here2 on April 03, 2009, 02:19:30 AM
They are said to have 2 people that are P,O,I,s  and the garbage site that they remain at with cadavar dogs has turned up a pink hello kitty kids Tshirt but the mother is saying its the same but not the actuall one she was wearing hopefully the mother really knows it isn't hers and not just saying no because she is in the state she is in and also doesn't wanna loose any hope by wanting to even beleive its the little girls shirt. This case has kind of run right in with the anthony and the cummings cases but this little girl for some reason ,and this is speaking for myself but this case bothers me the most of the three all bother me of course but i think this one really bothers me more because she reminds me alot of little jessica lundsford and just brings up what that sick son of a ##@$# jon couey did with barrying her alive and thinking about how the cops checked him out and she was still alive when he was standing there with the police she was duck taped in the closet..I bet you those officers that went to the door and knowing after that she was actually still in there and they coulda saved her they must have a hard time dealing with any of these cases. having said that im almost hoping this case was a parental abduction with the father living somewhere else ,rather that then some ulternatives..
Title: Re: SANDRA CANTU, MISSING IN CALIFORNIA - MARCH, 2009
Post by: Baba Donya on April 03, 2009, 07:34:10 PM
Her biological father did a lie detector test, today.

Also, just on the news, more police vehicles have come back into the trailer park, looking again in the drain holes/mantles.

Helicopter checking all canals close to the trailer park.

It is like they have a new lead.

All pedofiles, seemed to have been accounted for....

But why did the police not contact the media and get this out sooner???

Time will tell, maybe.  >:(

Praying for you little one, so you come home safely! (((Hugs)))
Title: Re: SANDRA CANTU, MISSING IN CALIFORNIA - MARCH, 2009
Post by: Edsonmom on April 03, 2009, 08:35:10 PM
Warrant Served, 1 Questioned In Disappearance
Sandra Cantu Missing Since Last Friday


Sandra Cantu, seen here in a family photo, disappeared March 27. See more images of Sandra.
 


TRACY, Calif. -- Another person was questioned Friday in the disappearance of 8-year-old Sandra Cantu, who has been missing for a week.

The Tracy girl was last seen March 27 at Orchard Estates Mobile Home Park. So far, police have gotten more than 800 tips and leads on the case, with a massive volunteer effort scheduled for this weekend.

The Coast Guard said it would be running thermal imaging from a C-130 aircraft to assist the FBI in a Friday night search, a representative from McClellan Air Force Base said.

Police said they would hold a media update at 10:30 a.m. Saturday and would release video that was shot outside a mobile home in the park.

A search warrant was executed Friday at the park for a home and a car, police spokesman Lt. Jeremy Watney said. The car was towed, he said.

The man who was questioned Friday came voluntarily to the police station, Watney said. He was driven to the station because he did not have transportation.


 
 

He was not detained.

Officials set up a roadblock to help monitor traffic going in and out of the park.

Investigators towed away a blue Mitsubishi sports car and a white Isuzu sport utility vehicle on Friday, and a witness saw being taken from a mobile home in the park. In addition, a member of the FBI Evidence Response Team Unit was seen putting on a white jumpsuit.

Earlier in the day, a man was seen being led away from unit No. 43 in the park.

On Friday evening, a witness saw a man who looked like the person who was taken in for questioning returning to the park. He walked out of a car and went up to unit No. 43. Someone at the door gave him a hug and he walked inside. The man fit the description of a person wearing a plaid Pendleton shirt and scruffy hair who was being driven by police earlier in the day.

So far, no arrests have been made in the case.

"It's day seven, and we realize that, but also know that it's a lucky number seven also and we still believe in happy endings," Lisa Encarnacion, a representative of Cantu's family, said.



See home videos of Sandra Cantu.
 

A reward for information on Cantu's whereabouts stands at $22,125.

A helicopter from the California Highway Patrol was scouring vast tracts of open land Friday morning for any sign of the girl; Watney said there's no reason to believe the helicopter would find anything, though.

Also Friday morning, police mentioned that Cantu has a birthmark on her right cheek, a characteristic previously left out of her description. She is 4 feet tall, 45 pounds and has brown hair and brown eyes. Cantu was last seen wearing a pink Hello Kitty T-shirt and black leggings.

Get Updates: E-Mail Alerts | RSS Feeds

Volunteers who plan to help canvass and pass out posters should go to the fire station at 7700 Linnie Road this weekend.

"Any and all help is welcome," Watney said.

While her father, Daniel Cantu, is not a suspect in the case, details have emerged about his criminal past.

A search of court records in San Joaquin County Superior Court showed five criminal cases involving Daniel Cantu dating between 2001 and 2005. Charges included possession of a controlled substance; resisting, obstructing or delaying a peace officer; possession of a controlled substance for sale; and possession of a hypodermic needle or syringe.

Records also show the court assigned Cantu to drug court at one point, but he was dropped from the program.

According to the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, Cantu was sentenced to two years in prison for possession of a controlled substance for sale. He served 13 months between September 2005 and October 2006.

Anyone with information on her whereabouts should call the Tracy Police Department at 209-831-4550. For information about the search, call 209-831-6730.

KCRA 3 tried to talk to Cantu about his criminal history, but he became upset and declined to answer questions.

Cantu, who lives in Mexico, was interviewed Thursday by police in Tracy. He said he took a polygraph test. Cantu was also interviewed Wednesday by police.

"We're leaving the door open on everybody," Watney said.

http://www.kcra.com/news/19090452/detail.html
Title: Re: SANDRA CANTU, MISSING IN CALIFORNIA - MARCH, 2009
Post by: Im_new_here2 on April 04, 2009, 01:49:33 AM
Her biological father did a lie detector test, today.

Also, just on the news, more police vehicles have come back into the trailer park, looking again in the drain holes/mantles.

Helicopter checking all canals close to the trailer park.

It is like they have a new lead.

All pedofiles, seemed to have been accounted for....

But why did the police not contact the media and get this out sooner???

Time will tell, maybe.  >:(

Praying for you little one, so you come home safely! (((Hugs)))


I think they need to get more info out in to the public .Take a Unfortunate note in the hailey cumming's case and get the info out keeping it close to the vest has obviousilly back fired in little hailey's case at least so it seems  far at least. For me I really want this Sicko that kissed her on the lips to be Interogated some more I think he holds the key to this .J,M,O
Title: Re: SANDRA CANTU, MISSING IN CALIFORNIA - MARCH, 2009
Post by: Baba Donya on April 04, 2009, 12:33:32 PM
This sicko still teaches children...Tai Kwon Do..or something of that nature.

How could parents be so blind! That would be the day my child would ever stay in a class where the teacher makes advances at little children... Unbelieveable!

 :o
Title: Re: SANDRA CANTU, MISSING IN CALIFORNIA - MARCH, 2009
Post by: Edsonmom on April 04, 2009, 09:18:45 PM
(CNN) -- A surveillance video of 8-year-old Sandra Cantu, missing since March 27, shows the child in the mobile home park where she lives, skipping and happily swinging her arms on the day she disappeared in Tracy, California.

 
A surveillance video shows Sandra Cantu skipping in the mobile home park where she lives.

 1 of 2  The grainy scene appears for about eight seconds before she disappears from view. Police Lt. Jeremy Watney showed the clip Saturday at a news conference, but offered no details.

"I can't get into specifics of where it came from. That's all part of the investigation," he said. "The CD will show you exactly how she looked on that particular day when she went missing."

In the video, the girl emerges from a pathway at the Orchard Estates Mobile Home Park into what appears to be an alley. To her right is the corner of what looks like a wooden deck; there seem to be deep shadows on the left.

Watney said authorities initially thought Sandra was carrying a purse or backpack, but the images turned out to be shadows. He said authorities have "hundreds of hours of videotapes" in the case.


The day the child disappeared, she came home from school, kissed her mother and left to play with a friend who lives a couple of homes away. A short time later, she left that home to go to another friend's home, according to a spokeswoman for her family. She was reported missing about 8 p.m.

Sandra was wearing a pink Hello Kitty T-shirt and black leggings.

Watney said the reward for information leading to her whereabouts has increased to $26,000, and authorities are following more than 800 leads. More than 300 trained searchers from 17 agencies were out on Saturday.

A door-to-door canvass moved outside of the park Saturday afternoon as police continued to collect details from residents in the area.

Watney said police executed search warrants on a home, a vehicle and a person Friday, but nobody has been detained in the case. "It's just looking for clues and evidence" he said of the warrants.

Watney said the reward for information leading to her whereabouts has increased to $26,000, and authorities are following more than 900 leads. Over 300 trained searchers from 17 agencies were out on Saturday.

On Monday night, Tracy police and FBI agents searched six locations, some in the Orchard Estates Mobile Home Park and some in Tracy. All of the places were connected to two men who live in the mobile home park, officials said.

Call with tips:
Police in Tracy, California, are asking anyone with information about Sandra Cantu to call the Tracy Police Department at 209-831-4550 or the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children at 1-800-843-5678.
Authorities have not called the men suspects and have not named them publicly. They did not say how or if they might be related to the case.

Police have said they do not believe Sandra ran away.


The girl's aunt, Angie Chavez, told CNN Headline News' Nancy Grace that Sandra's father lives in Mexico and was not around the day she disappeared.

Tracy is about 60 miles east of San Francisco.


http://www.cnn.com/2009/CRIME/04/04/california.missing.girl.videotape/index.html?iref=topnews
Title: 78 registered sex offenders call Tracy home
Post by: Edsonmom on April 04, 2009, 10:23:19 PM
This is so scary

Police scrutinize viewers of child porn     
Written by Jennifer Wadsworth     
Thursday, 02 April 2009 
 

Computer-savvy cops in Tracy have identified about 60 people who view or exchange child pornography, and police say they get extra attention as investigators search for the missing Sandra Cantu, 8.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------



Tracy police say they have their eye on people in Tracy they have found exchanging child pornography over the Internet. Glenn Moore/Tracy PressThe state says 78 registered sex offenders call Tracy home.

And Tracy police have their eye on as many as 60 people in the city who they have found to exchange child pornography over the Internet, police said.

How many of one group are counted among the other is unclear. But investigators said their histories landed the two sets under the microscope in light of an 8-year-old Tracy girl’s disappearance last week.

Though police have yet to name any suspects in the case of Jacobson Elementary School second-grader Sandra Cantu’s disappearance, Tracy police spokesman Lt. Jeremy Watney said today that peoples’ criminal backgrounds are, of course, seriously considered and in some cases merit extra scrutiny.

In the case of a documented sex offender, that normally means they’re subjected to several more interviews and searches than would the average person, police said today.

One of the first things detectives said they did after the family reported 8-year-old Sandra missing Friday night was to question all the city’s sex offenders registered under Megan’s Law. Investigators went back this week to re-interview several of the registrants. Cops said it’s routine.

Police on Wednesday searched several homes on blocks where some of Tracy’s convicted rapists and child molesters live, including a few near the mobile home park where Sandra went missing nearly a week ago now.

Investigators searched at least 18 properties on Wednesday and several more during a probation sweep the day before.

Police searched a home early that evening on the 1100 block of West Larch Road, a neighborhood separated from the missing girl’s home by an empty field and Interstate 205. At least two registered sex offenders live on that block, including a convicted rapist and a child molester.

An hour later, cops searched Green Oaks Mobile Home Park — a neighborhood in eastern Tracy off of North MacArthur Drive. Two registered sex offenders live in Green Oaks — both of them convicted of molesting children younger than 14.

The day before, police conducted a probation sweep, which included homes along West Larch Road, across the street from the Larch Clover Community Center, where Sandra used to play with neighborhood kids, residents said.

Folks who live in the neighborhoods subject to the searches said they didn’t mind the double-checking. One sex offender, who lives off of West Larch Road very close to where Sandra lives, said he understands the need to keep a close eye on known molesters like himself. Especially, he said, considering the frustrating circumstances of searching days on end for a missing girl, without strong enough leads to find her.

Police also this week searched two places in Oakdale — a house in the middle of town and a mobile home in a neighborhood where a known sex offender lives.

Relatives of others subject to some of this week’s searches said they’re happy to cooperate with authorities if only to prove their family’s innocence.

“We all want to help, so when the police come knocking, we let them right in,” said Bonita Perez, whose nephew’s downtown Tracy home was searched on Tuesday. “We have our problems, our histories, and we have our differences, but we’re talking about a little girl who’s just gone. She’s away from her family and we’ve got to get her back.”
Police said that for all the interviews, searches and 600-plus tips, they still have no clear idea of where to find the missing girl.

Volunteers and a few crime scene technicians found a pink Hello Kitty T-shirt — similar to the one Sandra wore the last time her family saw her — in a dump outside of town today. Sandra’s mom Maria Chavez said it wasn’t her daughter’s shirt, but police said they’ll still run some tests on it to make sure.

San Joaquin County Sheriff’s deputies searched Old River north of town this morning and ended their search three hours earlier than expected for some reason police declined to share.

Donations from as far as the East Coast and huge sums of money from locals have helped bump up the reward for information leading to Sandra’s whereabouts to $22,165, including a $5,000 donation of campaign cash from Leroy Ornellas, a dairy farmer and Tracy’s representative on the San Joaquin County Board of Supervisors.

• The public is encouraged to share tips with the Tracy Crime Stoppers at 831-6847.

• Contact Tracy Press reporter Jennifer Wadsworth at 830-4225 or
 
http://tracypress.com/content/view/17700/2328/
Title: Re: SANDRA CANTU, MISSING IN CALIFORNIA - MARCH, 2009
Post by: Silverdog on April 05, 2009, 04:39:35 PM
I'm glad they are going test that Hello Kitty T shirt, despite Mom saying it's not hers. That scares me! I hope they find Sandra quickly, as more and more days pass I am losing hope that she will be found safe.
Title: Re: SANDRA CANTU, MISSING IN CALIFORNIA - MARCH, 2009
Post by: capeheart on April 05, 2009, 06:30:48 PM
When a child the age of Sandra is missing this long, it doesn't sound good. I hope they know the area that she was last seen and search every mobile home from top to bottom. They also should have bloodhounds on the scene, which are extremely good in finding people. If these dogs were brought out in the initial part of the investigation, they may have found her right away. They are adept in getting the scent of the child and going right to the spot where they are. I sure hope they are doing everything possible. It is okay to have police, but people can move a child her age so quickly and especially at night. The fact that her shirt was found is also very scary and not very good news, if it is her shirt. Hoping for the best outcome for Sandra and her family. ::) ::) ::) ::) ::) ::) :'( :'( :'( :'( :'( :'(
Title: Re: SANDRA CANTU, MISSING IN CALIFORNIA - MARCH, 2009
Post by: Edsonmom on April 06, 2009, 01:38:48 PM
   Police End Major Ground Search for Sandra Cantu
Created by Brian Shields on 4/6/2009 9:38:22 AM

  TRACY, Calif. (AP) - Tracy police are calling an end to large-scale ground operations as the search for missing eight-year-old Sandra Cantu continues.

      After about 300 volunteers and law enforcement officers fanned out across an area of open fields Saturday, a police spokesman says investigators are now focusing on leads that have been coming in since Sandra disappeared.

      Police have received more than 1,000 tips since the little girl was last seen on March 27.

      Over the weekend, police released video surveillance footage showing her skipping along a neighborhood street the same day she disappeared on March 27.

      The reward money for information leading to Sandra's whereabouts is now close to $30,000.
     
      (Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)
http://www.kron.com/News/ArticleView/tabid/298/smid/1126/ArticleID/947/reftab/36/t/Police-End-Major-Ground-Search-for-Sandra-Cantu/Default.aspx
Title: Sealed Container Probed In Cantu's Disappearance
Post by: Edsonmom on April 06, 2009, 01:43:17 PM
Sealed Container Probed In Cantu's Disappearance
Tracy Girl Disappeared March 27
POSTED: 11:38 am PDT April 6, 2009
UPDATED: 12:36 pm PDT April 6, 2009



Sandra Cantu, seen here in a family photo, disappeared March 27. See more images of Sandra.
 


SAN JOAQUIN COUNTY, Calif. -- A sealed container was found Monday in a San Joaquin County irrigation ditch, and investigators haven't ruled out the possibility that it could be related to the disappearance of Sandra Cantu.

Video: Details About Container Discovery

San Joaquin Sheriff's Department spokesman Les Garcia said the container is considered a suspicious item.

Cantu, 8, disappeared March 27 from a Tracy mobile home park.


A farming operation found the container Monday morning while draining an irrigation ditch by Bacchetti Road.

Tracy police spokesman Sgt. Tony Sheneman said he doesn't know how big the container is, but he noted it's unusual for a container to show up in an irrigation ditch.

Police will hold a 3:30 p.m. media update about the case.

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Volunteers went out on their own this weekend after authorities shut the doors at a fire station that had become the headquarters for the search for the girl.

Police said the community has already been saturated with fliers featuring Cantu's photo.

Home security video of Cantu released Saturday was taken shortly before she disappeared. But police said the footage, which shows the girl skipping inside the mobile home park, hasn't generated many tips.

Cantu is 4 feet tall, weighs 45 pounds, has a birthmark on her right cheek, and has brown hair and brown eyes. The Jacobson Elementary student was last seen wearing a pink Hello Kitty T-shirt and black leggings.



Investigators went to a north Tracy irrigation ditch, where a farm operation found a suspicious container.
 

Several search warrants have been issued in the case, and several people were questioned in the past week. So far, no arrests have been made.

A man who was questioned Friday came voluntarily to the police station, Lt. Jeremy Watney said. He was driven to the station because he did not have transportation.

On Friday evening, a witness saw a man who looked like the person who was taken in for police questioning returning to the park. He walked out of a car and went up to unit No. 43. Someone at the door gave him a hug and he walked inside. The man fit the description of a person wearing a plaid Pendleton shirt and scruffy hair who was being driven by police earlier in the day.

While the girl's father, Daniel Cantu, is not a suspect in the case, details have emerged about his criminal past.

A search of court records in San Joaquin County Superior Court showed five criminal cases involving Daniel Cantu dating between 2001 and 2005. Charges included possession of a controlled substance; resisting, obstructing or delaying a peace officer; possession of a controlled substance for sale; and possession of a hypodermic needle or syringe.

Records also show the court assigned Cantu to drug court at one point, but he was dropped from the program.

According to the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, Cantu was sentenced to two years in prison for possession of a controlled substance for sale. He served 13 months between September 2005 and October 2006.

Anyone with information should call the Tracy Police Department at 209-831-4550.

KCRA 3 tried to talk to Cantu about his criminal history, but he became upset and declined to answer questions.

Cantu, who lives in Mexico, was interviewed Thursday by police in Tracy. He said he took a polygraph test. Cantu was also interviewed Wednesday by police.

"We're leaving the door open on everybody," Watney said last week.

Stay tuned to KCRA 3 and refresh KCRA.com for the latest on this story.
Copyright 2009 by KCRA.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
 
http://www.kcra.com/news/19107764/detail.html
Title: Re: SANDRA CANTU, MISSING IN CALIFORNIA - MARCH, 2009
Post by: Edsonmom on April 06, 2009, 04:40:55 PM
Video on this keeps comming up, lets us watch for awhile, then shuts down..

LIVE VIDEO: Evidence search in Tracy
An FBI evidence team is examining a suspicious container discovered in a drainage pond in the case of Sandra Cantu.



http://abclocal.go.com/kgo/livenow?id=6747565
Title: Re: SANDRA CANTU, MISSING IN CALIFORNIA - MARCH, 2009
Post by: capeheart on April 06, 2009, 05:45:27 PM
I still believe that Sandra is in that trailer park. I do believe that if they did get bloodhounds on the last known place she was that they may get a hit and follow what happened to her. I am just wondering how far away from a main road she was at the time she disappeared. It is likely she was held captive in one of the trailer homes on the grounds. A lot of time is going by with no answers to where she is. This is not very good either in relation to her disappearance. These children that are missing is a very scary situation. Time is of the essence here in finding Sandra and her mother must be in a panic right now. I hope that news comes soon and that she will be back home safe and sound. Maybe they can get the help of a psychic to hone in on any information on where Sandra may be. ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ???
Title: Re: SANDRA CANTU, MISSING IN CALIFORNIA - MARCH, 2009
Post by: Edsonmom on April 06, 2009, 05:56:18 PM
I hate to say it Cape, but with all the coverage this container is getting, I would say this is not looking good.. The medical examiner is also there, so that means, there is a body involved. FBI were called in for it, evidence is being tagged in the area..roads are blocked off, and it is only 2 miles from where Sandra went missing.. I am keeping a close eye on this story tonight, I will let you know what happens.. In the media report released at 3:30 they said that the container will be moved to the coroners office tonight, and opened tonight..
Title: Re: SANDRA CANTU, MISSING IN CALIFORNIA - MARCH, 2009
Post by: capeheart on April 06, 2009, 06:04:42 PM
Edsonmom, thanks for this update on Sandra. I have not seen any news today, I had company and wasn't getting any updates on CNN. I will turn NG on for a period of time or 17 and see what comes up. I was not aware of this container until I started reading the posts tonite. Like you say, it doesn't sound good that they are making so much of this container. Such bad news for sure. ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ???
Title: Re: SANDRA CANTU, MISSING IN CALIFORNIA - MARCH, 2009
Post by: lostlinganer on April 06, 2009, 07:10:26 PM
you can watch this unfolding live at this link.......
http://www.kron.com/News/WatchKRON4NewsLiveOnline/tabid/354/Default.aspx
Title: Re: SANDRA CANTU, MISSING IN CALIFORNIA - MARCH, 2009
Post by: Edsonmom on April 06, 2009, 07:21:55 PM
You are very welcome cape.. I have such a bad feeling about this..

Latest live video feeds have shown that Sandra's dad is at the scene. He was told not to talk to reporters.. Container was first thought to be a suitcase with a red ribbon tied around it, but now looks like some kind of large bag.. 4 people had to lift it. FBI used a special device to see what was inside, but have not disclosed any information. Last video showed "container in cornors van leaving the scene, 2 cops in fron, & 2 behind..This scene was searched last week, and nothing was found..
It took 7 hours from the time, this container was reported, for them to release it from the scene. detectives are still there collecting evedence.. This does not look good at all..
Title: Re: SANDRA CANTU, MISSING IN CALIFORNIA - MARCH, 2009
Post by: Edsonmom on April 06, 2009, 07:24:09 PM
Thanks Lost.. there is also live feed at this one as well.. as I have stated though, it does cut in and out, to what we are allowed to see.

http://abclocal.go.com/kgo/livenow?id=6747565
Title: Re: SANDRA CANTU, MISSING IN CALIFORNIA - MARCH, 2009
Post by: Silverdog on April 06, 2009, 07:31:16 PM
I didnt hear about this today until just now when I logged on here. I have a sick, sick, sick feeling in my stomach...she's in that container.
I feel shakey, almost like I want to cry because I didnt think this situation would turn out like this, but....yesterday, I felt really like all my hope was lost, she's gone....
Prayers for this family!!!
Title: Re: SANDRA CANTU, MISSING IN CALIFORNIA - MARCH, 2009
Post by: lostlinganer on April 06, 2009, 07:39:18 PM
Edson; that link is just at a stand still for me..... I'm in Nova Scotia....but this link keeps streaming news except for during the commercials.....
you can watch this unfolding live at this link.......
http://www.kron.com/News/WatchKRON4NewsLiveOnline/tabid/354/Default.aspx
Title: Re: SANDRA CANTU, MISSING IN CALIFORNIA - MARCH, 2009
Post by: Edsonmom on April 06, 2009, 07:44:57 PM
If this is true.. This would not be good for the police.. very freaky if it is true..

Oakland Man Says Police Didn't Follow Cantu Lead

Apr 6, 2009 5:39 am US/Pacific

 Get the latest in the cast at http://CBS13.com/SandraCantuTRACY (CBS13) ― 
Click to enlarge
 Eight-year-year old Sandra Cantu
CBS

An Oakland man wants answers from Tracy Police. He claims he gave them a tip about Sandra Cantu's whereabouts and they didn't follow up.

Johnny Williams says he called a tip into police Friday, but never got a response. He said he saw a man in a boat with a girl where the police had been searching. He says the man in the boat's behavior was erratic and suspicious.

"Everyone is hoping they may find this little girl," said Williams. "Someone out there may have the right tip and the police are not following up on it and that's bad."

Police say not every tip they receive will be answered, but they do classify all tips as high, medium or low priority. High priority tips are answered immediately.

http://cbs13.com/crime/tip.boat.sandra.2.977073.html
Title: Re: SANDRA CANTU, MISSING IN CALIFORNIA - MARCH, 2009
Post by: lostlinganer on April 06, 2009, 07:57:50 PM
Edson; If this is the lost child's body, I hope this Oakland man takes this all the way...every media he can get his hands on.   I wish he would drop in here so we could encourage him.  Seems like half the time, the cops protect the other side!
Title: Re: SANDRA CANTU, MISSING IN CALIFORNIA - MARCH, 2009
Post by: Edsonmom on April 06, 2009, 08:11:10 PM
I agree 100 % Lost.. I pray that it is not Sandra.. but watch the first video, of them moving the bag to the coroner's van, as they get closer, you can almost tell there is a body in there, and they also have a gurney there..

http://cbs13.com/breakingnews/tracy.pond.tony.2.977550.html
Title: UPDATE: Announcement expected @ 8:00 PM
Post by: Edsonmom on April 06, 2009, 08:40:14 PM
UPDATE: Announcement expected @ 8:00 PM
it is now 8:39 Alberta time, that would make the announcement in less than half an hour from now..
Title: Re: SANDRA CANTU, MISSING IN CALIFORNIA - MARCH, 2009
Post by: Edsonmom on April 06, 2009, 09:07:37 PM
Live feed for News conference now moved to 8:15

http://www.kcra.com/video/9292412/index.html
Title: Source says missing Tracy girl's body found in container just north of town
Post by: Edsonmom on April 06, 2009, 09:24:14 PM
NOT CONFIRMED BY CONFERENCE YET conference time moved again to 8:45

Source says missing Tracy girl's body found in container just north of town
By Mike Martinez, Staff Writer, and Aaron Swartz, Correspondent
San Joaquin Herald
Posted: 04/06/2009 01:56:27 PM PDT
Updated: 04/06/2009 08:18:56 PM PDT

Police, FBI searching for missing 8-year-old in TracyTRACY — Sources are saying that police will announce later tonight that the body of a missing Tracy girl was found inside a black container discovered in a farm pond just 2 miles away from where the child was last seen 10 days ago.

A large black container was found floating in a pond being drained at 10 a.m. this morning near Bacchetti Road northeast of town. After police and FBI agents spent the day at the site looking for evidence, a coroner's van arrived at about 3 p.m. The container was taken to the San Joaquin County coroner's office around 6 p.m. to be opened.

Sandra Cantu, 8, was last seen in a surveillance video that captured her skipping near her home in the Orchard Estates Mobile Home Park on West Clover Road on March 27 after school.

The area where the container was found had been searched twice previously, said Tracy Police Sgt. Tony Sheneman at a Monday afternoon press conference. It's believed that the container was not in the pond when it was last drained, about two weeks ago. When workers noticed it, they thought it was suspicious and called the San Joaquin County Sheriff's Department and pulled it over to the side of an embankment.

The national and local media frenzy and intense search and investigation has left the community surrounding Sandra's Jacobson Elementary school traumatized, said school officials and parents, who say their children haven't been sleeping.

"The situation is very tragic. I haven't been able to take my eyes off my kids," said Sandra Espinoza, a stay-at-home mom of two who was spending Monday afternoon at Lincoln Park.

But even the discovery of a body won't bring full closure, said local mother Patricia Herrera. She says it just means that a crime has occurred and she now has to be more afraid for her children.


http://www.contracostatimes.com/top-stories/ci_12083949?nclick_check=1
Title: Re: SANDRA CANTU, MISSING IN CALIFORNIA - MARCH, 2009
Post by: Silverdog on April 06, 2009, 09:27:32 PM
If there was no body in the container, we wouldnt be waiting. They would say "there was nothing there"

I htink they are now "fine tuning" exactly what they want to say to the public. Obviously they wont want to give up too much info...
Title: Police Sources: Sandra Cantu's Body Recovered From Luggage
Post by: Edsonmom on April 06, 2009, 09:38:50 PM
Second report in the news.. still no official confirmation.. but it is looking like it is her.. :'( :'( :'(

Police Sources: Sandra Cantu's Body Recovered From Luggage
 

April 6, 2009


TRACY - Sources within local law enforcement tell FOX40 News the body of 8-year-old Sandra Cantu was recovered from inside a piece of luggage pulled from a drained irrigation ditch north of Tracy.

Cantu had been missing since Friday, March 27th, when she disappeared while returning home from a friend's house at the Orchard Estates Mobile Home Park.

Authorities have not made any arrests in the case, although their investigation has focused on several persons of interest.

http://www.fox40.com/pages/landing_local_headlines/?Police-Sources-Sandra-Cantus-Body-Recove=1&blockID=260015&feedID=190
Title: Re: SANDRA CANTU, MISSING IN CALIFORNIA - MARCH, 2009
Post by: Silverdog on April 06, 2009, 09:53:14 PM
Thanks Edsonmom...

Prayers are going out to the Cantu family...how horrible for the family
Title: Re: SANDRA CANTU, MISSING IN CALIFORNIA - BODY FOUND
Post by: Edsonmom on April 06, 2009, 09:55:56 PM
Just confirmed it is her.. :'( :'( :'(

RIP SANDRA

My thoughts and prayers are with her family tonight.
Title: Re: SANDRA CANTU, MISSING IN CALIFORNIA - MARCH, 2009
Post by: Silverdog on April 06, 2009, 09:58:14 PM
Aww, poor little thing. how very tragic. It is a mixed blessing that she has been found, but I wish it hadnt been like this.

Rest in peace, Sandra....
Title: Re: SANDRA CANTU, MISSING IN CALIFORNIA - MARCH, 2009
Post by: solvy on April 06, 2009, 09:59:26 PM
Prayers for her family.  Such a sad ending for a care free child
Title: Re: SANDRA CANTU, MISSING IN CALIFORNIA - BODY FOUND
Post by: Edsonmom on April 06, 2009, 10:04:13 PM
for those who are not watching the live feed on this.. Sandra has been dead for almost 2 weeks, so that means she was killed shortly after she went missing.. autopsy will be conducted in the morning. I am typing as they are talking, so I am telling you this as I hear it..they identified her by the clothing she was wearing..she was found in a suitcase. they said they searched that area twice, but did not check the ponds, as they were drained 2 weeks ago.. they found lots of foot prints and tire tracks at the farm where she was found..they will update this case, at 3:30 tomorrow afternoon.. and they advise the parents of Tracy to watch their children..
Title: Re: SANDRA CANTU, MISSING IN CALIFORNIA - Body Found
Post by: Edsonmom on April 06, 2009, 10:16:48 PM
I am now wondering about the red ribbon that was tied around the suitcase.. I can not for the life of me, see a stranger doing this.. I am now thinking, that this was someone who loved her.. ???
Poor baby girl..
Title: Re: SANDRA CANTU, MISSING IN CALIFORNIA - MARCH, 2009
Post by: Silverdog on April 06, 2009, 10:19:35 PM
Its so sad to see the video of her skipping, just looking so happy and innocent... then she turns serious, then walks out of view of the camera...with her shadow following behind...and is never seen alive again. I hope they find the evil excuse for a human being responsible for this ...and FAST. I bet whoever put her in the pond wasnt counting on them finding it quite so fast. Thankfully, months have not passed, hopefully the police got some good evidence from that scene, from the suitcase, and from Sandra herself....
Title: Re: SANDRA CANTU, MISSING IN CALIFORNIA - Body Found
Post by: Silverdog on April 06, 2009, 10:23:02 PM
I am now wondering about the red ribbon that was tied around the suitcase.. I can not for the life of me, see a stranger doing this.. I am now thinking, that this was someone who loved her.. ???
Poor baby girl..


For sure, that is almost similar to the "heart shaped sticker" ?? I think you are right, someone close to her, certainly someone known to her.....
Title: Re: SANDRA CANTU, MISSING IN CALIFORNIA - BODY FOUND
Post by: Edsonmom on April 06, 2009, 10:46:44 PM
Its so sad to see the video of her skipping, just looking so happy and innocent... then she turns serious, then walks out of view of the camera...with her shadow following behind...and is never seen alive again.

I noticed that in the video as well.. I wonder what happened that she got serious all of the sudden. it is almost like someone startled her. I will be watching this case very close..

That is right Silver.. I forgot about the "heart shaped sticker". was there not a red ribbon involved with that case as well?? the sticker was on the ribbon?

The person who gave the police the tip about the man in the boat with a child. I wonder how much he really saw. and if it was at this pond where he saw them..I wonder if this is going to make the police reconsider what they class as high, medium or low priority..

An Oakland man wants answers from Tracy Police. He claims he gave them a tip about Sandra Cantu's whereabouts and they didn't follow up.

Johnny Williams says he called a tip into police Friday, but never got a response. He said he saw a man in a boat with a girl where the police had been searching. He says the man in the boat's behavior was erratic and suspicious.

"Everyone is hoping they may find this little girl," said Williams. "Someone out there may have the right tip and the police are not following up on it and that's bad."

Police say not every tip they receive will be answered, but they do classify all tips as high, medium or low priority. High priority tips are answered immediately.
Title: Re: SANDRA CANTU, | CALIFORNIA - MARCH, 2009 (Body Found 4/6/09)
Post by: Chris on April 06, 2009, 11:46:52 PM
This is so sad. I hope the punk who did this gets caught soon. What kind of a monster would do such a thing? These cowards are everywhere!

Time to use the mental health act to round these pedophiles up. An expert says there is cause to do this.

RIP sweet girl.
Title: Re: SANDRA CANTU, | CALIFORNIA - MARCH, 2009 (Body Found 4/6/09)
Post by: Edsonmom on April 07, 2009, 12:20:24 AM
Thats just it Chris, we do not know if this was a pedophile or not.. In the news conference, they stated, that they identified her, by the clothes she was last seen wearing.. so we do not know, if she was dressed when they found her, or if the clothes were in the suitcase with her. There was also a red ribbon around the suitcase, thus leading me to think, that this was someone who cared for this child. My understanding is that most ped's just dump their naked victims bodies in ditches, exposed to nature. Someone took the time, to put her in a suit case..if it was a stranger, do you not think that a plastic bag, would sufice
but some reporters are saying, that her body was mutilated, if this was the case, then her body was most likely found naked inside that suitcase.. I just don't know.. I guess we will just have to see what they release in the press statement tomorrow..

Okay I guess I got the answer I was looking for.. she was dressed when they found her.. so how many pedophiles would have re-dressed her??
here is another question.. If it was a ped who did re-dress her. would the water have washed away any evidence, that a rape kit, could have picked up on??

Quote
NorCal missing girl's body foundMonday, April 06, 2009  TRACY, Calif. -- Authorities found the remains of a missing 8-year-old Northern California girl on Monday in a suitcase a few miles from where she was last seen.
The suitcase containing Sandra Cantu's body was recovered from an irrigation pond Monday, Tracy Police Chief Janet Thiessen said at an evening news conference.
Thiessen said the girl was wearing the same clothes she was wearing when last seen on March 27: a pink "Hello Kitty" T-shirt and black leggings.
Authorities planned an autopsy on the body to determine the cause of death.
Title: Re: SANDRA CANTU, | CALIFORNIA - MARCH, 2009 (Body Found 4/6/09)
Post by: Emylee on April 07, 2009, 12:51:48 AM
I have been following this site for a few days now, and finally registered on the site.

I think its terrible what has happened to her, and may her soul rest in peace.
She is in a better place, but under terrible circumstances.
I hope they find her killer, and I send my condolences[Sp?] to her family.
Title: Re: SANDRA CANTU, | CALIFORNIA - MARCH, 2009 (Body Found 4/6/09)
Post by: Silverdog on April 07, 2009, 01:53:11 AM
I think it was a sexual predator that got her. I dont know why, maybe because Marc Klaas was on the news talking about her and HE said it was a sexual predator that had her...I think he has seen this scenario enough...

I had not heard anything about the body being mutilated, dear lord I hope that is not the case. I hope they can still get prints off the zipper of the suitcase, too. Some people are just so sick!! Sandra's family must be just absolutely devastated, especially after the police telling everyone they were so convinced things were looking good in the investigation, and they hoped to find her alive.

Ya, its weird, you can see a distinct moment in that videotape where she stops skipping and the expression on her goes totally serious, like she spotted someone who was standing just out of range of the camera's view. Its actually very eerie when you watch it. Too bad the cam wasnt facing the other way!
Title: Re: SANDRA CANTU, | CALIFORNIA - MARCH, 2009 (Body Found 4/6/09)
Post by: Chris on April 07, 2009, 08:29:26 AM
Hi Emylee, glad you are here. It is so sad how many chldren are being murdered right now. Not just in the USA but even Canada. It is heartbreaking!
Title: Re: SANDRA CANTU, | CALIFORNIA - MARCH, 2009 (Body Found 4/6/09)
Post by: Chris on April 07, 2009, 08:31:35 AM
Thats just it Chris, we do not know if this was a pedophile or not.. In the news conference, they stated, that they identified her, by the clothes she was last seen wearing.. so we do not know, if she was dressed when they found her, or if the clothes were in the suitcase with her. There was also a red ribbon around the suitcase, thus leading me to think, that this was someone who cared for this child. My understanding is that most ped's just dump their naked victims bodies in ditches, exposed to nature. Someone took the time, to put her in a suit case..if it was a stranger, do you not think that a plastic bag, would sufice
but some reporters are saying, that her body was mutilated, if this was the case, then her body was most likely found naked inside that suitcase.. I just don't know.. I guess we will just have to see what they release in the press statement tomorrow..

Okay I guess I got the answer I was looking for.. she was dressed when they found her.. so how many pedophiles would have re-dressed her??
here is another question.. If it was a ped who did re-dress her. would the water have washed away any evidence, that a rape kit, could have picked up on??

Quote
NorCal missing girl's body foundMonday, April 06, 2009  TRACY, Calif. -- Authorities found the remains of a missing 8-year-old Northern California girl on Monday in a suitcase a few miles from where she was last seen.
The suitcase containing Sandra Cantu's body was recovered from an irrigation pond Monday, Tracy Police Chief Janet Thiessen said at an evening news conference.
Thiessen said the girl was wearing the same clothes she was wearing when last seen on March 27: a pink "Hello Kitty" T-shirt and black leggings.
Authorities planned an autopsy on the body to determine the cause of death.


Great observation.

You are right about how pedophiles would treat these children like garbage once they are done. But I get a feeling this pedophile might actually have felt he was 'In Love' or maybe a relative. It has happened.

But you are right, the bow makes it weird. I'm sure the police will spare no expense geting a conviction in this case.
Title: Re: SANDRA CANTU, | CALIFORNIA - MARCH, 2009 (Body Found 4/6/09)
Post by: capeheart on April 07, 2009, 10:35:49 AM
So sad to learn that Sandra's body was found. I have not heard one word of that on our news down here in C.B. I had N. Grace on last night and she said there was a container found, but did not have any news on anything else. I am shocked to hear this news, because I have had news on all morning and have not had anything on Sandra's case. I just turned CNN on now to see if I get any news on there. I feel that someone living very close to her murdered her. I felt that in the beginning that she was in one of the trailer homes that were close to her. Someone was watching that little girl and waited for their chance to take her. God bless her mom and dad and her friends. This cries for the death penalty and I hope they catch the killer very quickly. She is in God's care now and no more harm can come to her. Rest in peace, Sandra.  :'( :'( :'( :'( :'( :'( :'( :'( :'( :'(
Title: Re: SANDRA CANTU, | CALIFORNIA - MARCH, 2009 (Body Found 4/6/09)
Post by: capeheart on April 07, 2009, 10:51:59 AM
Yes, I just heard it on CNN and they indicated the pond was drained and that is when they found the suitcase with her body in it. It definitely should not be hard to find who did this murder, if they do their investigating methodical. Silverdog...., you mentioned that she changed her manner of happiness and like swept her hair back, she definitely did see something. She could have saw a couple of men or a couple of people that scared her. I definitely noticed what you mentioned. She may have been nervous of someone in that neighbourhood and never really confided it to anybody and that was the person she saw. They could have tried to abduct her previously and she didn't tell anyone. I hope there is a quick arrest in this case, really quick. 8) 8) 8) 8) 8) 8) 8) 8)
Title: Re: SANDRA CANTU, | CALIFORNIA - MARCH, 2009 (Body Found 4/6/09)
Post by: waabzy on April 07, 2009, 12:38:23 PM
Missing girl's body found in suitcase

By JULIANA BARBASSA, THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
http://www.torontosun.com/news/world/2009/04/07/9038541.html
Last Updated: 7th April 2009, 9:07am

   

TRACY, Calif. — The body of a missing eight-year-old girl has been found in a suitcase dumped in an irrigation pond a few kilometres from her northern California home.

Sandra Cantu was found Monday after a 10-day search, authorities announced.

Authorities would not comment on their investigation, but they roped off the mobile home park where Sandra lived. They had previously searched several homes and towed several cars from the park.

No suspects had been identified.

“Our heartfelt sympathies go to Sandra’s family and friends,” said Tracy Police Chief Janet Thiessen. “We will determine the person or persons responsible for this reprehensible act, and we will bring them to justice.”

Authorities planned an autopsy to determine the cause of death.

Thiessen said Sandra was found wearing the same clothes she had on when she was last seen on March 27: a pink “Hello Kitty“ T-shirt and black leggings.

Sandra’s disappearance sparked a widespread search that included hundreds of volunteers and law enforcement officials, including the FBI, and drew more than 1,000 tips.

Pictures of the girl with dark brown eyes and light brown hair were posted all over town, on business fronts, car windows and fire hydrants in this city of 78,000 about 95 kilometres east of San Francisco.

Investigators said they spoke last week to the girl’s father, Daniel Cantu, who lives in Mexico and works in southern California. Authorities would not give any details of the discussion, but the father told the Tracy Press newspaper he had not seen his daughter for a year.

Police said the suitcase was found by farmworkers who were draining the irrigation pond to water fields.

Investigators cordoned off the area for hours while they searched the area for clues. The suitcase was eventually opened at the coroner’s office, where Sandra’s body was positively identified.

More than 100 mourners — some holding candles, others wiping away tears — gathered outside the mobile home park Monday night while police blocked the entrance.

“I am still in shock,” said Brandy Robles, 27, who held her two-year-old son. “You see this in the movies. I never thought it would be real life — real to me.”

   
Title: Pastor is POI, shed @ church to be searched...
Post by: Edsonmom on April 07, 2009, 01:16:33 PM
OMG The pastor of this church is a family friend or relative.. They are interested in the shed by the church.. Has not been seached yet, but will be searched today.. once again, the shed is the main focuse.. they want to preserve as much evidence as they can, so the church is being gaurded..


Search Warrants Target Church Near Mobile Home Park Where Sandra Cantu Lived
Created by Brian Shields on 4/7/2009 9:58:57 AM
TRACY (KRON) -- Investigators searching for the killer of eight-year old Sandra Cantu are serving search warrants Tuesday morning at a church just an eighth of a mile away from the mobile home park where the girl lived.

Police strung crime scene tape around the Clover Road Baptist Church as investigators prepared to scour the property.  They're not saying right now how the church may be connected with the investigation.

The search warrants are being served just hours after police confirmed a body found in a suitcase at an irrigation pond about two miles from the church and mobile home park contained the child's remains.

Tracy Police Chief Janet Thiessen says Sandra was identified by the same clothes she was last seen in on March 27 – a pink “Hello Kitty” t-shirt and black leggings.

"Our heartfelt sympathies go to Sandra's family and friends," said Thiessen. "We will determine the person or persons responsible for this reprehensible act, and we will bring them to justice."

According to Sergeant Tony Sheneman, workers at a local dairy farm were preparing an irrigation pond for drainage on North Tracy Boulevard around 10 a.m. when they noticed the suitcase that floated to the surface. Workers knew of the search for Sandra and immediately called the San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Department, who then contacted Tracy police. Police and the FBI arrived around 10:30 a.m.

The large piece of rolling luggage was removed from the water around 5:40 p.m. and transported to the San Joaquin County morgue.

Sheneman says they spent hours in the area where the luggage was found, “We found lots of footprints and lots of tire tracks. I can’t say they will lead us anywhere.”
“This is an unimaginable loss for any parent,” Sheneman said.

Tracy police say they will release more information at a press conference Tuesday at 3:30 p.m.

Watch the KRON 4 news and stay with KRON4.com for more on this developing story.
http://www.kron.com/News/ArticleView/tabid/298/smid/1126/ArticleID/961/reftab/36/t/Search-Warrants-Target-Church-Near-Mobile-Home-Park-Where-Sandra-Cantu-Lived/Default.aspx
Title: Re: SANDRA CANTU, | CALIFORNIA - MARCH, 2009 (Body Found 4/6/09)
Post by: Silverdog on April 07, 2009, 02:15:28 PM
Thanks Edsonmom...this is such a weird twist. You know, I hope they find whatever evidence they need to make an arrest before the case grows cold. It would be horrible to think a family friend could do this, ESPECIALLY a pastor!!!! I cant even imagine what these parents are going through....if  a friend is responsible, that is just going to be the icing on the cake. It seems to be a sad statistic though, that when this happens to children, it is most often someone who is know to the family.
Title: Re: SANDRA CANTU, | CALIFORNIA - MARCH, 2009 (Body Found 4/6/09)
Post by: Edsonmom on April 07, 2009, 02:36:04 PM
You are very welcome silver.. There is a news conference set for 3:30.. half a hour from now.. to update the public.. there is also an hour long news special on this case tonight @ 9:00

I know in one of the first news reports about this case, the family said, that Sandra came home from her friends, and wanted to go to the movies with her sisters, but they did not have enough money, so the sisters decided to go to church, but Sandra was told, that she was not allowed to go with them.. I wonder if the sisters knew something about the Pastor, and protected Sandra, by not letting her go with them..That is when she was supposed to go to the second friends place to play..

Latest update.

TRACY (KRON) -- Tracy police say the search for Sandra Cantu's killer is moving forward on several fronts.

An autopsy on the eight-year old girl's remains was underway late Tuesday morning.  Detectives are awaiting the results to find out exactly how the child died.  Her remains were found inside a suitcase in an irrigation pond about two miles from the mobile home park where she lived.

Authorities say they are following several leads.  Investigators served a search warrant Monday night on a home in the park.   By Tuesday morning authorities had cordoned off the nearby Clover Road Baptist Church.  Investigators confirm they have talked with the church's pastor as well as everyone else who lives at the mobile home park.  Police won't say whose home was searched but witnesses have told reporters they only saw investigators at the pastor's home.  Officials insist no suspects have been ruled in or out and no one is in custody in connection with the child's murder.

"We've been receiving a lot of calls and messages from the public wanting to send cash donations as well as cards of condolence and flowers," Tracy police Sgt. Tony Sheneman said during a Tuesday morning news conference. We're asking that all mail be sent to the Tracy Police department.  We have a liason working with the family.  As far as cash donations, if anyone is still interested in doing that, if they would please contact the Sund-Carrington Foundation in MOdesto.  They will be coordinating that portion of the outpouring of support for the family."

KRON 4 will broadcast a planned 3:30 p.m. Tuesday news conference updating the case.  We will also have a one-hour special celebrating the life of Sandra Cantu and focused on the investigation into her killing tonight at 9:00 p.m.

(Copyright 2009, KRON 4, All rights reserved.)
http://www.kron4.com/News/ArticleView/tabid/298/smid/1126/ArticleID/961/reftab/36/t/Search-Warrants-Target-Church-Near-Mobile-Home-Park-Where-Sandra-Cantu-Lived/Default.aspx
Title: Re: SANDRA CANTU, | CALIFORNIA - MARCH, 2009 (Body Found 4/6/09)
Post by: Edsonmom on April 07, 2009, 03:11:13 PM
Press conference from this morning..all videos from yesterday are also here..

http://www.kcra.com/video/19118454/index.html
Title: Re: SANDRA CANTU, | CALIFORNIA - MARCH, 2009 (Body Found 4/6/09)
Post by: Edsonmom on April 07, 2009, 03:45:54 PM
UPDATE..
The pastors last name is Lawless. His home is the one that was issued the search warrent last night, after it was confirmed that Sandra's body was found.. Some reporters are saying it is the pastor himself they are looking at, while others say it is his grandson..They have searched the pastors home and interviewed him, he says he is co-operating and that LE seized computers,phones and other items from the home. His granddaughter played with Sandra on a regular basis. Paster Lawless is 77, I am not sure how old the grandson is..
Title: Re: SANDRA CANTU, | CALIFORNIA - MARCH, 2009 (Body Found 4/6/09)
Post by: Emylee on April 07, 2009, 03:48:17 PM
Thank you Chris, for welcoming me.

I hope whoever did this is found, and gets the punishment he deserves.
Title: Re: SANDRA CANTU, | CALIFORNIA - MARCH, 2009 (Body Found 4/6/09)
Post by: Edsonmom on April 07, 2009, 04:00:51 PM
I apologize Emylee.. I ment to welcome you earlier, but got so caught up, in this new development..
Welcome to the site..
I feel that they will make an arrest very soon in this case..
Title: Re: SANDRA CANTU, | CALIFORNIA - MARCH, 2009 (Body Found 4/6/09)
Post by: Emylee on April 07, 2009, 04:07:39 PM
It's alright, don't worry about it.
Thank you as well Edsonmom.
Title: Re: SANDRA CANTU, | CALIFORNIA - MARCH, 2009 (Body Found 4/6/09)
Post by: Edsonmom on April 07, 2009, 04:32:43 PM
Afternoon press conference about to start.. Live feed

http://www.news10.net/news/liveonline/
Title: Re: SANDRA CANTU, | CALIFORNIA - MARCH, 2009 (Body Found 4/6/09)
Post by: Silverdog on April 07, 2009, 04:41:23 PM
Well, that was very enlightening. Pretty much no more info than yesterday. Except that he said "killers". Hmmm...grandson and friends perhaps? Because he made sure to suggest that it wasnt the Pastor.
Title: Re: SANDRA CANTU, | CALIFORNIA - MARCH, 2009 (Body Found 4/6/09)
Post by: Edsonmom on April 07, 2009, 04:59:52 PM
Okay. this is the just of the press conference.. They said that the pastor has not been arrested, there has been rumors that he was..,  they still have not searched the church or shed.. They said that the person/s who put Sandra's body in the pond, had to know that area well, to know to go there, as he himself have lived there for over 12 years, and did not know about that area. search warrants are now being sealed by the court. so no more information will be given about them..The detective was nailed by reporters, as he stated the "killers" now they are wondering, if there was more than one person involved.. Detective covers his ass by saying, " I can not disclose how many suspects we have". He also stated that they have not ruled anyone out yet.. Autopsy on Sandra was done this AM, but can not confirm the COD. waiting for tox screen & tissue sample results.. could take a few weeks. Detective was very blunt, and stated that they could not disclose any more information, as they do not want to jeopardize the case. Also stated that he did not know that the pastor had a son.. (might just be saying that, not to leak to much info)..detective also said, there was nothing in the suitcase or on her that linked them to the church. ( so why are they suddenly issuing search warrents to the pastors home, and church shed? why is the church guarded so no one compromises evidence??)
My opinion.. is that they are very close to an arrest..
Title: Re: SANDRA CANTU, | CALIFORNIA - MARCH, 2009 (Body Found 4/6/09)
Post by: Edsonmom on April 07, 2009, 05:31:57 PM
Pastor Confirms Police Questioned Him, Searched Home in Sandra Cantu Investigation
Created by Brian Shields on 4/7/2009 6:15:10 PM

TRACY (KRON) – Police are stressing that the pastor of a Tracy church has not been arrested and is not the prime suspect in the murder of eight-year-old Sandra Cantu.

At a Tuesday afternoon press conference, Sergeant Tony Sheneman said a search warrant will be served to the Clover Road Baptist Church later in the day and that every person they speak to is a person of interest. He also notes that no suitcase was reported missing and Pastor Lane Lawless is not linked to the luggage.

KRON 4's Kate Thompson spoke with Pastor Lawless and his wife, Connie, as they drove by the church Tuesday afternoon, “No, no, we’ve been in the park for 13 years and we’ve known her and her sister since before they were born. So they’re like children to us, they’re like our children,” said Connie.

Pastor Lawless says he's cooperating with the investigation.  He told Kate police seized computers, phones, and other items from the family's trailer located in the same mobile home park where the Cantu family lives. The pastor says his great-granddaughter played with Sandra on a regular basis. Police cordoned off the church for a more thorough search of the premises Tuesday morning.

An autopsy on the eight-year old girl's remains was underway late Tuesday morning.  Detectives are awaiting the results to find out exactly how the child died.  Her remains were found inside a suitcase in an irrigation pond about two miles from the mobile home park where she lived. Officials insist no suspects have been ruled in or out and no one is in custody in connection with the child's murder.

"We've been receiving a lot of calls and messages from the public wanting to send cash donations as well as cards of condolence and flowers," said Sergeant Sheneman during a Tuesday morning news conference. We're asking that all mail be sent to the Tracy Police department.  We have a liaison working with the family.  As far as cash donations, if anyone is still interested in doing that, if they would please contact the Sund-Carrington Foundation in Modesto.  They will be coordinating that portion of the outpouring of support for the family."

KRON 4 will have a one-hour special celebrating the life of Sandra Cantu and focused on the investigation into her killing tonight at 9:00 p.m.
http://www.kron.com/News/ArticleView/tabid/298/smid/1126/ArticleID/961/reftab/36/t/Pastor-Confirms-Police-Questioned-Him-Searched-Home-in-Sandra-Cantu-Investigation/Default.aspx
Title: Re: SANDRA CANTU, | CALIFORNIA - MARCH, 2009 (Body Found 4/6/09)
Post by: Emylee on April 07, 2009, 05:35:44 PM
I personally think that the grandson&friends did it, and told the pastor, and the pastor possibly could have helped dispose of the body.
Mind you, this is my personal opinion.
Title: Re: SANDRA CANTU, | CALIFORNIA - MARCH, 2009 (Body Found 4/6/09)
Post by: Edsonmom on April 07, 2009, 08:20:36 PM
 Apr 7, 2009 6:15 pm US/Pacific
FBI Digging In Church For Cantu Investigation
Expert Analyzes Sandra Cantu Case And Criticizes Police Response
 Complete Coverage On The Sandra Cantu Case
 Share Your Thoughts On The NewsTRACY, Calif. (CBS13) ― 
Click to enlarge
 FBI agents were seen digging underneath the Clover Baptist Church in Tracy as part of the Sandra Cantu investigation.
CBS

Federal agents served a warrant on a Tracy church and police questioned neighbors as part of the investigation into the murder of Sandra Cantu, the 8-year-old girl who was stuffed into a suitcase and dumped into an irrigation pond.

The Clover Road Baptist Church was cordoned off Tuesday afternoon as agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation combed over the property, hauling out items and digging underneath the church, according to CBS13 correspondent David Begnaud. The FBI has not commented on what they are searching for.

The church's pastor, Lane Lawless, became a focus of the investigation the day after Sandra Cantu's remains were found. Authorities searched his home late Monday night before they announced Sandra's death and questioned him and his wife for hours.

Officers searched the Lawless' home again Tuesday morning.

Police point out that, contrary to some media reports, that Lawless has not been arrested, only questioned, "like hundreds of people," said Sgt. Sheneman. Officials stressed that they are not focusing on any one person in the investigation, but say the case is shaping up to head in a particular direction.

That direction, Sheneman said, is confidential. "To comment on that would compromise the investigation and I cannot do that," he said.

"They took the usual stuff, phone, computer, things of that nature," said Connie Lawless, the pastor's wife. "We were very open to them taking anything they wanted to take. We were not at all disturbed by that. We feel that the more people they can eliminate the quicker they will be able to get to the truth of the matter."

Connie said she suspected that police were interested in her husband's church because Sandra often played at their house with the Lawless' granddaughter.

"It breaks our heart that someone would take such a sweet child," she said.

Officials say they suspect the culprit is a local resident, given that the area that Sandra's remains were found in. She was stuffed into a suitcase and dumped into an irrigation pond, in a rural area about two miles from where she lived.

"I've lived here for almost 12 years, I've worked here for nine years," Sheneman said. "The location where Sandra's body was found I'm completely unfamiliar with. Someone would have to be familiar with the area to know to go there to place that suitcase."

A local defense attorney and DNA expert that has worked on several famous cases -- including the Unabomber, O.J. Simpson and the Phil Spector murder trial -- says that critical details of the case will point police to Sandra's murderer.

"The fact that she was still clothed in the clothes she had [the day she disappeared] suggests to me that whatever happened probably happened very quickly," said Bob Blaiser.

Surveillance video showed Sandra Cantu skipping away from her mobile home park the day she disappeared, and Blaiser says that was opportunity the killer was waiting for.

"It may have been what attracted the person who kidnapped her, the fact that she was also alone," Blaiser said.

The fact that Sandra was found so close to her home suggests that the murder was a crime of passion, he added.

Blaiser criticized the Tracy Police Department's handling of the case, saying that they took too long to bring in scent dogs to track down the missing eight-year-old girl, a move he said could have "absolutely" saved her life.

"It's very sloppy police work," Blaiser said. "They can't think of everything, but that's sort of the very obvious thing that you expect them to think about."

Scent dogs did search the park and around Sandra's home the day after she went missing, and Blaiser says her scent was most likely gone by that point.

(© MMIX, CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved.)
http://cbs13.com/local/sandra.cantu.church.2.979203.html
Title: Re: SANDRA CANTU, | CALIFORNIA - MARCH, 2009 (Body Found 4/6/09)
Post by: Silverdog on April 07, 2009, 08:44:35 PM
OK, here I go..thinking out loud again... I think the killer wa someone related to the Pastor, but not the actual Pastor. Grandson maybe, and I agree with Emylee, with friends...I think they gained access to the church and were fooling around with Sandra....I am imagining these are probably teenage boys...things went to far and when they realized they were going to be up the creek when Sandra told someone what happened, they decided to kill her. I think they may have stashed her in the shed till they could get the suitcase to stuff her in. One of the kids is probably related to someone on that farm, either that or worked there....to know about the pond. I doubt its someone who lives on the farm, because you'd have to be mental to put a body on your own property, knowing that the ditch gets drained every so often! Thats my theory...
Also, something made them think to run, not walk, to that church to check it out, so I believe that one of the perpetrators told someone something and a crimestoppers tip or something resulted from it. THAT could have even been the Pastor, which would explain why he was interviewed at length, but not arrested.

I feel confident that we will hear of an arrest within days.
Title: Re: SANDRA CANTU, | CALIFORNIA - MARCH, 2009 (Body Found 4/6/09)
Post by: Edsonmom on April 07, 2009, 08:55:24 PM
Explain this then silver.. If you watch the first video, on my last post, the reporter says, "They are digging under the church" Why would they be doing that?? There is something big going on there.. they also said, that the pastor was told, he could not be there, "they gave him a SW so that gives them the right to take what they need form the church & the home".. This was also a federal SW not local..
Title: Re: SANDRA CANTU, | CALIFORNIA - MARCH, 2009 (Body Found 4/6/09)
Post by: Silverdog on April 07, 2009, 09:15:16 PM
Yep, I saw that about searching under the church. I don't know what that's all about, if they discovered some kind of crawlspace large enough for this crime to be committed, or to stash her body temporarily. I guess I just dont want to believe it could be worse than just stupid "kids"....It was upsetting when the media asked him (Pastor) if he was involved and he just drove away.
Even if my theory is far out and totally wrong...I STILL feel like an arrest will be made VERY VERY soon
Title: Re: SANDRA CANTU, | CALIFORNIA - MARCH, 2009 (Body Found 4/6/09)
Post by: Edsonmom on April 07, 2009, 09:25:36 PM
I agree, I feel an arrest is soon on this one as well.. Weird how they pulled out the vent to search under the church..what made them go there..they said it was a hole, basement or tunnel under the church, if it was a basement, would there not be a inside entrance?

I came across this tonight.. I am just wondering, if this is a relative to the pastor? read the offences...Once again, I am not saying this is a relative, I am just making an observation that is coincidental.. the man in the link, would be the same age as the pastors grandson..Here is something else interesting.. I googled to see how far it was from Tracy CA to SUNNYVALE CA which is this sex offenders last known address, and get this.. it is a 58 minute drive... HMMM.. Google map link below

http://www.meganslaw.ca.gov/cgi/prosoma.dll?searchby=offender&id=18607341L7603

http://maps.live.com/?q=how+long+would+it+take+to+drive+from++sunnyvale+ca+to+tracy+ca&mkt=en-CA&FORM=BYRE#JnJ0cD1wb3MucThweWhmNHdmMG5wX1RyYWN5JTJjK0NBX19fZV8lN2Vwb3MucTZ2cjd5NHR4M3h4X1N1bm55dmFsZSUyYytDQV9fX2VfJnJ0b3A9MCU3ZTA=
Title: Re: SANDRA CANTU, | CALIFORNIA - MARCH, 2009 (Body Found 4/6/09)
Post by: Edsonmom on April 07, 2009, 11:36:49 PM
CBS13 cameras rolled as an agent from the FBI's Evidence Response Team crawled into an underground space and emerged with what appeared to be a pair of work gloves. The FBI has not commented on what they are searching for.


I am sorry to you all for taking over this thread.. I have a daughter close to Sandra's age, so this hits home for me.. :'( I have had a few emotional days, so please forgive me, for bombarding this with updated..I am sticking to this story as close as I can. Once again, I apologize..
Title: Re: SANDRA CANTU, | CALIFORNIA - MARCH, 2009 (Body Found 4/6/09)
Post by: Edsonmom on April 08, 2009, 12:14:03 AM
watch the video on the right called FBI Digging Under Church For Sandra Cantu Evidence..

http://cbs13.com/local/sandra.cantu.church.2.979203.html

I also just got another thought..Everyone is wondering, why the pastor is all the sudden a key player in this..I think, that there was either some sort of paper in the suitcase, in a different pocket, that the person who killed Sandra, may have forgot to check, that is leading back to the Pastor.. or my second thought, is the guy who contacted the media yesterday, about the suspicious guy on the boat, with a child, in the area they found Sandra.. I wonder if the cops called him in, and, had him meet with a sketch artist, and the out come came out to be Sandra & The pastor in the boat ???..Just my opinion though
Title: interesting info coming to light about the pastor.. reminds me of Kleman
Post by: Edsonmom on April 08, 2009, 02:15:50 AM
AWW the picture on this link, just brings tears to my eyes :'( :'(

Town mourns its lost child as police look for clues
by Jennifer Wadsworth / TP staff3 hrs 54 mins ago
Alyssa Tristan signs a poster in memory of Sandra Cantu at one of the memorials for the slain girl outside the Orchard Estates Mobile Home Park Tuesday afternoon.

Police on Tuesday searched a church and talked to neighbors of a Tracy girl whose body was found crammed inside a suitcase and dropped into a pond a couple of miles northeast of where she lived.

FBI agents and Tracy police detective Keith Hooks marked as evidence a paper towel that was left by the fence of Clover Road Baptist Church, where police served one of a few search warrants Tuesday, including one in the mobile home park where 8-year-old Sandra Cantu lived and from where she went missing March 27.

As of late Tuesday, no arrests had been made and no suspects named. An autopsy is under way to determine how Sandra died, but Tracy police spokesman Sgt. Tony Sheneman said he can’t say when the coroner’s office will release a preliminary report, let alone when they’ll say for certain how the Jacobsen Elementary School second-grader died.

Police have said very little about how close they are to finding a killer, though they’ve interviewed hundreds of people and plan to search several more homes “during the course of the investigation,” Sheneman said.

Investigators on Tuesday evening took a few items from the Clover Road church and looked inside the crawl spaces and a water heater shed out front.

The pastor of the church, 77-year-old Clifford Lane Lawless, told reporters that police questioned him and his wife, Connie, for three hours Monday night because Sandra used to go over a lot to play with their great-grandchild.

Lawless and his wife told reporters that they had nothing to do with Sandra’s disappearance.

"We're very open to them taking whatever they want today," Connie Lawless said. "We feel the more people they can eliminate, the quicker they will be able to get to the truth.”

The church sits near a dead-end country road just yards away from where Sandra lived.

Sheneman refused to name any suspects or “persons of interest” and shot down rumors that Lawless was a suspect.

"He has been interviewed, as have hundreds of people … We have no specific person that we are looking at this time."

Lawless, a pastor of the church since 1981, has no criminal history and no civil lawsuits against him in San Joaquin County, court records show. The only property he owns in San Joaquin County is his mobile home.

But the Clover Road Baptist Church seems as physically isolated from the rest of the city, one of the last buildings on a dead-end street, as it seems culturally set apart from other churches in town.

Several Tracy pastors said they don’t know that much about Lawless; he doesn’t join the 15 or 20 other pastors in town for Thursday prayer breakfasts.

Tim Heinrich of the Crossroads Baptist Church said Lawless declines to network with fellow pastors in town. Other pastors said the church has few events and focuses on church history because it disagrees with some of the tenets of others churches.

No one in the neighborhood surrounding Orchard Estates said they attend the Baptist church — surrounded now by yellow crime-scene tape. About a dozen neighbors said they don’t know anyone who does and that it has a tiny congregation.

Folks from a Jehovah’s Witness church across the street from Clover Road Baptist said they've never talked to anyone from the congregation. Pastors, members and elders of a handful of other churches in northern Tracy said the same thing.

The pastor’s name is the fourth to have come up in the missing person-turned murder investigation. Police served a search warrant on 60-year old martial arts teacher Frank Wohler, who lived behind Sandra’s home and said he kissed her on the lips two years ago just to be nice.

Christian Sinclair, 49 — who’s depicted in court records as abusive and alcoholic — was arrested last week for obstructing the investigation. Police searched his home, too.

Sinclair’s friend, David Slayter, 44, was then taken to the police station for questioning last week as the FBI and Stockton and Tracy police searched his home and took out several items.

The courts sealed 10 search warrants served up until Tuesday and will likely seal those ordered Tuesday and the several others Sheneman said will be served during the course of the investigation.

Dairy farm workers found Sandra's body Monday morning when they drained an irrigation pond to water nearby fields. Police said she wore the same pink “Hello Kitty” T-shirt and black tights she had on when she was last seen alive.

Investigators said whoever left her body in the pond must have been familiar with the rural outskirts north of Tracy.

“Someone would have to be familiar with that area to know to go there to place that suitcase,” Sheneman said Tuesday, adding that he knows of no link between Lawless and the black suitcase.

The little girl’s disappearance sparked a massive search that included 18 agencies and several hundred volunteers. It drew more than 1,000 tips and $26,000 in reward money.

Photos of the lively blonde-haired, brown-eyed girl plastered cars, utility poles and buildings across Tracy — a town of 82,000 — and in the Bay Area and southern Central Valley. Schoolmates said she was a popular student.

The tragic close to a 10-day search wielded a devastating blow for a town that has seen news that some of its residents are accusing of kidnapping and torture, that a teacher and softball coach allegedly downloaded child pornography and that a plastic surgeon is accused of molesting upward of 30 patients.

"This community has been tested severely," said City Manager Leon Churchill Jr. "There's a cultural ethic here. You're expected to be a good neighbor. This is a kinder, gentler place.

Longtime Tracy residents remember a small-town atmosphere that has given way to some big-city problems in the past decade, as the town began absorbing sprawl from the San Francisco Bay area.

"We have more people here and that's loosened serenity of this town," said Joe Atuna, 62, who's lived here for 25 years. "Tracy is getting bigger and scarier."

On Tuesday, Atuna and other mourners stopped by a makeshift memorial outside the complex where Sandra lived, shedding some tears and leaving a huge pile of stuffed animals, cards and other trinkets for a girl they say could have been one of their own.

Members of a local church youth group sang “Amazing Grace” and other hymns Tuesday, holding hands and swaying by the memorial, crowded by dozens of mourners during the day and hundreds at nightfall. Twin sisters Lilly and Layla James — both Sandra’s age — burst into tears after placing bouquets among the other gifts.

Sabrina Cason, 31, took her 5-year-old daughter, Alyssa, to drop off some purple lilies and said she had a hard time explaining what happened to Sandra to her three children.

"This has shaken our little town up," Cason said, "for her to be so close to home and this to happen. I think we all had a lot of hope that she would come home safely."

• Associated Press contributed to this report
http://tracypress.com/pages/full_story?page_label=home&id=2261962-Town+mourns+its+lost+child+as+police+look+for+clues&article-Town%20mourns%20its%20lost%20child%20as%20police%20look%20for%20clues%20=&widget=push&instance=home_news_lead_story&open=&
Title: Re: SANDRA CANTU, | CALIFORNIA - MARCH, 2009 (Body Found 4/6/09)
Post by: Edsonmom on April 08, 2009, 02:39:18 AM
watch the first video.. about 2.21 in, one of the reporters says that they over heard the FBI under the church say "I FOUND IT" If true, this means they knew what they were searching for, when they went there.. Looking more and more like pastor may be involved.. if not him, someone in his family..

http://www.fox40.com/pages/search_for_sandra
Title: Re: SANDRA CANTU, | CALIFORNIA - MARCH, 2009 (Body Found 4/6/09)
Post by: Silverdog on April 08, 2009, 01:05:06 PM
I am sorry to you all for taking over this thread.. I have a daughter close to Sandra's age, so this hits home for me.. :'( I have had a few emotional days, so please forgive me, for bombarding this with updated..I am sticking to this story as close as I can. Once again, I apologize..

Edsonmom, don't apologize for this!!! I totally appreciate that while I couldnt be at home today earlier, now I can check the thread and find all these great updates from you!! I totally understand how this hits home for you, having a child near Sandra's age. I feel the same and my girls are older! I am watching the videos you posted right now...
waiting for the I FOUND IT part. Wonder what "it" is?? You are right, they were specifically under there searching for something. Which leads me to beleive a tip came in from somewhere telling them to go dig at the air conditioner...
Title: Re: SANDRA CANTU, | CALIFORNIA - MARCH, 2009 (Body Found 4/6/09)
Post by: Silverdog on April 08, 2009, 01:14:34 PM
....Wow, Edsonmom...good job on the Robert Lawless research!!! Could be total coincidence, but I would certainly be checking into it if I were law enforcement, due to the nature of his criminal record. Also at the bottom in red it says he may have relocated, so he could be even closer...
He'd be like...26 or so now?
Title: Re: SANDRA CANTU, | CALIFORNIA - MARCH, 2009 (Body Found 4/6/09)
Post by: Edsonmom on April 08, 2009, 01:30:13 PM
First video is the 11:00 am news conference to update the case today.. they really are not giving up to much information. the thing I find, is that yesterday, as well as today, he has stated "killers" and "People involved" quickly corrects himself to person involved..he is once again questioned about that..says they are focusing on no specific person at this time, they are looking at a lot of people. says they have not found a murder scene as of yet. they feel they are under a great deal of pressure to solve this, but do not want to rush to judgement, they want to do this right, to bring the persons to justice. still feels the investigation is moving in the right direction. It was under the courts advice, that the SW be sealed.
Detective has spoke to the man who made the media statement, about cops not listening to his lead. explained why they classed his lead as low priority.  States again to keep a good eye on your children, have them walk in groups. know where they are.. says that the majority of the officers involved with the opening of the suitcase has children.. on a personal level, it was very disturbing for them. on a professional level it has done nothing but motivate people to work harder, but comes a time, when those two blurr, so it is being monitored very closley. Will not comment if the suitcases in question were connected to the pastors home, church, or part of a rumage sale through the church.

http://cbs13.com/video?id=51537@kovr.dayport.com
Title: Re: SANDRA CANTU, | CALIFORNIA - MARCH, 2009 (Body Found 4/6/09)
Post by: Edsonmom on April 08, 2009, 01:38:32 PM
I am sorry to you all for taking over this thread.. I have a daughter close to Sandra's age, so this hits home for me.. :'( I have had a few emotional days, so please forgive me, for bombarding this with updated..I am sticking to this story as close as I can. Once again, I apologize..

Edsonmom, don't apologize for this!!! I totally appreciate that while I couldnt be at home today earlier, now I can check the thread and find all these great updates from you!! I totally understand how this hits home for you, having a child near Sandra's age. I feel the same and my girls are older! I am watching the videos you posted right now...
waiting for the I FOUND IT part. Wonder what "it" is?? You are right, they were specifically under there searching for something. Which leads me to beleive a tip came in from somewhere telling them to go dig at the air conditioner...

Thanks Silver.. That means a great deal.. I know that with all the updates, it makes for a lot of reading, but knowing that it is helping to keep things updated for thoses who can not be around, is worth it.. I know Canadian news is not covering this much, so I do what I can to find the information..  Thanks as well for the Robert Lawless comment.. you are right, could be nothing, but then again, could be something..yes he would be around 26.. That is what I thought as well, with his offences being listed as "ATTEMPTED LEWD OR LASCIVIOUS ACTS WITH CHILD UNDER 14 YEARS" just makes you wonder..
Title: Re: SANDRA CANTU, | CALIFORNIA - MARCH, 2009 (Body Found 4/6/09)
Post by: Edsonmom on April 08, 2009, 03:00:42 PM
This is a full update of the case.. I am not posting the whole report, as it is long, but am including the link, for those who wish to read it..
I am posting some points of interest..

--Tracy Chief of police also states, they are looking at "Persons of interest"

Quote
When asked about possible suspects, Tracy Police Chief Janet Thiessen said, "We have persons of interest  that we are focusing on and we continue to gather information in this case … We are making headway with it."

--Church member, states that suitcase Sandra was found in, was reported missing from the church, the day Sandra went missing.

Quote
Meanwhile, church member Fred Williams said he believes his church and its pastor, Lane Lawless, are being wrongfully targeted.

"There's not one member there that would have anything to do with anything like that kind of situation," Williams said. "More people should come to church and hang out with him because they would find out what a fun loving kind of guy that he is," Williams said.

Williams said that the mysterious black suitcase Cantu was found in was reported stolen by another congregation member the same day Cantu disappeared.

"That suitcase was to go to the church for a rummage sale with some stuff in it and the person put it somewhere, either in the back of a car somewhere. But anyway, when she came back out the suitcase was gone," Williams said.[/quote]

--this statement that Pastors wife, says, hits me funny.. it was never stated that Sandra was abused.

Quote
Lawless' wife, Connie, added that Cantu visited their home often to play with their great granddaughter.

"It breaks our hearts that anyone would take such a tiny little thing and abuse her and murder her," she added.

--Why would bamboo blinds be confiscated??

Quote
Bamboo blinds were pulled from one of the mobile homes in the park.

-- Once again.. the word is plural form.

Quote
"We're still looking for the perpetrators of this crime," police Sgt. Tony Sheneman said during a late-morning news conference.

http://www.kcra.com/news/19121818/detail.html#
Title: Re: SANDRA CANTU, | CALIFORNIA - MARCH, 2009 (Body Found 4/6/09)
Post by: Edsonmom on April 08, 2009, 06:53:20 PM
Sandra's Aunt & Uncle speak out.. :'(

http://cbs13.com/video/?id=51721@cbslocal.dayport.com
Title: Re: SANDRA CANTU, | CALIFORNIA - MARCH, 2009 (Body Found 4/6/09)
Post by: Edsonmom on April 08, 2009, 08:04:36 PM
No Murder Weapon Found in Death of California Girl, 8, Suitcase Still a Mystery
Wednesday, April 08, 2009 

Detectives trying to unravel a murder mystery that left a little girl dead in a suitcase at the bottom of a pond said they haven't yet found the weapon used to kill the 8-year-old and can't say for sure where the luggage came from.

Tracy Police Sgt. Tony Sheneman told reporters Wednesday that investigators haven't recovered the instrument used to murder Sandra Cantu, but said her death is being classified as a homicide.

Sheneman also wouldn't confirm reports that the suitcase her body was found stuffed inside was stolen from the Clover Road Baptist Church, which the FBI searched Tuesday night.

Click here for photos.

"I've heard speculation that the suitcase was stolen from the mobile home park (where Sandra lived). I've heard speculation that the suitcase was stolen by the church ... I've heard speculation that it was part of a rummage sale the church was having," Sheneman said. "We did not have a report of stolen luggage."

There were no plans for further searches on Wednesday, he told the news conference. The autopsy that began Tuesday is still under way.

"We’re waiting to hear from the coroner’s office, as I said yesterday. They are working diligently to uncover as much as they can," the sergeant said. "When they complete the investigation, they’ll let us know."

Investigators still refuse to call anyone a suspect in the case.

"We are focusing on no specific person at this time," Sheneman said.

Tracy police will hold their usual evening press conference at 6:30 p.m. EDT (3:30 p.m. PDT).

Earlier Wednesday, the FBI dusted an SUV for fingerprints a day after they searched a church and questioned its pastor for clues to Sandra's suspicious death.

Sandra's body was found in the suitcase, described as "a large rolling piece of luggage" by Sheneman. It had been dumped in a pond near her mobile home in Tracy, Calif., more than a week after she vanished.

She was last seen walking away from her family's trailer park on March 27.


Investigators searched the Clover Road Baptist Church in Tracy well into the night on Tuesday, but wouldn't say what led them to the church or what, if anything, they found there.

They also interviewed Pastor Lane Lawless for three hours, though police insisted he wasn't considered a suspect.

"I just spent a night down at the police station, answering all their questions," Lawless said, according to FOX San Francisco affiliate KTVU.

A night earlier, the TV station reported seeing the pastor's wife, Connie Lawless, being taken away in a patrol car for questioning.

The Lawless family lived in the same trailer park where Sandra resided with her family.

Lane Lawless told KTVU that the second-grader often visited his home and played with their great granddaughter.

Detectives searched the Lawless home Monday night after Sandra's body was identified, and their computers and phones were seized, according to his wife.

"We're very open to them taking anything they wanted," Connie Lawless told KTVU. "We are not at all disturbed by that. We feel that the more people they can eliminate, the quicker they'll get to the truth."

Connie Lawless said they had nothing to do with the girl's abduction.

"She was the sweetest little thing. It breaks it our hearts to think that anyone would take such a tiny little thing and abuse her and murder her," she said.

Investigators won't comment on whether they've been able to link the suitcase Sandra's body was discovered in to any of the locations they've served search warrants on.

"The coroner is taking his time in this painstaking process," Sheneman said Tuesday. "We're not going to ask for him to hurry so as not to damage the integrity of this investigation."

The luggage containing Sandra's body was discovered Monday by farmworkers draining the pond about two miles from where she lived.

The child was wearing the same clothes she wore when she vanished: a pink "Hello Kitty" T-shirt and black leggings.

Investigators believe that the person who dumped the body in the pond must have known the rural area, just north of the city.

"Someone would have to be familiar with that area to know to go there to place that suitcase," Sheneman told reporters Tuesday.

Authorities also wouldn't say who owns the SUV they were searching. KTVU shot exclusive video of the forensic team and crime scene experts combing through the Kia. A Cadillac in a nearby garage was also being examined, the station said.

Photos of the outgoing girl with dark brown eyes and golden hair were posted all over town, on business fronts, car windows and fire hydrants in the city of about 78,000 people.

Sandra's disappearance sparked a massive search effort around Tracy, about 60 miles east of San Francisco, that included hundreds of volunteers and law enforcement officials, including the FBI, and more than 1,000 tips.
http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,513244,00.html
Title: Re: SANDRA CANTU, | CALIFORNIA - MARCH, 2009 (Body Found 4/6/09)
Post by: Silverdog on April 08, 2009, 08:21:16 PM
Wow...suitcase reported stolen...what a stroke of LUCK for someone looking for a place to stuff a body. I can't believe this! I wonder if it was reported BEFORE she went missing? Or right after? No wonder they are not looking ANYWHERE but right in their own backyard (community) for evidence. I'm still dying to know what they "found" under the church. I think they have something fairly solid and we arent hearing anything yet because they want to make the arrest before jeoparding the investigation. If someone knew what they were looking for, they could move it. Bamboo blinds taken...that is really odd. Possibly small ligature marks from window blind rope?? Or fragments of bamboo? I just dont know what to make of most of this. I would be extremely surprised if an arrest is not made within the next 24-48 hours.

Thanks again Edsonmom, for all your research, and sharing your findings here. I for one truly appreciate it, and I am sure others do as well! I wouldnt even begin to know where to look for the stuff you are finding, without you telling me the links! I have really seen nothing on this case on Canadian news, only small fragments on Nancy Grace and by the time I see it on there, I already know about what they are saying.
Title: Re: SANDRA CANTU, | CALIFORNIA - MARCH, 2009 (Body Found 4/6/09)
Post by: Silverdog on April 08, 2009, 08:28:44 PM
Ok so now the suitcase thing is unconfirmed. Yep, the police arent about to show their cards in any way. But I feel confident they know more than what is being said. Well, I certainly hope they do and that they are about to close in on someone.
Title: Re: SANDRA CANTU, | CALIFORNIA - MARCH, 2009 (Body Found 4/6/09)
Post by: lostlinganer on April 08, 2009, 08:31:41 PM
Am I correct in thinking someone was seen around that dug out entrance/crawlspace?  It would look strange for someone skulking around that part of a church area.... and I can't help but wonder if the child's DNA will be on those gloves!
Guess we'll find out pretty quick!
Title: Re: SANDRA CANTU, | CALIFORNIA - MARCH, 2009 (Body Found 4/6/09)
Post by: Silverdog on April 08, 2009, 08:58:36 PM
Yes, I also heard a paper towel was taken from the crawlspace. Maybe that was the FOUND IT. Because gloves would be "FOUND THEM". I hope and pray there is some DNA there!
Title: Re: SANDRA CANTU, | CALIFORNIA - MARCH, 2009 (Body Found 4/6/09)
Post by: Edsonmom on April 08, 2009, 10:12:48 PM
In the news conference this evening.. the detective stated, that they are still unsure if this was an abduction.. so I take it this means, that they feel Sandra went to the place she was killed willingly, and that she knew this person..I have this sick feeling in my stomach, that this may have been part of the child sex ring in Tracy, that the Police have discovered, I am feeling, that she was to be the next child to be used in the video's. I pray I am wrong about that.

I have another thought in re-guards to the "I found it" comment.. It was never confirmed that it was gloves they found in the crawl space..With the "I found it " statement, I am just wondering something.. bear with me here.. Go back and watch the video of Sandra in the trailer park. her shadow is on the left of her, but on her right shoulder, it looks like she has a backpack, or purse on.. the police say, that after examination of the video, it is just a shadow on her right side, not wanting the public to have to much information. I am wondering, if it is infact a purse, and that is what they found under the church. Just my thought..
The paper towel, was found beside the fence, it shows that in one of the video's, it was no where near the crawl space..
Lost, I am not sure if someone was seen around the crawl space or not, it is just confusing, as the reports state, that just after it was announced, that Sandra's body was found, the police headed straight to the pastors home, and questioned him there for 3 hours, then took him to the station, where he was questioned until wee hours in the morning. A search of his home was done that night, and the computer & phones were taken as evidence.. The church was also taped off that night..


You are very welcome Silver..once again, that means a great deal..like I said yesterday, I just felt like I may have taken over this board, and was giving an overwhelming amount of reading to you all..
Title: Re: SANDRA CANTU, | CALIFORNIA - MARCH, 2009 (Body Found 4/6/09)
Post by: Silverdog on April 08, 2009, 11:57:23 PM
Edsonmom, I think people make the choice to read (lots!) if they are seriously interested in what's going on. You are providing a wonderful "service" to us all by sharing the stuff you have found. I don't know why, I have a lot of trouble viewing the videos...buffer, buffer, buffer....ugh, frustrating.

Yes, a lot of the news accounts contain conflicting information. I had heard on Nancy grace tonight that the paper towel was found in the crawlspace, at least thats what the reporter speaking to Nancy said. Of course, you have to take everything with a grain of salt. The police would not support anything said about the "stolen" suitcase, but this reporter insisted it was in fact true. There also seems to be a fascination with white SUVs.

YOU ARE SO RIGHT, I remember when they said about her having a little back pack, then said they couldnt be sure because of the dark shadow. You may be right, it could be the purse. I also had a thought...another item it could be....an earring. They mentioned that she was identified by the clothing she was wearing and by her earrings. If there was any kind of struggle, or if someone tried to pull her top off an earring could come loose. Because they are so tight lipped with information, I doubt they would mention if one earring was missing? They wouldnt want someone to run to try to find it and get rid of it.

I would imagine in that area of town there are probably very few ISPs, they can probably go to one and check on all the websites people visit...if anyone there has an interest in internet child porn, they'll find them by their IP address. And  if they were already investigating a child sex ring, I'm sure there is lots of overlapping information that is helpful to this investigation.  This whole thing is just so sickening. Sometimes I feel frustrated by this case...like ARREST SOMEONE NOW, but I can see that the police just seem to be trying to get all their ducks in a row before making any moves...especially since in all likelihood we are looking at multiple arrests.

This child's family must just be devastated, I cannot even imagine. My prayers for their strength through this horrible ordeal...
Title: Re: SANDRA CANTU, | CALIFORNIA - MARCH, 2009 (Body Found 4/6/09)
Post by: Chris on April 09, 2009, 12:17:10 AM
Sounds like the police are zeroing on a POI here. I hope they can solve this quickly.
Title: Re: SANDRA CANTU, | CALIFORNIA - MARCH, 2009 (Body Found 4/6/09)
Post by: Edsonmom on April 09, 2009, 12:48:38 AM
You have to remember Silver, that there are a number of registered sex offenders in the Tracy area, and if you go back to that story, I think it is half way down page 1, there are a few of them that live close to Sandra's home, as well as 1 who is only a few trailers down. Most of these people were discovered when Sandra went missing. The SUV and KIA they searched, belonged to the pastor & his daughter..

Quote
Tracy police say they have their eye on people in Tracy they have found exchanging child pornography over the Internet. Glenn Moore/Tracy PressThe state says 78 registered sex offenders call Tracy home.

And Tracy police have their eye on as many as 60 people in the city who they have found to exchange child pornography over the Internet, police said.

Reports are saying, that Sandra's mom fainted when she heard the news, and that they kept her in Hospital for observation.. Dad was on his way to the press conference that night, when he got the call to come to the police station.

I am positive that neither mom or dad, had anything to do with this.. they have been in mourning, staying away from the public. I have seen to many parents in the news lately, that have killed their children, and they have all put themselves in the media attention from the start.. almost like they love the attention..

I know it seems like an arrest should be made already, but we have to remember, that it has only been a bit over 48 hours, since they found her. I just keep thinking about the Emily Stauffer case, here in Edson, and I know the RCMP knew who her killer was up to 6 weeks before they arrested him, due to waiting for foresic evidence to come back, but they were watching his every move..I think this will be the same, it will be a waiting game, until they have solid evidence. I am however certain, that they already know who did this to this sweet little angel.
Title: Re: SANDRA CANTU, | CALIFORNIA - MARCH, 2009 (Body Found 4/6/09)
Post by: Edsonmom on April 09, 2009, 12:55:04 AM
I know this feeling all to well, with having to go through this last September, I still do not let my daughter outside without me being with her..

Tracy Parents Fearful For Their Own Children
 
 RSS By: Jamie Soriano

April 9, 2009

TRACY - Tricia Rezendes is keeping her kids close. She brought her four childern to the growing memorial outside Sandra Cantu's Tracy mobile home park. The disappearance and murder of the eight year old has instilled fear in many parents.

"Give them an extra kiss and an extra hug now every night. I do that every night, but now it's like you give them the extra hug and kiss because they're in their beds, they're safe," said Rezendes. She's not only one holding her children a little tighter.

Holding his five year old daughter, Eddie Lopez said, "She doesn't come out of my arms much. She's never out of my sight, especially right now. I keep her even closer than regular."

With still no arrests and police being tight-lipped about their investigation, parents worry with Sandra's killer still out there, their own children are in danger.

"You just never know. You have to keep an eye on your children at all times," said Martha Soto who brought her young grandson to the make-shift memorial.

Many say, they won't feel safe until the person responsible for the death of an innocent child is brought to justice.

"It's just pure evil. There's no reason. It's just pure insanity," said Lopez, who has two other daughters.


http://www.fox40.com/pages/landing_local_headlines/?Tracy-Parents-Fearful-For-Their-Own-Chil=1&blockID=262126&feedID=190
Title: Re: SANDRA CANTU, | CALIFORNIA - MARCH, 2009 (Body Found 4/6/09)
Post by: Silverdog on April 09, 2009, 06:18:05 AM
I have a gut feeling as well, that they are just collecting solid evidence and waiting for pathology/forensic stuff to come back, but they are probably right onto whoever did this, and anyone involved is probably looking over there shoulder waiting for the bomb to drop. Which it will. We just need to have patience and let the cops do what they do. I'm sure its hard for them to keep stuff under wraps with so much media attention. Still, I pray for a fast arrest, so this family can lay their child to rest before battling chapter 2: justice for Sandra.

78 sex offenders, this world is just crawling with them isn't it? I wish there was a place people could go online to check to see where they are living...they would be shocked if they could see the reality. Plus there's the ones who just havent been caught yet.

I need to go look up Emily Stauffer as I am not familiar with that case. Still pretty new here so trying to get familiar with things people make reference to that I have never heard of.

Lets pray for huge progress in Sandra's murder investigation today, even if it is progress we can't directly see!
Title: Re: SANDRA CANTU, | CALIFORNIA - MARCH, 2009 (Body Found 4/6/09)
Post by: Silverdog on April 09, 2009, 06:39:58 AM
Ok I read up on Emily...wow, I can see why you feel as you do about Sandra's case, Edsonmom...I have to say I think it is DEPLORABLE when someone hides behind the mask of being a fine upstanding citizen, and worse, a devout Christian follower then committs this kind of crime against humanity.

I too have a personal interest in people who hurt our children.
Title: Re: SANDRA CANTU, | CALIFORNIA - MARCH, 2009 (Body Found 4/6/09)
Post by: Edsonmom on April 09, 2009, 01:11:06 PM
2 reports here..
Johnny Williams, the guy who left the tip is speaking out again...watch the video with this link as well..
The bottom story is fishy.. CSI was called in about a note found..

 Man Says He Knows Who Killed Sandra Cantu
 
 FOX40 News

April 9, 2009

TRACY - Johnny Williams is sure he know who killed Sandra Cantu.

Williams drove from Oakland Sunday afternoon to hand-deliver his lead to Tracy police during an afternoon press conference.  Afterward, he told media that he believes he saw Sandra with a man on a boat the week prior.

Now, speaking exclusively to FOX40 News, Williams says he spotted the same man talking with media the day after Sandra Cantu's body was found.

FOX40 News won't show the man Williams accuses of murdering Sandra Cantu; however, Williams describes the man as being "heavyset with a thick moustache."

Sandra Cantu's body was recovered from a sealed piece of black luggage found floating in an irrigation canal by farm workers on Monday afternoon.

On Tuesday, the pastor of a Baptist church near Sandra Cantu's home had been questioned by police in connection with Sandra's murder.  Pastor Lane Lawless denies having any connection to Sandra's murder.

Prior to her body's recovery, Sandra Cantu's father agreed to and passed a polygraph test given by authorities.

Authorities continue to insist that, while nobody has been ruled out as a person of interest, that they do not have one specific suspect or a group of suspects in mind that they are focusing on.

http://www.fox40.com/pages/landing_sandra_cantu/?ONLY-ON-FOX40-Man-Says-He-Knows-Who-Kill=1&blockID=262627&feedID=2674


''From Sandra, To My Killer'' - Note Recovered At Mobile Home Park


FOX40 News

April 9, 2009

TRACY - Crime Scene Investigation units returned to a mobile home park that 8-year-old Sandra Cantu once called home.

CSI was called out this morning to recover a note left by a tree that reportedly read "From Sandra, to my killer."  It's unclear what, if anything else, the note may have read.

Sandra Cantu had been missing since March 27th.  The 8-year-old's body was recovered in a piece of luggage on April 6th.

http://www.fox40.com/pages/landing_sandra_cantu/?From-Sandra-To-My-Killer---Note-Recovere=1&blockID=262565&feedID=2674
Title: Re: SANDRA CANTU, | CALIFORNIA - MARCH, 2009 (Body Found 4/6/09)
Post by: Edsonmom on April 09, 2009, 01:48:45 PM
Silver, this is a picture, of the FBI coming out from under the church with the so called gloves.. It really does not look like gloves to me.. this is why I got the theory about maybe a purse..
Title: Re: SANDRA CANTU, | CALIFORNIA - MARCH, 2009 (Body Found 4/6/09)
Post by: Edsonmom on April 09, 2009, 01:59:14 PM
Family plans public memorial service
by Eric Firpo

 The family of Sandra Cantu plans a public memorial service once the coroner is finished with the autopsy on the slain 8-year-old.

“We felt that the Tracy community has been so loving to us and shown their love for Sandra that we need to allow them to mourn as well,” Angie Chavez, Sandra’s aunt, said today.

Chavez, 41, said the family will have a private funeral as well as a public service, possibly in a large venue, given the likelihood that it will draw a huge crowd.

An as-yet unending stream of thousands of well-wishers have made a sort of pilgrimage to drop off flowers, pictures, stuffed animals and other mementos at a ballooning memorial outside the gates of the Orchard Estates Mobile Home Park on West Clover Road where Sandra lived.

Police announced Monday night that Sandra’s body was inside a suitcase retrieved earlier that day after an irrigation pond was drained on a north Tracy dairy. Sandra had been reported missing on March 27.

A police chaplain went to the mobile home of Sandra’s grandfather, Jose Chavez, 67, and her mother, Maria Chavez, to deliver the news Monday evening.

“Maria was already sitting down,” Angie Chavez said. “There was a lot of screaming. A lot of emotions. A lot of crying. Just horrible.”

Jose Chavez, Sandra's uncle, told reporters the death was "ridiculous, absurd and grotesque."

"It's complete innocence taken for absolutely no reason," he said. "When that word came in, I heard screams that I'd never heard come out of human beings before."

For Jose Chavez, he said it sounded like, "Primal screams of love and fear like the worst horror movie you could ever watch.”

"There's a monster out there,” he added.

Sandra's cause of death has not been revealed. An autopsy has been completed, but results were pending, said Les Garcia, a spokesman for the San Joaquin County coroner's office.

Since that day, the family has grieved by itself — until today, when they ventured out to briefly talk to the press and get a glimpse of the shrine that has sprung up in memory of Sandra.

Chavez said she brought in some crosses, a few rosaries and a copy of The Lord’s Prayer.

The family plans to donate the stuffed animals to children’s hospitals and the police or fire departments “so kids in trauma have something to hang onto.”

She said the family’s swings of emotion range from “being numb to being crying, to being angry, to actually being happy remembering the times with her, but then being sad, knowing we won’t have her anymore.”

Police continue the search for clues as they hunt for Sandra’s killer, or killers. They served two more search warrants in the mobile home park Tuesday, and crime-scene investigators identified possible evidence at the Clover Road Baptist Church, just a few hundred yards from the mobile home park’s gates.

The pastor of the church and his wife’s mobile home were searched, where they took a computer and other items, Connie Lawless, wife of pastor Lane Lawless, told reporters this week.

Three others have had their mobile homes searched, — Frank Wolher, 60; Christian Sinclair, 49; and David Slayter, 44.

Police have named no suspects or “persons of interest.”

But the possibility that Sandra’s killer might live in the park is “a horrible thought,” Chavez said.

One of Sandra’s relatives who asked not to be identified said the family wants the death penalty for whoever is convicted of killing her.

Despite the anguish of Sandra’s death, the aunt said she and the Chavez family have been buttressed by the outpouring of support for them.

“It’s been incredible,” she said. “Words can’t describe how grateful and thankful we are. It’s been overwhelming. When you think you’re alone, you realize you’re not.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

• Reach City Editor Eric Firpo at 830-4223 or efirpo@tracypress.com.

http://tracypress.com/pages/full_story?article-Family%20plans%20public%20memorial%20service%20%20%20=&page_label=home&id=2277094-Family+plans+public+memorial+service++&widget=push&instance=home_news_lead_story&open=&
Title: Re: SANDRA CANTU, | CALIFORNIA - MARCH, 2009 (Body Found 4/6/09)
Post by: Edsonmom on April 09, 2009, 02:10:22 PM
Today show interview with Sandra's mom & Aunt.. So very sad.. :'( :'(

http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/26184891/vp/30132729#30132729
Title: Re: SANDRA CANTU, | CALIFORNIA - MARCH, 2009 (Body Found 4/6/09)
Post by: capeheart on April 09, 2009, 02:20:25 PM
It is great that the investigators are down to warrants and looking into suspects.There must be a reason that this church is being investigated, they just wouldn't pick that out of the wind. I still feel that they should have used bloodhounds immediately when they started looking for Sandra. They may still be able to use them, especially if it hasn't rained. I just hope they solve this case and I feel strongly they will. I was reading earlier that someone said they reported a suitcase stolen, well who would report that. I mean if you lose a suitcase would you bother calling that in to the police, I don't think so. That sounds like a real good coverup because the suitcase must have been identified as belonging to someone in the church. Hopefully answers will come soon. I did see the man with dark bushy hair and a moustache being interviewed, is that the man they mean, Mr. Williams identified? A big burly guy, well I think he is a member of that church. Well we won't rush to judgment, just wait and see what is going to be next. ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ???
Title: Re: SANDRA CANTU, | CALIFORNIA - MARCH, 2009 (Body Found 4/6/09)
Post by: Edsonmom on April 09, 2009, 03:10:51 PM
This mornings Press conference..top video on the right.. detective is wearing grey suit..

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/object/article?f=/n/a/2009/04/07/state/n004337D55.DTL&o=2
Title: Re: SANDRA CANTU, | CALIFORNIA - MARCH, 2009 (Body Found 4/6/09)
Post by: Edsonmom on April 09, 2009, 03:37:09 PM
Here is something interesting..
The man who thinks he knows who the killer is, says " the man is heavyset with a thick moustache..also spotted him speaking to the media, the day after Sandra was found..
Quote
FOX40 News won't show the man Williams accuses of murdering Sandra Cantu; however, Williams describes the man as being "heavyset with a thick moustache."

Now get this.... Fred Williams is the one who told police, the luggage was reported missing from the church, the day Sandra went missing..If you watch the video from the Today show, that I posted today, it also shows Fred Williams, locking up the church after the FBI search, so he has keys to the church.. I think it is 1.20 into that video..any ways Fred Williams is heavy set, with a thick moustache. This could very well be the Church connection.
Title: Re: SANDRA CANTU, | CALIFORNIA - MARCH, 2009 (Body Found 4/6/09)
Post by: capeheart on April 09, 2009, 03:55:50 PM
Yes, Edsonmom, I did see him interviewed on one of the links that is on here. He is the man with the unruly hair and the big thick moustache. And did you notice, he said, "I hope they find the killer". There was no such comment as, this is a horrific crime, the person should be dealt with in a certain way. He was very unfeeling about this murder. I would see him in the crosshairs as a suspect for sure. Just by his mannerisms. There is something there, I think.  ::) ::) ::) ::) ::) ::) ::) ::)
Title: Re: SANDRA CANTU, | CALIFORNIA - MARCH, 2009 (Body Found 4/6/09)
Post by: Edsonmom on April 09, 2009, 05:16:55 PM
3:30 Press conference just ended.. here is the just of it..
Note found today was written on behalf of Sandra. it read.
From Sandra. To my Killer:
You have taken my life, and I forgive you. You will be judged by a higher power.

The police have recieved 400 more tips since Monday, the majority of those have been listed as high priority

Sandra's family has asked, that no more gifts be left outside the trailer park, as it is to hard for them to deal with.

Some of the evidence is being examined as far away as virginia.

Detective states " it takes time to put together evidence, to make a proper arrest for the people responcibe for Sandra's death"  (here we have the "People" statement again..)

Autopsy results might not be released to the public

Public service for Sandra will be held next Thursday at the school she attended. it will hold a max of 2500 people.

Title: Re: SANDRA CANTU, | CALIFORNIA - MARCH, 2009 (Body Found 4/6/09)
Post by: Edsonmom on April 09, 2009, 05:24:27 PM
It is great that the investigators are down to warrants and looking into suspects.There must be a reason that this church is being investigated, they just wouldn't pick that out of the wind. I still feel that they should have used bloodhounds immediately when they started looking for Sandra. They may still be able to use them, especially if it hasn't rained. I just hope they solve this case and I feel strongly they will. I was reading earlier that someone said they reported a suitcase stolen, well who would report that. I mean if you lose a suitcase would you bother calling that in to the police, I don't think so. That sounds like a real good coverup because the suitcase must have been identified as belonging to someone in the church. Hopefully answers will come soon. I did see the man with dark bushy hair and a moustache being interviewed, is that the man they mean, Mr. Williams identified? A big burly guy, well I think he is a member of that church. Well we won't rush to judgment, just wait and see what is going to be next. ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ???

Sorry Cape, I did not read this when I posted the information about Fred.. Funny how you have that feeling as well..he just seems to have to much involvement here..
Title: Re: SANDRA CANTU, | CALIFORNIA - MARCH, 2009 (Body Found 4/6/09)
Post by: Silverdog on April 09, 2009, 10:04:56 PM
Wow, lots of new stuff today! the Today Show video does not load (for me anyway) unfortunately. But, thats ok. I am very creeped out by that Fred Williams guy...he seems to be exactly who Johnny Williams has described. Do we know for sure if they have searched HIS vehicle and home? Probably. You know, I am starting to get the feeling this whole Baptist Church is just a cover for something sinister going on and that it might be a group thing. Anyone else getting that feeling? Remember how Fred said he felt the Pastor and himself were being wrongfully targetted with the investigation....and yet the Pastors wife was open to investigators removing stuff from the house in order to rule them out. I think there are multiple people involved with this church who have knowledge of and/or participated in abuse and murder and disposal of Sandra Cantu. I could be wrong....but well, who knows. I'm getting anxious, I hope it all unfolds soon.

Edsonmom, I enlarged that picture with the gloves...and youre right, although it is very difficult to make out what they are holding, it appears to be rectangular in shape, and about 2" thick?? Possibly a purse, or a part of The Suitcase?

I'm also wondering what they mean exactly by "sealed" when they speak about that suitcase. I would just say the suitcase was zipped, why do they keep saying "sealed".

Oh and YES that note is very fishy too.  Why would anyone write a note from Sandra saying I forgive you?? At the moment I think forgiveness is NOT at the forefront of anyone's thoughts!! Wonder who wrote that? Apparently after being examined it is not affecting the investigation, but...its just weird!
Title: Re: SANDRA CANTU, | CALIFORNIA - MARCH, 2009 (Body Found 4/6/09)
Post by: Edsonmom on April 09, 2009, 10:52:39 PM
This is the statement that Silver is talking about..
Quote
Meanwhile, church member Fred Williams said he believes his church and its pastor, Lane Lawless, are being wrongfully targeted.

"There's not one member there that would have anything to do with anything like that kind of situation," Williams said. "More people should come to church and hang out with him because they would find out what a fun loving kind of guy that he is," Williams said.

Williams said that the mysterious black suitcase Cantu was found in was reported stolen by another congregation member the same day Cantu disappeared.

"That suitcase was to go to the church for a rummage sale with some stuff in it and the person put it somewhere, either in the back of a car somewhere. But anyway, when she came back out the suitcase was gone," Williams said.

 The man who lives across the street from the church, says that there are only 5 or so cars at the church every sunday, so it could be an easy way to cover things up..

Since you could not get the Today show video to work Silver, I will tell you something, that was brought up on it.. Sandra's mom, could not even talk, so was so upset, so the Aunt answered all the questions, and when asked, if they have spoken to the pastor, since Sandra's body was found, the Aunt said "no, we do not even know him, all we know, is that Sandra went to their place a lot to play with their grandaughter." That statement hit me in a big way, as I myself, will not let my daughter go to anyones home, unless I know the parents/guardian very well.

I am not sure what they mean by sealed either, I have just assumed, that it was zipped..
Title: Re: SANDRA CANTU, | CALIFORNIA - MARCH, 2009 (Body Found 4/6/09)
Post by: Silverdog on April 09, 2009, 11:48:31 PM
Edsonmom, somewhere I either read or saw on a video, I just cant remember...but, something about this little baptist church having a very tiny "congregation"...it was an interview where someone said Pastor Lawless did not interact with any of the other Baptist pastors, did not attend thursday Prayer Breakfasts etc. Remember that? Thats just not right...and it just made me suspicious that something is fishy about that whole church. I feel like it is being used as a cover for some really sick stuff going on. If the pastor has involvement (I kinda suspect he does) I dont think his wife has ANY clue. I find it odd that she does all the talking when reporters ask HIM if he had any involvement.
I think the reason an arrest has not yet been made is that this situation is much more involved than we realize. I think people are going to be shocked when it all comes out.

Thanks for the inside info on the video I couldnt watch.... I do find it funny that the pastor and his wife made it sound like oh yeah, Sandra often came over to play...and something was said to indicate the 2 families were friends...then to find out Sandra's mom didnt even know them????? WOW.

Fred seriously creeps me out. Even if he isnt guilty of anything, I dont trust him!
Title: Re: SANDRA CANTU, | CALIFORNIA - MARCH, 2009 (Body Found 4/6/09)
Post by: Edsonmom on April 10, 2009, 12:02:09 AM
you remember right silver. this is what you read..and yes, Fred creeps me out as well, I really feel there is more going on with that church, than we all think..

Quote
Lawless, a pastor of the church since 1981, has no criminal history and no civil lawsuits against him in San Joaquin County, court records show. The only property he owns in San Joaquin County is his mobile home.

But the Clover Road Baptist Church seems as physically isolated from the rest of the city, one of the last buildings on a dead-end street, as it seems culturally set apart from other churches in town.

Several Tracy pastors said they don’t know that much about Lawless; he doesn’t join the 15 or 20 other pastors in town for Thursday prayer breakfasts.

Tim Heinrich of the Crossroads Baptist Church said Lawless declines to network with fellow pastors in town. Other pastors said the church has few events and focuses on church history because it disagrees with some of the tenets of others churches.

No one in the neighborhood surrounding Orchard Estates said they attend the Baptist church — surrounded now by yellow crime-scene tape. About a dozen neighbors said they don’t know anyone who does and that it has a tiny congregation.

Folks from a Jehovah’s Witness church across the street from Clover Road Baptist said they've never talked to anyone from the congregation. Pastors, members and elders of a handful of other churches in northern Tracy said the same thing.

Here is the link for the today show web site, scroll down a bit, and it will show you a list of video's that were on today, you should be able to watch it through there..

http://today.msnbc.msn.com/

I also just checked the Tracy Police department site, and they have 3 people in the "most wanted" list, all registered sex offenders..

http://www.ci.tracy.ca.us/departments/police/most_wanted/
Title: Re: SANDRA CANTU, | CALIFORNIA - MARCH, 2009 (Body Found 4/6/09)
Post by: Silverdog on April 10, 2009, 01:43:54 AM
thanks for posting another link to the Today show EdsonMom, I was able to view it. Now THAT was a parent who had nothing to do with the crime against her child....my heart absolutely broke for her, she could barely breathe, never mind speak.....(makes you realize how inhumane Casey Anthony really is). Glad she had her sister there for support... Its funny how you can watch something from afar, yet become so emotional about it.
Title: Re: SANDRA CANTU, | CALIFORNIA - MARCH, 2009 (Body Found 4/6/09)
Post by: capeheart on April 10, 2009, 04:25:08 PM
Just was listening to CNN and a news report indicated that a Police Cadet had seen a Silverado SUV in the vicinity of the pond where Sandra's remains were found. They indicated that it looks like there could be an arrest coming soon. I take it they have possibly some solid information on who this was. Hopefully things will fall into place and they will take the right person in custody. ::) ::) ::) ::) ::) ::) ::) ::) ::)
Title: Re: SANDRA CANTU, | CALIFORNIA - MARCH, 2009 (Body Found 4/6/09)
Post by: capeheart on April 10, 2009, 04:51:29 PM
Breaking news ....THERE IS GOING TO BE A PRESS CONFERENCE ON CNN THIS EVENING RELATED TO THE EVIDENCE THAT HAS BEEN FORTHCOMING ON SANDRA. I DO NOT KNOW EXACTLY WHAT IT IS, BUT THERE IS A LIVE PRESS CONFERENCE, SO MAYBE THEY HAVE SOMEBODY ARRESTED. HOPE SO.
??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ???
Title: Re: SANDRA CANTU, | CALIFORNIA - MARCH, 2009 (Body Found 4/6/09)
Post by: Silverdog on April 10, 2009, 05:04:05 PM
OMG let's PRAY they have someone (s) in custody!!!! Keep us posted if you hear anything else Cape!
Title: Re: SANDRA CANTU, | CALIFORNIA - MARCH, 2009 (Body Found 4/6/09)
Post by: Silverdog on April 10, 2009, 05:19:55 PM
Church Teacher Says Suitcase ''Stolen'' The Day Sandra Cantu Went Missing


 
FOX40 News

April 10, 2009

TRACY - A Sunday school teacher who lives at the mobile home park where 8-year-old Sandra Cantu went missing from claims someone stole her black, waterproof rolling suitcase the same day the Tracy girl disappeared.

Twenty-eight-year-old Melissa Huckaby told the Tracy Press in a phone interview today that she had left the black suitcase near her Kia SUV, reportedly towed by police recently, the day she was heading to her grandfather's church, the Clover Road Baptist Church, where she teaches Sunday school.

Sandra reportedly went to Huckaby's house earlier in the day to ask about playing with Huckaby's daughter.  However, Huckaby says her daughter was told to clean her room and turned Sandra away.

Huckaby also says she has spent some time on the farm near the irrigation ditch where Sandra Cantu's body was discovered in suitcase that closely resembles the one she reports missing.  Police won't confirm whether the suitcase Huckaby reported stolen and the one Sandra's body was found in are the same.

Huckaby claims the suitcase was filled with Sunday school supplies meant to spruce up the classroom she taught at every weekend.

Police have scheduled a press conference for 3:30pm. Despite unofficial reports, authorities continue to refute rumors that a "significant arrest" will be made today.

Title: Re: SANDRA CANTU, | CALIFORNIA - MARCH, 2009 (Body Found 4/6/09)
Post by: Silverdog on April 10, 2009, 05:29:06 PM
I wonder about the line in the above article where it says "she" spent time on the farm where Sandra was found...is that she SANDRA or is that she Melissa??

 
Title: Police Return to Church Near Tracy Mobile Home Park
Post by: Edsonmom on April 10, 2009, 08:07:17 PM
Sorry I was with my parents for the day, so I will catch you up on what I can.. HOPE THEY DO HAVE AN ARREST NOTICE..

Police Return to Church Near Tracy Mobile Home Park
Created by Kimberlee Sakamoto on 4/10/2009 8:18:53 PM


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

TRACY (KRON) – Police are continuing their investigation into the murder of eight-year-old Sandra Cantu by returning to a church near the mobile home park where the Tracy girl was last seen alive.

KRON 4’s Dan Kerman says a dozen officers arrived at the Clover Road Baptist Church Friday afternoon. While officers spent about 20-30 minutes trying to get into a shed near the church, other officers searched the perimeter of the property. Once they were able to get in, Dan says officers took pictures inside the shed. He notes that it doesn’t appear as though they removed anything from the shed or church building.

According to Dan, this latest search might be related to a Friday afternoon press conference, when multiple questions were asked about Pastor Lane Lawless’ granddaughter, and if she had reported a missing suitcase. Sergeant Tony Sheneman said there have been no police reports about a missing suitcase.

Sheneman also said the Tracy Crime Stopper reward to find the person or persons responsible for Sandra’s murder is now up to $32,000.

The police sergeant has also been in contact with Governor Schwarzenegger’s office about victim compensation, and is planning on talking to the Cantu family about that at a later time.

Sandra went missing the afternoon of March 27th. On Monday, farm workers were preparing an irrigation pond just two miles from the mobile home park when a black suitcase floated to the surface. Police were called to the scene and opened the large piece of rolling luggage at an undisclosed location later that evening. They say they were able to identify the body of the eight-year-old because she was wearing the same clothing she was last seen in – a pink “Hello Kitty” t-shirt and black leggings.

Watch the KRON 4 news and stay with KRON4.com for all the latest developments on the search for Sandra’s killer.

(Copyright 2009, KRON 4, All rights reserved.)
http://www.kron.com/News/ArticleView/tabid/298/smid/1126/ArticleID/1012/reftab/36/t/Police-Return-to-Church-Near-Tracy-Mobile-Home-Park/Default.aspx
Title: Re: SANDRA CANTU, | CALIFORNIA - MARCH, 2009 (Body Found 4/6/09)
Post by: Edsonmom on April 10, 2009, 08:12:50 PM
She has quite the record...

Woman in mobile home park reported missing suitcase
by Jennifer Wadsworth5 hrs ago | 4801 views | 25  | 44  |  |  slideshow slideshow
view slideshow (2 images) PREV         NEXT
 
<< >>  A Sunday school teacher said someone took her black rolling suitcase from the Orchard Estates Mobile Home Park on the day 8-year-old homicide victim Sandra Cantu disappeared.

It’s a huge suitcase, 28-year-old Melissa Huckaby said in a phone interview Friday, waterproof and charcoal-trimmed with an Eddie Bauer logo.

Police have yet to confirm whether it’s the same one found Monday morning that contained Sandra’s dead body.

Farmworkers discovered a suitcase that generally matches Huckaby’s description submerged in a dairy lagoon 2 miles north of the mobile home park where Sandra lived.

For the past year, after moving from Southern California, Huckaby and her 5-year-old daughter has lived at the same mobile home park with Huckaby’s grandparents, Clifford Lane Lawless and Connie Lawless, she said.

Sandra went missing March 27, the same day and in the same late-afternoon hour that Huckaby said the black suitcase disappeared from her driveway.

“There’s been a lot of speculation on the news about what happened to my suitcase,” she said Friday. “It’s not my granddad’s. It’s mine, and someone took it.”

Huckaby teaches Sunday school at Clover Road Baptist Church, her grandfather’s church just down the street from the mobile home park. She spruces up the church classroom every few months, she said, and had packed up the suitcase with everything she needed to redo the room that day.

Sandra had stopped at her house earlier and asked to play with her daughter, Huckaby said. But Huckaby said she didn’t want her daughter to play, because she had to pick up her toys. So Sandra left for another friend’s house, she said.

The 18 seconds of surveillance footage that shows Sandra playfully skipping by her family’s home show her on her way back to Huckaby’s home after leaving that other friend’s house, Huckaby said.

After Sandra left, her oldest sister, Miranda, went to Huckaby’s house, too. Huckaby asked Miranda if she could watch her daughter for her while she went down the street to the church. Connie Lawless was home, too.

Huckaby then set the packed suitcase on the driveway by her dark purple Kia SUV — the same one FBI agents and Tracy police detectives towed and searched Tuesday night. But she forgot her cell phone and keys inside the house, so she went back in for about 15 minutes to find them. She couldn’t, so she picked up the spare key and left.

She forgot about the suitcase and left it on the driveway.

When she got to the church, Huckaby’s grandmother called and said she found her keys and cell phone. Huckaby said that’s when she realized she had left the $200 suitcase outside. When her family went out to get it, they said it was gone.

“So I talked to the assistant manager at the mobile home park and asked him to keep an eye out for this suitcase; someone took it,” Huckaby said. “I also told some older kids to look out for it. I didn’t think much then, because, you know, kids were getting out of school, and I thought that maybe someone, maybe someone walking by, just took it.”

She called Tracy police intending to file a report but decided to do it online. She never got around to it.

Her grandfather — whom police also questioned — has had tools stolen, she said, and she had heard of plenty of petty theft and vandalism at the park. So she said she wasn’t surprised when she discovered her suitcase gone.

But by the time she had time to file a stolen property report, police had already started knocking on everyone’s door, asking about Sandra.

“They asked me if I noticed anything suspicious, so of course I told them about my missing suitcase,” Huckaby said.

Police questioned her, and she said she gave them permission to search her car for evidence, too.

Huckaby has spent several days since last week in the intensive care unit at Sutter Tracy Community Hospital for “internal bleeding,” though she refused to say exactly what condition she was admitted for. She was released Thursday morning, she said.

Police interviewed her at the hospital.

“It’s where I was, and I told them that’s where I was, so they came just because they had a few questions to ask me about what I know,” she said.

Dispatchers said over the police scanner on Tuesday that officers were “changing detail” at the hospital, where they had evidently been stationed for several hours.

Court records show a 28-year-old Melissa Huckaby pleaded no contest Jan. 9 to a felony charge of second degree commercial burglary and a misdemeanor charge of property theft with prior theft/burglary/robbery. The criminal complaint says she was locked up in Los Angeles County for conviction of property theft in November 2006 and that she tried to steal something from Target in November last year.

The complaint says she’s on probation in San Joaquin County and is due back in court on April 17, when she might be sentenced.

The documents list the woman’s address as 812 W. Clover Road, Space No. 57, which city property records show is owned by Clifford Lane Lawless and Connie Lawless.

The Melissa Huckaby interviewed Friday said that’s not her.

Asked why the address and cell phone number in the court documents match her own, she said she has no idea.

“I don’t know what to say,” she said. “That’s not me.”
Police refuse to comment publicly on any details about the murder case, including Huckaby’s narrative.

Police have scheduled a press conference for 3:30 today after cancelling two this morning.

No arrests have been made, and no suspects named, though hundreds of people have been questioned.

• Contact Tracy Press reporter Jennifer Wadsworth at 830-4225 or jwadsworth@tracypress.com.

http://tracypress.com/pages/full_story?article-Woman%20in%20mobile%20home%20park%20reported%20missing%20suitcase%20=&page_label=home&id=2298054-Woman+in+mobile+home+park+reported+missing+suitcase&widget=push&instance=home_news_lead_story&open=&
Title: Re: SANDRA CANTU, | CALIFORNIA - MARCH, 2009 (Body Found 4/6/09)
Post by: Edsonmom on April 10, 2009, 08:16:50 PM
Todays 3:30 news conference
They keep asking him about another child being drugged & molested in that trailer park, and that Melissa Huckaby (Pastors Grand daughter) was questioned about being involved in it..This was supposed to happen a few months ago. INTERESTING

http://www.fox40.com/pages/search_for_sandra
Title: Re: SANDRA CANTU, | CALIFORNIA - MARCH, 2009 (Body Found 4/6/09)
Post by: Edsonmom on April 10, 2009, 08:29:24 PM
Man Reports Suspicious Sighting Near Tracy
Search For Sandra Cantu's Killer Continues
POSTED: 7:00 am PDT April 10, 2009
UPDATED: 8:47 am PDT April 10, 2009


SAN JOAQUIN COUNTY, Calif. -- The FBI is investigating a suspicious sighting where the body of 8-year-old Sandra Cantu was found this week.

A Stockton police cadet said he spotted someone parked in the wrong direction on the rural road where her body was discovered inside a piece of luggage. He said the driver was acting very strange.


 
 

Cantu's body was found Monday in a suitcase in an irrigation pond north of Tracy. She disappeared from a West Clover Road mobile home park on March 27, setting off an intense hunt that drew national media attention.

Over 1,000 tips have been received in the case.

Stephen Memory said he saw a man in a beige Chevrolet Silverado truck parked by the irrigation pond on April 3 -- a week after Cantu disappeared.

"(He) acted real nervous and didn't really want to look me in the eyes at all," Memory said. "Soon as I could get a good up-close look on him, he would look away as much as he could."

Memory lives in a house on a stretch near the location where Cantu's body was dumped.

Some others told KCRA 3 that the rural road is rarely used, has dead end and only about five cars cross it each day.

Anyone with information should call the Tracy Police Department at 209-831-4550.

"I've never seen this guy around this neighborhood, ever," Memory said.

The FBI spoke with Memory on Wednesday afternoon.

Memory said he thought agents seemed interested in the tip. He said agents told him that they would bring some stuff by to see what the man was wearing.

Police meanwhile were working with an FBI profiler in an effort to get a better idea of who was responsible for the slaying. No arrests have been made.



Sandra Cantu
 

A public memorial for Cantu will be held at 1 p.m. Thursday at the Merrill F. West High School gym.

Anyone wishing to reach Cantu's family may route condolences to the Tracy Police Department, which has assigned a liaison to work with relatives. Those wishing to make donations of money in the girl's memory are being asked to contact the Carole Sund/Carrington Foundation.

http://www.kcra.com/news/19146854/detail.html
Title: Re: SANDRA CANTU, | CALIFORNIA - MARCH, 2009 (Body Found 4/6/09)
Post by: Edsonmom on April 10, 2009, 08:51:17 PM
I am starting to think we are right, that this is a child sex ring, in the church... Pastors Gran daughter & Fred Williams are most likley the ones who will be arrested...
Title: Re: SANDRA CANTU, | CALIFORNIA - MARCH, 2009 (Body Found 4/6/09)
Post by: Edsonmom on April 10, 2009, 08:54:43 PM
Report: Luggage Stolen The Day Sandra Vanished
 Complete Coverage On The Sandra Cantu Case

 
A Tracy newspaper is reporting that a woman who lives near Sandra Cantu says her black luggage went missing the day Sandra Cantu disappeared.

The Tracy Press says Melissa Huckaby claims her oversized, rolling black suitcase was stolen from her home at the Orchard Estates mobile home park the day Cantu disappeared. Huckaby is the granddaughter Lane Lawless, a pastor at the Clover Road Baptist Church in Tracy. He was questioned multiple times in connection with the case. In addition, the church and his home were also searched.

During a 3:30 p.m. press conference today, when asked about the missing luggage, Tracy Police Sgt. Tony Sheneman said police did not receive the report of the missing luggage. Police say that the investigation is going better in the last few days than it has been in days past.

Police also announced that the reward leading to the arrest of Sandra Cantu's killer has received a boost. Tracy Crime Stoppers is now offering $30,000 for information leading to the arrest of the girl's killer.

F.B.I. agents were at the Clover Road Baptist Church in Tracy on Friday afternoon searching a shed located on the grounds for possible evidence. they were seen later removing a large object, possibly a couch or a mattress from the church.

This morning, a new memorial for Sandra was started for people to offer condolences to Sandra's family.

The Fry Memorial Chapel in Tracy has opened its doors to mourners who can sign a condolence book and leave mementos in honor of Sandra.

The memorial will continue into the weekend before wrapping up on Monday.

As for the investigation, police searching for Sandra's killer say their investigation has been side-tracked by a slew misleading tips.

Tracy police say they have gotten thousands of tips in the search for the person who killed 8-year-old Sandra, but they say they've been frustrated by several time-wasting leads.

One of those false leads popped up yesterday when someone left an envelope outside the mobile home park where Sandra lived addressed "To My Killer, From Sandra".


Police say it had nothing to do with her death, or the investigation. Following bogus leads wastes the time of more than 25 city officers assigned to the case but detectives say any leads, false or not, are difficult to ignore. They have to check out everything.

Meantime, Sandra's family is planning for her memorial. Tracy police say the family of Sandra Cantu has set a public service for Thursday at 1:30 p.m. at Tracy's Merrill F. West High School.

The service will be held in the school's gym, which holds about 2,500 people. Overflow seating will be available in the school's cafeteria.

The family asks that no more gifts be left outside the trailer park at the site where the makeshift memorial had been located. Donations can be made to Crime Stoppers or to the family's fund.

http://cbs13.com/crime/sandra.cantu.2.981929.html
Title: Re: SANDRA CANTU, | CALIFORNIA - MARCH, 2009 (Body Found 4/6/09)
Post by: Edsonmom on April 10, 2009, 09:17:26 PM

FBI Continues Searching Church In Cantu Case
Pastor's Granddaughter Confirms Note Found Mentions Cantu
POSTED: 11:14 am PDT April 10, 2009
UPDATED: 6:19 pm PDT April 10, 2009


TRACY, Calif. -- The FBI continued on Friday its search of Clover Road Baptist Church in connection with the Sandra Cantu homicide case.

Video

The focus of Friday's search was on a small shed on the church grounds.


Melissa Huckaby, the granddaughter of Clover Road Baptist Church's pastor, the Rev. Lane Lawless, said on Friday that the suitcase in which Cantu was found matched one that was stolen from her. Huckaby also said that she found a note the day after Cantu's disappearance.

According to Huckaby, the note said, "Cantu, Suitcase, Water. The word 'suitcase' was misspelled, and there were two street names including the word 'Whitehall.'"

Cantu disappeared March 27 from her family's home in Orchard Estates Mobile Home Park.


On Monday morning, farm workers found a black, sealed suitcase while they were draining a pond near Bacchetti Road, about two miles from Orchard Estates. The area is full of agricultural fields, plowed land waiting to be planted and some irrigation ditches. It's adjacent to a dairy farm.

The luggage was taken into the county morgue, where the 8-year-old's body was identified.

"I wish they could have found her a lot sooner, if they would have followed up on this a lot sooner," Huckaby said.

A public memorial service will be held at 1 p.m. Thursday at the Merrill F. West High School gym, Sgt. Tony Sheneman said during a media update on Thursday afternoon. The gym seats about 2,500 people, he said.

Anyone wishing to reach Cantu's family may route condolences to the Tracy Police Department, which has assigned a liaison to work with relatives. Those wishing to make donations of money in the girl's memory are being asked to contact the Carole Sund/Carrington Foundation.
http://www.kcra.com/news/19149311/detail.html
Title: Re: SANDRA CANTU, | CALIFORNIA - MARCH, 2009 (Body Found 4/6/09)
Post by: Edsonmom on April 10, 2009, 09:56:24 PM
These are pictures from the search this evening from the Church.. the one with the Van, looks to be a mattress..My bad feeling about this place being used for a child sex ring, just went into overload....
Title: Re: SANDRA CANTU, | CALIFORNIA - MARCH, 2009 (Body Found 4/6/09)
Post by: Edsonmom on April 10, 2009, 10:52:49 PM
Watch the raw video of "Evidence gathered in Tracy murder case...this was also from the church tonight..
They are looking for a weapon... They have a square ruler, and they pick up what looks like a hammer arm & then a stick

http://cbs5.com/video
or
http://cbs5.com/local
Title: Re: SANDRA CANTU, | CALIFORNIA - MARCH, 2009 (Body Found 4/6/09)
Post by: Silverdog on April 11, 2009, 12:22:34 AM
Oh wow, that is a lot of new and interesting information. I this Melissa is in a whole heap of trouble! She swears its not her with the record, but...get real, we werent born yesterday. If the address and the phone numbers match, its her. Oh unless someone stole her identity. Before they came back for her suitcase!!!!!! Arghhh. I have no trust in her, let me tell you.
The mattress in the shed just nauseates me. I agree, Edsonmom, we were onto something when we thought about a sex ring operation based out of that creepy little church. By the way, if no one in that community really attended that church, who was Melissa teaching Sunday School to? And where is the "stuff" that was in the suitcase? And further, why would Melissa ask Miranda(Sandra's sister) to watch her daughter when Connie (Melissa's mom, and Mrs. "Pastor Lawless") was at home anyway? I can see why this is taking the police a long time, there are so many little bits and pieces to sort out. Plus they have to determine everyone's exact involvement...(since we all know there HAS to be multiple people who carried  out this crime.)
And remember before I said whoever put Sandra in that area had to have known the farm, worked on it or something, to know about the pond there? I still stand by that. It looked to me like Melissa admitted to going to that farm often.
I wonder if they found their weapon? If that thing was a hammer handle, thats not good...I cant believe they would bludgeon this child. Too messy. I'd be thinking they either strangled or suffocated her.
Wonder if there is any fact to the allegations of Melissa being questioned about the molestation and drugging of another child?
Well, that said I cant wait til they give us some dirt on Fred. convictions, etc....
Thanks again for your diligence in getting updates up Edsonmom. I was fixing my computer all night because videos wouldnt run and it has been freezing up and being frustratingly slow!
Title: Melissa Huckaby is being questioned again right now..
Post by: Edsonmom on April 11, 2009, 12:30:03 AM
This just came across KCRA News..Melissa Huckaby is being questioned tonight at the Police Head quarters. Her car has also been towed back in for search. Ambulance is at Police station as well, rumors that Melissa may have took drugs tonight trying to overdose NOT CONFIRMED .News guy standing next to Melissa's car... Says that she is still inside being questioned and it's been "confirmed" by police..

Then showed video of the ambulance arriving at the police department "shortly after" Melissa got there. Ambulance is still there.

Then they showed video of police searching Melissa's car earlier this week.  Once they have more on this, I will post update.. for now, this is all the website is saying..the web site usually updates about an hour after news is over..


Granddaughter Of Pastor Inside Tracy Police Station
POSTED: 11:14 am PDT April 10, 2009
UPDATED: 11:12 pm PDT April 10, 2009


TRACY, Calif. -- KCRA 3 has learned Melissa Huckaby, the granddaughter of Clover Road Baptist Church's pastor, the Rev. Lane Lawless, was inside of the Tracy police station on Friday night.

http://www.kcra.com/news/19149311/detail.html
Title: Re: SANDRA CANTU, | CALIFORNIA - MARCH, 2009 (Body Found 4/6/09)
Post by: Edsonmom on April 11, 2009, 12:37:55 AM
Wonder if there is any fact to the allegations of Melissa being questioned about the molestation and drugging of another child?
Well, that said I cant wait til they give us some dirt on Fred. convictions, etc....
Thanks again for your diligence in getting updates up Edsonmom. I was fixing my computer all night because videos wouldnt run and it has been freezing up and being frustratingly slow!

You are very welcome.. Hope your computer is fixed..
The detective told reporters at the press conference this afternoon, that he would check into it for them, as they just would not let it drop..
as for Fred.. both him and his wife have a prior record.. I will have to go back and find the story..
My heart just sunk, when they showed the lady detective picking up that possible hammer handle.. The thought of someone hurting Sandra like that, just makes me sick..
Title: Re: SANDRA CANTU, | CALIFORNIA - MARCH, 2009 (Body Found 4/6/09)
Post by: Silverdog on April 11, 2009, 01:01:00 AM
Yeah, the videos are running great now!! I have to recheck, I didnt see the Melissa questioning/ambulance part, just them saying about the police cadet who saw the vehicle parked the wrong way.
I rechecked, I cannot find that video about Melissa, unconfirmed OD or anything like that!! :(
Title: Re: SANDRA CANTU, | CALIFORNIA - MARCH, 2009 (Body Found 4/6/09)
Post by: Edsonmom on April 11, 2009, 01:19:15 AM
video is not up yet silver.. it was on KCRA News on TV. Just a bit of the story is on their web site, http://www.kcra.com/news/19149311/detail.html
Title: Re: SANDRA CANTU, | CALIFORNIA - MARCH, 2009 (Body Found 4/6/09)
Post by: Silverdog on April 11, 2009, 01:31:16 AM
OK, I saw the little bit written...but yeah, the video isnt posted yet. I was worried it had been removed, LOL.  I'm thinking tomorrow there will be HUGE developments. Lets hope!
Title: Re: SANDRA CANTU, | CALIFORNIA - MARCH, 2009 (Body Found 4/6/09)
Post by: Edsonmom on April 11, 2009, 01:39:52 AM
This case is just getting stranger & stranger.. to much is connected to the pastors family & the church..
I was thinking, you know in that one report, that is says, there was decorations in the "missing suitcase", and that Melissa was going to decorate Sunday school.. I wonder if that is why Sandra wanted to go to the church, maybe Melissa promised her she could help decorate, therefore having a way to get Sandra to the church...but then again, why would she carry decorations for the church in a suitcase, a normal person, would use a box, or bags.. and why would Fred say the suitcase was part of a rummage sale...those two are for sure in this together...
Title: Re: SANDRA CANTU, | CALIFORNIA - MARCH, 2009 (Body Found 4/6/09)
Post by: Edsonmom on April 11, 2009, 01:59:20 AM
Apr 11, 2009 12:00 am US/Pacific
Church, Suitcase May Be Linked In Tracy Death


Police and FBI agents once again searched the Clover Road Baptist Church in Tracy on Friday evening as details emerged explaining a possible connection between the church and a suitcase found in a local irrigation pond earlier this week that contained 8-year-old Sandra Cantu's body.

"They're serving another search warrant," Tracy police Sgt. Tony Sheneman  confirmed as forensic specialists pulled up to the church not long after he told reporters that more search warrants would be served on various locations and vehicles. He would not elaborate further.

The church pastor's granddaughter, 28-year-old Melissa Huckaby, has come forward to claim that she may be the owner of that suitcase.

Huckaby, who is a Sunday school teacher at the church, said in an interview with CBS 5 that her suitcase was stolen the same day Sandra went missing from the mobile home park where she lived.


CBS 5 learned late Friday night that Huckaby was questioned for several hours by detectives at the headquarters of the Tracy Police Department.


Huckaby lives in that same mobile home park and was a neighbor of the girl. She told CBS 5 on Friday that she is the granddaughter of Lane Lawless, the church's pastor who was questioned by police for three hours the night Sandra's body was found.

Authorities had also searched Lawless' church on Tuesday, although Lawless has denied any involvement in Sandra's disappearance and police said he's not at the center of their investigation.

Huckaby said her suitcase had an Eddie Bauer logo and was waterproof and charcoal-trimmed. Those details matched a general description of the suitcase that Sandra's body was found inside.

While Huckaby said she has spoken to authorities, she did not know if her missing suitcase was indeed the one that held the girl's body.

Huckaby said she was packing up the car to go do some work at the nearby church on March 27 — but ended up leaving the suitcase next to her car because she forgot to pack it. About 30 minutes later, when she realized she forgot it, she said she left her grandfather's church and went back to the mobile home park to retrieve her suitcase, but by then it was gone.

Huckaby said Sandra often played with her own daughter, and that Sandra had come over that day, but Huckaby said she told the girl to go away because she was too busy.  

Was Huckaby's suitcase the same one Sandra Cantu's body was found inside? Police declined to comment, except to say that there was no police report filed on a missing suitcase.

"'We've spoken to everybody in the mobile home park," said Sheneman. "Some people once; some people twice. In some cases, several times. I do not know if she was one of those people."

The local newspaper, the Tracy Press, reported that Huckaby had been in intensive care at the hospital the last few days for internal bleeding; but it did not specify what exactly made her so sick.

In other developments Friday, a Stockton police cadet said he saw a man "acting real strange" at the irrigation pond three days before Sandra's body was found in the suitcase pulled from the water.

After the gruesome discovery, Stephen Memory said he spoke to the Federal Bureau of Investigation about what he saw.

The 19-year-old Memory reported that he thought it was odd to see a beige Chevrolet Silverado truck parked on the shoulder of the road facing in the wrong direction on the afternoon of April 3. Sandra's body was found April 6.

Memory said the driver a white man in his late 40s or early 50s wearing a white baseball cap and dark T-shirt appeared to be looking down at the ditch beside the road, which is not well-traveled.

"He was acting real strange," Memory said Friday of the driver. "I drove by real slow to get a good look at him. He looked at me real quick and then he turned away. I just kept going."

Memory, who lives with his parents and sister at a house near the pond, noted that only four or five cars travel the remote road — which is a dead end — on a typical day.

The FBI referred questions to Tracy police. Sheneman said Friday that he was not aware of Memory's report and declined to comment further.

No suspects have been named in the case, but police have said the department has fielded up to 1,800 tips, ranging from useful information to some absurd leads, in the search for Sandra's killer. Sheneman said "the investigation is heading in the right direction," but refused to give details.

One of the many false leads that had popped up occured Thursday, he said, when someone left an envelope outside the mobile home park where Sandra lived addressed "To My Killer, From Sandra".

Police said it had nothing to do with her death, or the investigation. Following bogus leads wastes the time of more than 25 city officers assigned to the case, detectives said. But they added that any leads, false or not, were difficult to ignore and had to be checked out.

On Friday, Sheneman announced a $32,000 reward for information leading to an arrest in the death.

Sandra's family also announced a public memorial service for their daughter at 1 p.m. on April 16.

The service will take at Tracy's Merrill F. West High School and will be held in the school's gymnasium, which holds about 2,500 people. Overflow seating will be available in the school's cafeteria.

Meanwhile, a new memorial was started Friday for people wishing to offer condolences to the family.

The Fry Memorial Chapel in Tracy said its doors would be open through Monday to mourners who wish to sign a condolence book and leave mementos in honor of Sandra.

Manuela Caragoza brought her young children to pay respects. She said one of her own daughters reminds her of Sandra.

"They way they described her as lovable, hugging. It's, it's scary," said Caragoza.

The thought that Sandra's killer is still out there is frightening to many Tracy residents, especially children.

"Because what if he were to take one of us," Caragoza's daughter Stephanie choked out, before breaking into tears.
http://cbs5.com/local/sandra.cantu.investigation.2.981946.html
Title: Re: SANDRA CANTU, | CALIFORNIA - MARCH, 2009 (Body Found 4/6/09)
Post by: Edsonmom on April 11, 2009, 02:10:56 AM
One of the news videos confirming that Melissa is at the Police station..

http://www.cbs13.com/video/?id=51871@kovr.dayport.com

On this other link, watch the video on the left (2nd one) that has the men in front of the door.. 2.17 into the video, it talks about Melissa telling reporters, that she was questioned a few months ago, in reguards to drugging another child in the trailer park.. :o :o

http://www.nbclosangeles.com/news/us_world/Man-Reported-at-Pond-Where-Tracy-Girl-Was-Found--.html
Title: PASTORS GRAND DAUGHTER ARRESTED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Post by: Edsonmom on April 11, 2009, 05:14:28 AM
I KNEW IT WAS HER


Cops: Sunday school teacher held in girl’s death
Woman arrested in connection with murder, kidnapping of Sandra Cantu
 Video

 
 BREAKING NEWS
NBC News and news services
updated 7:01 a.m. ET, Sat., April 11, 2009
TRACY, Calif. - A Sunday school teacher has been arrested  after the body of 8-year old Sandra Cantu was found in a suitcase pulled from a pond.

Melissa Huckaby, 28, was arrested at 11:55 p.m. Friday on suspicion of murder and kidnapping after voluntarily going to police for questioning nearly five hours earlier, Tracy Police Sgt. Tony Sheneman said.

"She gave enough information to us during the course of the interview that probable cause was there to arrest here," Sheneman said.

A massive search for Sandra, which included hundreds of volunteers and law enforcement officials, ended April 6 when farmworkers who were draining the irrigation pond to water fields found a suitcase.

Sheneman told reporters Saturday that investigators were not seeking any other suspects in the case. The motive remains unclear, he added.

The slain girl's aunt, Angie Chavez, said in a phone interview with The Associated Press early Saturday that she was happy to learn of the arrest.

"I want to know why she did it, if she did it," Chavez said.

Pastor's granddaughter
Huckaby previously told The Tracy Press that Sandra visited her home March 27, the day she disappeared. Huckaby also said she had left her suitcase in the driveway that day, and that it was missing.

Huckaby is a granddaughter of Pastor Clifford Lawless, who was questioned by police for three hours the night Sandra's body was found and whose Clover Road Baptist Church has been the subject of a police search.

Lawless has denied involvement in Sandra's disappearance.

Police have said the department has fielded nearly 1,500 tips in the search for Sandra's killer.

On Friday, Sheneman also announced a $32,000 reward for information leading to an arrest.

This is a breaking news story. Please check back for updates.
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/30159623/
Title: PASTORS GRAND DAUGHTER ARRESTED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Post by: Edsonmom on April 11, 2009, 05:19:54 AM
Inmate Information 
Inmate Detail 
 
 
Inmate Name:  HUCKABY, MELISSA 
Aliases:  HUCKABY, MELISSA CHANTEL 
Booking Number:  09-09082 
Date of Birth:  02/23/1981 
Gender:  Female 
Height:  5'03" 
Weight:  125 
Visiting:  24 Hour Lobby Visiting 
Mailing Address:
Mailing Information  HUCKABY, MELISSA / 09-09082
San Joaquin County Jail
999 West Mathews Road
French Camp, CA 95231 
Booking Date/Time:  04/11/2009 at 03:25 AM 
Projected Release Date:  None 
Arresting Agency:  TRACY POLICE DEPARTMENT 
Type of Arrest:     
Charges/Bail:  Case# Pending (00)   - No Bail 
  PC 187  Felony   
      MURDER
  PC 207(A)  Felony   
      KIDNAPPING  
 
 
Total Bail:  Bail not Allowed 
Next Court Date:  04/14/2009 at 01:30 PM 
Court Location & Department:  Manteca Branch  Department: I 
 
http://207.104.50.87/WhosInCustody/InmateDetails.aspx?ID=DAF0723370D288C6624A7007795233ED2EAD0C27289C93EB37E3E3935AF77065CF16B412EA88CAECE6BC53
Title: PASTORS GRAND DAUGHTER ARRESTED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Post by: Edsonmom on April 11, 2009, 05:24:59 AM
Tracy Woman Arrested In Cantu Murder Case
Posted: 10:43 pm PDT April 9, 2009
Updated: 2:46 am PDT April 11, 2009

TRACY, Calif. -- A Tracy woman, who was one of the last people to see eight-year-old Sandra Cantu alive, was arrested early Saturday for the murder of the young girl.

Melissa Huckaby, 28, had been interviewed by police since early Friday evening and was taken into custody at 1 a.m., authorities said.

The arrest ended a wild 16-hour period filled with rumors about Huckaby's possible arrest.

She told the Tracy Press and sources confirmed to KTVU that someone stole her waterproof, charcoal-trimmed Eddie Bauer suitcase from the park two weeks ago. She said she had inadvertently left the suitcase in her driveway and it was taken from there.

She claimed she had filled the suitcase with items to decorate a classroom where she teaches Sunday school at her grandfather’s church, but forgot her keys and cell phone. Huckaby went into the home to retrieve them and then drove off without the bag.

Cantu’s body was found Monday stuffed in a large, dark colored suitcase submerged in a Tracy irrigation pond.

“It’s not my grandfather’s,” Huckaby told the paper of the missing suitcase. “It’s mine and someone took it.”

At an afternnon news conference, Police Sgt. Tony Sheneman said he did not have any information about the kind of suitcase in which the girl's body was found.

She also admitted that Cantu had come over to her mobile home the day the girl disappeared to play with Huckaby’s daughter. Huckaby said she told Cantu that her daughter had to clean her room and the little girl left to go to another unnamed friend’s home.

Huckaby said police had interviewed her at the hospital earlier this week, but at Friday's press conference Sheneman would not confirm that the woman had been interviewed. She spent several days in the intensive care unit being treated for what she said was “internal bleeding.”

Local investigators and FBI technicians had seized Huckaby’s Kia SUV earlier in the week and meticulously searched it. Evidence teams had also searched the grounds of the church where her grandfather, Lane Lawless, is the pastor. Police were back at the church on Friday afternoon.

Sheneman told KTVU early Friday that his department was feeling the pressure for an arrest, but that the media attention given to the case was amplifying any action the department takes.

“First of all, there are a lot of things that go on in an investigation that we do not want the public to hear because part of the public would be some of the suspects,” he said. “We do not want them to know what we are doing. We don’t want whoever it is to be tried on television. We want them to receive a fair trial in court. We want them to receive the punishment they deserve there.”

Meanwhile, the family of the slain girl has set up a public memorial to her at Tracy’s Fry Memorial Chapel. Starting Friday morning, local residents had the opportunity to visit the facility and leave their condolences and written thoughts about the young girl.

Cantu's family was also asking the public to stop leaving items because of the sight of the memorial is a painful reminder. After city workers came in overnight to remove the items, a much smaller memorial remains.

A public memorial service for Sandra Cantu is set for next Thursday, April 16, at 1 p.m at West High School in Tracy.
Copyright 2009 by KTVU.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
http://www.ktvu.com/news/19144730/detail.html
Title: PASTORS GRAND DAUGHTER ARRESTED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Post by: Edsonmom on April 11, 2009, 05:30:15 AM
MURDER ARREST: TRACY CHURCH PASTOR'S GRANDDAUGHTER
 
Tracy police arrested Melissa Huckaby early Saturday for suspicion of kidnapping and murder in the death of 8-year-old Sandra Cantu, CBS 5 has learned and police confirmed.

The 28-year-old Huckaby is a Sunday school teacher and the granddaughter of the pastor of Clover Road Baptist Church, which was searched by authorities for a second time Friday in connection with the case.

Huckaby's arrest came after she was voluntarily questioned by police detectives for several hours on Friday night.

CBS 5 obtained exclusive video of Huckaby leaving the mobile home park, where both she and the girl lived, and driving away. She signaled that she had to leave.

She later sent a text message, telling CBS 5 that she was on the way to meet with police detectives.

At 2:25 a.m., police drove Huckaby out of their headquarters in an unmarked car, headed for the San Joaquin County Jail, where she was booked on charges of kidnapping and murder.

"We have information that by the time (Sandra Cantu) was reported missing to us, she had already been murdered," said Police Chief Janet Thiessen said. :'( :'(

However, Thiessen would not elaborate on the cause of Sandra's death nor the motive in the case.

"This is a terrible terbible tragedy," Thiessen added. "An act against a child that has wide-reaching implications."

Sandra's body was found inside a suitcase in an irrigation pond on April 6.

In a phone interview on Friday, Huckaby had told CBS 5 that Sandra visited her home March 27, the day she disappeared. Huckaby also said she had left a suitcase in the driveway that day, and that it was missing.

Huckaby is the granddaughter of Pastor Clifford Lawless, whose church was the subject of police searches on Tuesday and Friday in connection with the investigation into the girl's death.

Investigators spent so much time at the nearby church, police Sgt. Tony Sheneman said, because Huckaby was a Sunday School teacher there.

Huckaby was recently convicted for petty theft in San Joaquin County. According to court records, Huckaby claimed she was not mentally competent to stand trial. The judge ordered her to be examined by physicians.

Later, it was determined that she was competent and she pleaded guilty. Huckaby was also convicted in November of 2006 for petty theft at the Bellflower Superior Court in Los Angeles County.

I SEE A NOT MENTALLY COMPETENT PLEA COMMING.. >:(

http://cbs5.com/crime/sandra.cantu.arrest.2.982515.html
Title: PASTORS GRAND DAUGHTER ARRESTED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Post by: Edsonmom on April 11, 2009, 05:37:57 AM
Breaking news: ARREST


Huckaby was arrested at the Tracy Police Department, where she had gone voluntarily for questioning nearly five hours earlier, police spokesman Sgt. Tony Sheneman said.

She was booked into custody at 2:49 a.m. Saturday at San Joaquin County Jail, in French Camp.

Huckaby, a West High School graduate, lives with her grandparents, Clifford Lane Lawless and Connie Lawless, in the Orchard Estates Mobile Home Park, where Sandra lived.

No other arrests were made, and Sheneman offered no other details but said he would have a press conference at 10 a.m. today.

Huckaby told a Tracy Press reporter in an exclusive interview Friday that she teaches Sunday school at Clover Road Baptist Church, her grandfather’s church just down the street from the mobile home park.

She said someone took her large, black suitcase that she’d left in her driveway on March 27, the same afternoon that Sandra went missing.

Police found Sandra’s dead body in a black suitcase submerged in a dairy lagoon 2 miles north of the mobile home park.

Earlier Friday evening, FBI agents and police were seen at the Baptist church, where they loaded what looked like a fold-up bed into a crime scene van. They had searched the church on Monday.

Huckaby told the Tracy Press that she and her 5-year-old daughter had lived for the past year with her grandparents and that on March 27 Sandra had stopped by her house and asked to play with her daughter. Huckaby said she’d said no, because her daughter needed to pick up her toys and that Sandra went to another friend’s home.

Huckaby’s dark purple Kia SUV was towed and searched by police Tuesday night.

When she talked to the Tracy Press Friday, she said she wasn’t the same Melissa Huckaby who pleaded no contest Jan. 9 to a felony charge of second-degree commercial burglary and a misdemeanor charge of petty theft after being arrested in November 2008 for trying to steal something from Target. She had been examined by doctors and was deemed mentally competent to stand trial. She was due back in court next week for sentencing.

The criminal complaint also shows she was locked up in Los Angeles County for conviction of property theft in 2006.

Huckaby was released Thursday from Sutter Tracy Community Hospital, where she spent several days in the intensive care unit for what she described as “internal bleeding.” Police were stationed at the hospital during her stay.

Police announced Friday a $32,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the killer of Sandra Cantu, last seen in a surveillance video skipping down the street near her mobile home.
http://tracypress.com/pages/full_story?page_label=home&article-Breaking%20news-%20ARREST%20=&id=2300718-Breaking+news-+ARREST&widget=push&instance=home_news_lead_story&open=&
Title: PASTORS GRAND DAUGHTER ARRESTED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Post by: Edsonmom on April 11, 2009, 05:54:52 AM
Tracy police make arrest in Cantu case (2:59 a.m.)

April 11, 2009 6:00 AM
TRACY – By the time Sandra Cantu was reported missing two weeks ago, she was likely already dead, authorities said.

Tracy police late Friday arrested a Sunday School teacher and granddaughter of a church pastor in connection with the death of the 8-year-old girl, five days since the girl's body was found sealed inside a suitcase.

Melissa Chantel Huckaby, 28, was booked into San Joaquin County Jail early today on suspicion of kidnapping and murder, Tracy police Sgt. Tony Sheneman said.

Huckaby was arrested at 11:55 p.m. Friday at the police station after hours of questioning, Sheneman said. He could not immediately provide more details about what led investigators to the woman.

Sheneman said no additional arrests are expected in connection with Sandra’s death.

“This is a terrible, terrible tragedy, an act against a child that has had far- reaching implications,” Police Chief Janet Thiessen said at an early morning press conference.

Huckaby lives with her grandparents doors down from Sandra’s family. Her grandfather is the pastor of the Clover Road Baptist Church, a small, beige building hidden along a dead-end country road that has been the focus of recent police and FBI searches.

The church is just a short walk from Sandra’s home, the Orchard Estates Mobile Home Park, where the little girl was last seen alive.
Sandra disappeared March 27. On Monday, farmworkers draining an irrigation pond a couple of miles north of her home discovered the suitcase carrying her remains.

In the days after she vanished, police and FBI agents focused much of their searches in the neighborhood itself, serving several warrants on homes, questioning all of its residents multiple times and checking vehicles at the entrance for days.

When Sandra’s body surfaced Monday, investigators eyed the Lawless home and the tiny church.

By Friday, Huckaby had told multiple media outlets her suitcase – similar in description to the one Sandra was found inside – went missing the same day Sandra disappeared.

Huckaby said she told police about her missing luggage but never filed a formal police report.

Huckaby also told a Sacramento television station she found a note the day after Sandra vanished, which she said offered clues to the submerged suitcase.

Reached by phone earlier Friday, Huckaby told The Record, “I don’t want to talk right now,” then hung up.

At today’s press conference, Sheneman said Huckaby had lied to reporters.

Moments later, however, investigators again raided the Clover Road Baptist Church. FBI agents and police scoured the grounds, even climbing on the roof, and appeared to focus on a shed next to the main structure.

For more on this story, visit Recordnet.com/sandra.
http://www.recordnet.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20090411/A_NEWS/90411001
Title: PASTORS GRAND DAUGHTER ARRESTED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Post by: Edsonmom on April 11, 2009, 06:04:40 AM
I AM SO FRIGGEN PISSED OFF RIGHT NOW... >:(
sorry for yelling..
This woman has a 5 year old daughter of her own.. now her daughter will have to live with the fact, that her mommy killed her best friend.. I bet it scared the hell out of her, having all the police, FBI & CSI around her home so much..stupid B###h, did not care about what would happen to her own daughter, by doing this, and took an innocent little 8 year old life.. SHE DESTROYED 2 YOUNG LIVES FOREVER... I HOPE SHE ROTS IN HELL.......
I still think there will be more arrests.. when Kleman was charged in Emily's case, they said that day, "There would be no other charges" and guess what, 3 more charges were laid against him... I bet she rolls over on who helped her, as part of a flippen plea agreement...
KIDNAPPING & MURDER
Title: Re: SANDRA CANTU, | CALIFORNIA - MARCH, 2009 (Body Found 4/6/09)
Post by: Chris on April 11, 2009, 06:33:51 AM
Wow! THis is shocking! Just shocking!
Title: PASTORS GRAND DAUGHTER ARRESTED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Post by: Edsonmom on April 11, 2009, 06:43:11 AM
so sad, Sandra was dead, before she was even reported missing, the detective just said, that Sandra was killed just after she was kidnapped.. I wonder if they are going to really look into the so called second drugging and assult in the trailer park, the incident, that Melissa herself told reporters about yesterday...Melissa confessed by the end of interview.. sorry for spelling.. I am getting tired, I have been up all night following this, as I had a feeling, she was going to be arrested last night..

Video of press conference announcing the arrest..

http://kron.com/News/ArticleView/tabid/298/smid/1126/ArticleID/1013/reftab/36/t/Sunday-School-Teacher-Arrested-in-Sandra-Cantu-Murder/Default.aspx
Title: PASTORS GRAND DAUGHTER ARRESTED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Post by: Edsonmom on April 11, 2009, 07:15:35 AM
You are right Chris, I am shocked.. just trying to make sense of yesterdays issues..

She comes forward, and tells the press, that the suitcase was hers.
she admits Sandra was at her place that day, but told her to " Go away, I am busy"
she tells the press, that she found a note, in the mailboxes, telling where Sandra was.
The cops issue new SW for church, and take a 'Fold up bed" into evidence, as well as other stuff.
She tells the press, that another child, that she and her daughter spent the day with, was drugged when she got home, and that the police questioned her about it..
Forgot to add, that in conference, detective says that this arrest has "far reaching implications"...

My thoughts now, are they should check the tox levels in her daughter.. I have a feeling, that she used her daughter, to get her friends to come over, drugged them with something, then either molested them, or posed them on that fold up bed, for child porn pictures to sell..but someone else is involved..oh ya, it was also reported yesterday, that she was involved with the married man (sinclair I Think his name is) that was taken in, at the beginning, for staling the investigation


RIP little Sandra.. Justice has just got a little closer..I pray, that you did not feel any pain.. :'(
Title: Re: SANDRA CANTU, | CALIFORNIA - MARCH, 2009 (Body Found 4/6/09)
Post by: capeheart on April 11, 2009, 10:00:58 AM
So very sad that this has happened and not the outcome we thought, it even makes it worse then anyone ever imagined. I still say that if dogs had have been used at the very beginning that they may have been able to save her life. Dogs could have led them right to the spot where Sandra was. I am not alone in thinking that, a person on a show last night who was being interviewed said the same thing. Well maybe it will be implemented the next time immediately when a child goes missing. God bless Sandra and the terrible death she endured. I definitely thought that the person who owned that suitcase was involved, because saying it was stolen was a big coverup. I think there is someone else involved here. You mention that she was drugging the child or children, sick, sick, sick, this is a case that crys for the death penalty for sure. I guess people were trusting the church with their children, well it goes to show you cannot let your children out of your sight. God bless her mom and dad and her friends and RIP Sandra. My condolences to everyone in that community, which will also be affected by this terrible tragedy.  :'( :'( :'( :'( :'( :'( :'( :'( :'( :'(
Title: Re: SANDRA CANTU, | CALIFORNIA - MARCH, 2009 (Body Found 4/6/09)
Post by: Silverdog on April 11, 2009, 10:05:51 AM
OH....MY...GOD.....

I am just....ugh, there are no words. I thought, MH would be arrested, but I find it absolutely impossible to believe that she acted alone. **someone** disposed of that body (think the police cadet's report of the vehicle parked backwards). You cannot tell me that SHE hauled that suitcase alone from the vehicle, across the road and into that pond. The cadet said he saw a suspicious looking man.

I agree, Edsonmom, the police will tell her that everything will be easier when she opens up and tells who else was involved. She just better not get any Karla Homolka deal with the devil type leniency in exchange for ratting someone else out. Evil b****.

I am so upset. A MOM did this!!! To another mom's baby. (Lord knows what she does to her own daughter!) YOu know, I would like to think she drugged this little girl and the drugs were too strong....that little Sandra just slipped away painlessly in her sleep. I dont want to think she was hurt or tortured.

Rest in peace, little Sandra...we are one step closer. The truth will all come out.

Title: Re: SANDRA CANTU, | CALIFORNIA - MARCH, 2009 (Body Found 4/6/09)
Post by: debbiec on April 11, 2009, 11:27:19 AM
Silverdog you said something in your post that I have been wondering about myself. I wonder if she drugged Sandra with no intention of causing her death. The drugs may have been too strong or something else went wrong. At that point she had to try and cover up what she had done so she found a way of disposing of her body. I would also think she had help in doing that.
Title: Re: SANDRA CANTU, | CALIFORNIA - MARCH, 2009 (Body Found 4/6/09)
Post by: Edsonmom on April 11, 2009, 02:19:53 PM
Arrest Made In Cantu Murder Case
 
Break in case came late Friday night
 
Updated 10:40 AM PDT, Sat, Apr 11, 2009


San Joaquin County Sheriff's department provided this booking photo of Melissa Huckaby taken Saturday April 11, 2009.

 A Sunday school teacher and neighbor was arrested on suspicion of kidnapping and killing 8-year-old Sandra Cantu, whose body was found in a suitcase in an irrigation pond.

Melissa Huckaby, 28, was arrested at 11:55 p.m. Friday, about five hours after she drove herself to the local police station at the request of officers for questioning, said police Sgt. Tony Sheneman.

"She gave enough information to us during the course of the interview that probable cause was there to arrest her," said Sheneman. No other arrests were made.

Sheneman said she was calm at the beginning of the questioning, then turned emotional and by end he said she was "resigned" to what was happening.   

Police went to Sandra's home to tell them of the arrest immediately.  They said the family was shocked to hear that their neighbor  and Sunday school teacher was under arrest.  They said they had not watched news reports on Friday.  Sandra was good friends with Huckaby's daughter.

He said they now believe that Cantu was already dead by the time she was reported missing.  Police said that they also found the spot where the child died but would give the location.

Police would not reveal a motive or how the little girl was killed.  Sheneman said it is unusual for a child's murder suspect to be a woman.

Huckaby is a granddaughter of Pastor Clifford Lawless, whose Clover Road Baptist Church was the subject of a police search. Huckaby taught Sunday school at the church and lived with Lawless in the Orchard Estates Mobile Home Park that also was Sandra's home.

Huckaby told NBC Bay Area reporter Jodi Hernandez Friday that a Eddie Bauer black and gray suitcase had been stolen from her driveway the day Sandra disappeared.  She said it was filled with scrap booking supplies.  She also said that she found a note near the Cantu home the night after the child's disappearance that had the words, "Cantu," "water,"  and "suitcase" along with the name of the street where Sandra's body was found.

Without going into specifics, Sheneman told The Associated Press that The Tracy Press' published interviews with Huckaby revealed inconsistencies that prompted further inquiries from investigators.

Huckaby is being held without bail at San Joaquin County Jail, and is scheduled to be arraigned Tuesday, according to the county sheriff's website.

Sandra disappeared on March 27 and hundreds of volunteers and law enforcement officials turned out to search for her.  Police said they received 1,500 tips in the hunt for Sandra.

On April 6, farm workers draining an irrigation pond found the suitcase.  The child's body was inside. They have refused to accept any reward money, according to police.

The slain girl's aunt, Angie Chavez, said in a phone interview with The Associated Press early Saturday that she was happy to learn of the arrest.

"I want to know why she did it, if she did it," Chavez said. Chavez added that she had no indication that Huckaby could be a suspect and her family had been avoiding the news because it was too painful to follow.

Chavez said some family members would talk about the arrest later Saturday.

During an early morning news conference, Tracy Police Chief Janet Thiessen said investigators worked the case tirelessly in the hopes of finding Sandra.

Huckaby had previously told The Tracy Press that Sandra visited her home on the day of her disappearance to play with her 5-year-old daughter. But Huckaby said she'd turned Sandra away because her daughter needed to pick up her toys and Sandra went to another friend's home.

The Tracy Press also reported that Huckaby was released Thursday from Sutter Tracy Community Hospital, where she spent several days in intensive care for what she described as "internal bleeding."

Huckaby's family had been questioned at length during the investigation, and their home and vehicles had been searched, Sheneman said.

Huckaby was scheduled to appear in court on April 17 to check in with a county mental health program as part of a three-year probation sentence for a petty theft charge to which she pleaded no contest.

In an interview with the newspaper on Friday, Huckaby said someone else by the same name was facing charges for the attempted November theft from Target.

Barbara Sokoloski, 69, whose home is behind Sandra's, said she is glad an arrest was made. She described Sandra as "a friendly sweet little girl who always went around trying to find somebody to play with."

"It's too bad that kids these days can't go out and play like we did when I was a little girl," she said.

Related Stories
Tracy Farmworkers Find Body of Sandra Cantu 
Sandra's Mother: No Idea Who Killed Her 
A Tracy church is opening its doors to the public so they have a place to mourn Sandra Cantu.
 
Fry Memorial Chapel will be open through the weekend.
550 South Central Avenue
Tracy, CA
Hours: 10-4 on Saturday, Sunday and Monday

Public Funeral Sandra Cantu is scheduled to begin at 1 p.m.
Merrill F. West High School
1775 West Lowell Avenue, Tracy

Copyright Associated Press / NBC Bay Area
http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/local/Sunday-School-Teacher-Arrested-In-Cantu-Murder-Case.html
Title: Re: SANDRA CANTU, | CALIFORNIA - MARCH, 2009 (Body Found 4/6/09)
Post by: Edsonmom on April 11, 2009, 03:16:23 PM
This mornings 10:00 am press conference..

http://cbs5.com/video/?id=48747@kpix.dayport.com
Title: Re: SANDRA CANTU, | CALIFORNIA - MARCH, 2009 (Body Found 4/6/09)
Post by: Edsonmom on April 11, 2009, 05:03:27 PM
Any Legal members here.. I have a question.. What is the difference between 187  Felony   
      MURDER  & 187 (A) Felony Murder.. as both of these are now listed on the Inmate Information sheet. and last night it only had 187 Felony Murder?? I am confused, is this 2 seperate charges??


Yesterdays:
Inmate Information 
Inmate Detail 
 
 
Inmate Name:  HUCKABY, MELISSA 
Aliases:  HUCKABY, MELISSA CHANTEL 
Booking Number:  09-09082 
Date of Birth:  02/23/1981 
Gender:  Female 
Height:  5'03" 
Weight:  125 
Visiting:  24 Hour Lobby Visiting 
Mailing Address:
Mailing Information  HUCKABY, MELISSA / 09-09082
San Joaquin County Jail
999 West Mathews Road
French Camp, CA 95231 
Booking Date/Time:  04/11/2009 at 03:25 AM 
Projected Release Date:  None 
Arresting Agency:  TRACY POLICE DEPARTMENT 
Type of Arrest:     
Charges/Bail:  Case# Pending (00)   - No Bail 
  PC 187  Felony   
      MURDER
  PC 207(A)  Felony   
      KIDNAPPING  
 
 
Total Bail:  Bail not Allowed 
Next Court Date:  04/14/2009 at 01:30 PM 
Court Location & Department:  Manteca Branch  Department: I 


TODAYS:
Inmate Information 
Inmate Detail 
 
 
Inmate Name:  HUCKABY, MELISSA 
Aliases:  HUCKABY, MELISSA CHANTEL 
Booking Number:  09-09082 
Date of Birth:  02/23/1981 
Gender:  Female 
Height:  5'03" 
Weight:  125 
Visiting:  24 Hour Lobby Visiting 
Mailing Address:
Mailing Information  HUCKABY, MELISSA / 09-09082
San Joaquin County Jail
999 West Mathews Road
French Camp, CA 95231 
Booking Date/Time:  04/11/2009 at 03:25 AM 
Projected Release Date:  None 
Arresting Agency:  TRACY POLICE DEPARTMENT 
Type of Arrest:     
Charges/Bail:  Case# Pending (00)   - No Bail 
  PC 187  Felony   
      MURDER
  PC 187(A)  Felony   
      MURDER
  PC 207(A)  Felony   
      KIDNAPPING  
 
 
Total Bail:  Bail not Allowed 
Next Court Date:  04/14/2009 at 01:30 PM 
Court Location & Department:  Manteca Branch  Department: I 
 
http://207.104.50.87/WhosInCustody/InmateDetails.aspx?ID=DAF0723370D288C6624A7007795233ED2EAD0C27289C93EB37E3E3935AF77065CF16B412EA88CAECE6BC53
Title: Re: SANDRA CANTU, | CALIFORNIA - MARCH, 2009 (Body Found 4/6/09)
Post by: Edsonmom on April 11, 2009, 05:38:17 PM

I still think this is why she was in ICU this week.. would not be surprized if she went to the hosp saying she was going to kill herself, and they held her for the manditory 72 hour evaluation.. HMMM good way to start a insane plea...
Quote
Huckaby is being held without bail at San Joaquin County Jail, and is scheduled to be arraigned Tuesday.

She is on suicide watch in an observation cell away from other inmates for her own safety, though there have been no incidents, said sheriff's Deputy Les Garcia. Huckaby is refusing visits, he said.

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/n/a/2009/04/11/state/n031600D34.DTL
Title: Re: SANDRA CANTU, | CALIFORNIA - MARCH, 2009 (Body Found 4/6/09)
Post by: capeheart on April 11, 2009, 05:47:27 PM
I don't understand the legal terminology for the USA, they call everything a felony and here in Canada it is different, here is it usually indicated a Summary Conviction or an Indictable Offence, of the latter is more serious. I don't know what they mean when it is Felony, but I think it would be the same as we use Indictable Offence. I'm not a lawyer, but I did work in the court system for some time. Whatever happens, I hope she stays in jail until her conviction. She could rot there, the same as Casey Anthony, hopefully. I somehow or other don't think she acted alone on this, I believe she had help.  I mean, when people say what was the motive, they don't know, WHAT MOTIVE COULD THERE BE FOR KILLING A LITTLE GIRL. I did not like this terminology used. There could be no motive, the only one being is if someone was threatening her life and she was forced to commit a crime. I don't get it.  ??? ??? ??? ??? ???
Title: Re: SANDRA CANTU, | CALIFORNIA - MARCH, 2009 (Body Found 4/6/09)
Post by: Edsonmom on April 11, 2009, 08:27:14 PM
OMG MELISSA HAS 2 CHILDREN!!!

Suspect in Sandra Cantu case described as quiet woman who didn't venture out much with her two young children

By Doug Jastrow
Correspondent
Posted: 04/11/2009 04:33:16 PM PDT
Updated: 04/11/2009 05:04:01 PM PDT


TRACY— As news of Melissa Huckaby's arrest in the Sandra Cantu case quickly made its way through the community Saturday, shocked neighbors and former co-workers described the suspect as a quiet woman who kept mostly to herself.

"They were a weird family," said Carlos Martinez, a handyman for the Orchard Estates Mobile Home Park, where Huckaby, 28, lived with her two young daughters and her grandparents. "They didn't speak with anyone."

Family members of the slain 8-year-old described Huckaby's daughter, a 5-year-old, as one of Sandra's best friends. Huckaby's grandmother Connie Lawless also recalled that Sandra used to come over regularly to play with the girl.

Martinez, who has worked as a handyman at the mobile home park for the past 15 years, remembered seeing Sandra Cantu, last seen alive on March 27, go into Huckaby's home about two weeks ago to play with her friend. According to Martinez, Huckaby's child never played outside with the other children in the neighborhood.

"Kids here are raised to play by themselves, go to the park, kick a ball around," Martinez said. "Her kids never played outside. Sandra was the only girl I've ever seen go inside (the Huckaby/Lawless residence)."

Martinez recalled an incident where some neighborhood children came across Huckaby's child playing outside. He saw Huckaby come out and usher her own child inside.

"She didn't let them play with anybody," Martinez said.

Martinez, who said he never actually spoke with Huckaby in the one year she lived at the mobile home park, was surprised to hear of her arrest, which occurred late Friday night after several hours of questioning at the Tracy Police Department.

"I never thought she would be the person," he said.

Other community members had a hard time remembering Huckaby at all. Mathew Cross, who was visiting a friend Saturday at the mobile home park, said when they saw TV pictures of Huckaby's police booking mug, showing Huckaby looking disheveled with red-rimmed eyes, she didn't look familiar.

"No one's really seen her before," Cross said.

Matt Duncan, an assistant manager at the Food Maxx just down the street from Orchard Estates, remembered Huckaby from when she worked there as a checker in 2004. Duncan described Huckaby as being particularly quiet but otherwise a normal employee.

"She came in, did her job and went home," Duncan said. "She just did her own little thing."

Duncan said Huckaby was eventually fired from the job in 2004 but he did not know the exact circumstances. Duncan said he left the Tracy store during that time. He could recall no disciplinary issues during his time supervising Huckaby.

Linda Candelaria, a co-worker of Huckaby's in 2004 at the grocery store, said news of the arrest left her distraught.

"It's horrible. It makes you lose trust in people," Candelaria said. "Who can you trust?"

Candelaria didn't want to pass any judgements on her former co-worker, but she is hopeful that authorities are now closer to finding Sandra Cantu's killer.

"It's sickening," Candelaria said. "I just hope justice is served, either way."

Carlos Martinez tried to look to the future past the tragedy.

He said there are plans to install more security cameras in the mobile home park like the one that captured the final image of Sandra skipping down the street the day she was last seen alive.

He said the innocence the neighborhood once had has now been lost forever.

"Now it will be a changed life," he said.


http://www.mercurynews.com/crime/ci_12123810?nclick_check=1
Title: Re: SANDRA CANTU, | CALIFORNIA - MARCH, 2009 (Body Found 4/6/09)
Post by: Edsonmom on April 11, 2009, 08:34:33 PM
Melissa's family is stressed because they want to get back to the mobile home community & getting to church property tomorrow ??? what the hell...

Huckaby's Family Speaks On Arrest In Cantu Case
Granduncle Of Accused Is Pastor At Salinas Church
Posted: 04/11/2009 04:33:16 PM PDT
Updated: 04/11/2009 10:36:04 PM PDT

 — Melissa Huckaby's family was "shocked" by her arrest in the Sandra Cantu case, a relative said.

"We're trying to just gather our thoughts," Joanie Hughes said by phone Saturday.

Hughes, who identified herself as the daughter of Huckaby's grandparents Lane and Connie Lawless, said her family had been out of town when Huckaby was arrested Friday in connection with 8-year-old Sandra's death, and they were still trying to process the news.

"We're very shocked," Hughes said.

She declined to elaborate on Huckaby or the case, but said an official statement from her family would be forthcoming.

"My brothers and I do plan on preparing a statement "... and will be able to address the

Huckaby, 28, had been living with her young daughter and her grandparents at Orchard Estates Mobile Home Park, down the street from Sandra and her family. Relatives of the slain 8-year-old have said Huckaby's daughter, a 5-year-old, was one of Sandra's best friends.

Huckaby's grandmother Connie Lawless also recalled that Sandra used to come over regularly to play with the girl.

Huckaby's grandfather Lane Lawless was the pastor at Clover Road Baptist Church, down the block from the mobile home park. Huckaby had been a Sunday school teacher there.

The church has a small congregation, only 20 or so members, Hughes said.

She said her father didn't start it but has been the church's

pastor for the past 30 years.

"I'm not sure exactly how long the church has been here, but it's many years — I think since the '50s," she said.


SALINAS, Calif. -- News of Melissa Huckaby in jail, booked on suspicion of the kidnapping and murder of 8-year old Sandra Cantu, has hit her family hard, in particular, her father.

Pastor Dewayne Harris is Huckaby's granduncle and a pastor at the Alisal Baptist Church in Salinas.

"He's OK. He's taking it hard of course," Harris said. "What do you do? Your 28-year-old daughter she winds up arrested."

He described her as a sweet girl, though quiet -- a big contrast to the picture painted by Huckaby's mug shot and the video of her being taken away by Tracy police early Saturday morning.

"I'm not relieved that it's a member of my family that's been arrested, but I am relieved that maybe they're getting close to closing the case," Harris said.

Huckaby taught kids at the local Sunday school. Harris said it was not very surprising because his grandniece loves kids.

"My thought on it is if she did have something to do with this, to me it must have been an accident and she panicked," Harris said.

Harris said even with his grandniece's arrest, the attention should remain positive and focus on the family of Sandra Cantu.

"It's tragic to our family, but it pales in comparison to what the Cantu family is suffering. They need some hope," Harris said.

Harris said he hopes his family will be able to move forward. They headed home to Tracy from Salinas Saturday which also meant driving into the chaos that has swept their community.

"That's what they're stressed over now, getting home back into the mobile home community, getting to church property tomorrow," Harris said.

But they said they will have their Easter Sunday service no matter where they have to hold it.
Copyright 2009 by KSBW.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
http://www.ksbw.com/news/19157916/detail.html
Title: Re: SANDRA CANTU, | CALIFORNIA - MARCH, 2009 (Body Found 4/6/09)
Post by: Silverdog on April 11, 2009, 11:17:53 PM
That church should be burned to the ground! I honestly think if I lived there I would petition to have it destroyed. (if I chose to take the high road and not accidently throw a molotov cocktail through the window!). The police should not have removed the crime scene tape, it is an insult to the Cantu family. Too much EVIL there.They wont comment on exactly where the crime happened, but I personally could not worship in a place that is tainted like that. I cant even imagine that the Pastors family can remain in that park!!

Wonder if Melissa wrote the "I forgive you..." note??

Also, she has been her own worst enemy in this crime, with the suitcase being "stolen", etc (major inconsistencies there..I called the police, no wait, I did it online because I forgot to call the police), telling them she was familiar with that farm, she went there often...etc..... She took herself down!! I do wonder if we are going to wind up looking at a manslaughter charge later on down the line if she claims the death was accidental (drug OD). They say no more arrests are imminent but I STILL cant wrap my brain around the fact that she could have done this, start to finish, by herself. It took 4 guys to carry that suitcase from the pond to the stretcher. But ONE woman can take it from the vehicle to the water?? Sorry, I just cant swallow that. Whoever put that suitcase in the pond needs to be charged with indignity to a human body, accomplice, aiding and abetting, SOMETHING.

I guess the guy who saw the bushy mustache guy in a boat with Sandra was mistaken. She was dead before that!

This whole situation just makes me sick to my stomach. I honestly dont think search dogs would have saved Sandra. Sadly, they know she was dead before even being reported missing. I hope they really check carefully into this woman's little daughter...who knows what she has been subjected to in her own life?!

As always Edsonmom, thank you for staying right on top of this and posting all the great results of your research! Very much appreciated! :)
Title: Re: SANDRA CANTU, | CALIFORNIA - MARCH, 2009 (Body Found 4/6/09)
Post by: Edsonmom on April 12, 2009, 12:46:42 AM
Family And Community Reacts to Cantu Murder Arrest
 Email
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 RSS By: Jamie Soriano

April 12, 2009

TRACY - "We want to know why," said Angie Chavez, Sandra Cantu's aunt. It has been an emotional rollercoaster for the little girl's family. "If you imagine the worst possible loss that you've ever had, multiply it times ten and you might be kind of close to how we're feeling," said Chavez.


Chavez and her husband Joe Chavez say they have no idea why someone would kill an innocent child. Sandra's accused killer is Melissa Huckaby, a 28 year old mother and Sunday school teacher.

"She had to know what she was doing. She's a Sunday school teacher. What's the sixth commandment? Thou shall not kill. Come on, she taught it right?" said Joe Chavez, Sandra's uncle.

Sandra used to play with Huckaby's five year old daughter at the Orchard Estates mobile home park where they both lived. Residents of the mobile home park say things may never be the same there.

"It's going to take a lot of time. Everybody is going to be very weary of everybody. Not just here in the trailer park, but everywhere in Tracy," said Lora Polk.

"It's just scary knowing that someone could actually do something like that. It didn't matter where they lived," said Jocelyn Ripoyla.

While the arrest brings some relief, Sandra's family says nothing will bring her back.

"We're not going to be able to see Sandra grow up to become a beautiful, intelligent young woman that she deserves to be. This woman will be in prison and will be able to see her daughter grow up still," said Joe Chavez.

http://www.fox40.com/pages/landing_local_headlines/?Family-And-Community-Reacts-to-Cantu-Mur=1&blockID=264239&feedID=190
Title: Re: SANDRA CANTU, | CALIFORNIA - MARCH, 2009 (Body Found 4/6/09)
Post by: Edsonmom on April 12, 2009, 01:33:43 AM
You are so very welcome Silver..Thank you for the kind words..

From what I am hearing, Fred Williams was the one to drop that note off at the memorial site, The police have set up camera's outside the trailer park, just after Sandra went missing, and apparently, but not confirmed, they have it on tape..
The second note, that Melissa says she found saying where Sandra's body was, has been confirmed by Police, to have been written by Melissa.
There are also unconfirmed rumors, that while FBI were on the roof of the church Friday, doing their search, they came across a receiver.
 It was also confirmed that Melissa attended the second candle vigil for Sandra..(Sound like a female Ross Kleman- I am referring again to the Emily Stauffer case..As Kleman.. the man charged with her murder, was at Emily's Vigil, and shook Pastor Stauffer's hand.. and just in case you were unaware Silver.. Kleman is also " A man of the cloth".)
I agree, Melissa was her own worst enemy. Makes you wonder, if she was looking for the attention, or was she trying to get caught.. my thought is the attention..
Title: Re: SANDRA CANTU, | CALIFORNIA - MARCH, 2009 (Body Found 4/6/09)
Post by: Edsonmom on April 12, 2009, 03:05:26 AM
OH MY GOD.. I was reading some of the comments on Pastor Lawless's church web site, and this is one that made me litterally vomit..  :o :o This person has some nerve, and I would like to see them say that to the Cantu family..

Quote
Date:
4/11/2009
Time:
7:47:08 PM
Remote User:
Comments
As a faithful Member of the Church and blood relative of a Christian leader, the granddaughter was merely doing the Lord's work. The child must have been possessed of the Devil. May she repent in Hell and accept the Lord as her Savior. It is beyond our small minds to question the ways of God. All must repent before Judgement Day, mostly the Godless President Barck Hussein Obama.
http://www.clover-road-baptist-church.com/guest_book.htm
Title: Re: SANDRA CANTU, | CALIFORNIA - MARCH, 2009 (Body Found 4/6/09)
Post by: Silverdog on April 12, 2009, 10:23:03 AM
OK that is just beyond all words....what a sick and cruel thing to say. What kind of sick church is this anyway??????? Idiots, "thou shalt not kill" means dont go taking it upon yourself to decide that someone should die and you'll be happy to take on the task in the Lord's name! I'd like to see whoever wrote that have the nerve to sign their name!!! Its just another thing that makes me feel like there is a ring of these crazies.

And that is freaky about a receiver on the church roof. the more stuff I hear, confirmed or unconfirmed, the more certain I am that this whole (specific) church is corrupt.
Title: Re: SANDRA CANTU, | CALIFORNIA - MARCH, 2009 (Body Found 4/6/09)
Post by: lostlinganer on April 12, 2009, 12:53:11 PM
I agree silver;  sounds like something that would come from that smug pastor/father that was on the news....sitting in his car laughing at all this.  Give me two minutes in a room with him! .....he'd suffer far worse than than child.... and maybe I'd be doing "a good deed" riding society of that.
Title: Re: SANDRA CANTU, | CALIFORNIA - MARCH, 2009 (Body Found 4/6/09)
Post by: Silverdog on April 12, 2009, 04:18:59 PM
Amen to that Ling! Anyone ever seen the show "Dexter"?  Well I sure wish there was a Dexter on the Police force there in Tracy.
Title: Re: SANDRA CANTU, | CALIFORNIA - MARCH, 2009 (Body Found 4/6/09)
Post by: capeheart on April 12, 2009, 05:46:19 PM
This pastor is evil beyond what anyone can believe. He is absolutely responsible for this in some manner. If he had is granddaughter under brainwashing and making her do things against her will, this is what has happened, he is the Devil living right in Tracy, California. I am with you people, when the police have investigated and got every bit of evidence from that building, BURN IT TO THE GROUND.HE MAKES ME SICK TO MY STOMACH, I saw him on TV and he just said, oh, no, we had nothing to do with this and all the while there was a smirking grin on his face. I wonder what crimes will come out of all this besides of a dear little girl Sandra. The people should demand that that place be destroyed. And how can we call it a church, a church is where people go to find peace and pray, this was the house of the devil and just a building, not a church.  ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ???
Title: Re: SANDRA CANTU, | CALIFORNIA - MARCH, 2009 (Body Found 4/6/09)
Post by: lostlinganer on April 12, 2009, 05:50:48 PM
I don't want to distract from the topic cape; but churches (organized religions) imo. are no longer churches in the sense we were taught and lived by.  They are now nothing more than "businesses" and jobs for a few people.  Don't get me wrong; I am still a Christian, but I no longer believe in organized religion.  God help the children of today's "so called religions".
Title: Re: SANDRA CANTU, | CALIFORNIA - MARCH, 2009 (Body Found 4/6/09)
Post by: capeheart on April 12, 2009, 06:09:45 PM
Most of these places that are just taken over and somebody takes power over a building and calls it a church and he probably doesn't even have a licence to do so. I mean he probably didn't study anything about religion. You can buy anything today, a piece of paper can be made up on the internet to make you look like a rocket scientist and it is being done everyday. People are putting themselves out there to be anything they want. You can write to any magazine and get bogus licences, so that is what this person probably did and everybody just believed him. And of course, who would know this woman had a criminal record when it was her grandfather who was running the show. Phony people taking charge and controlling little children. I feel so sorry for Sandra's mom and dad, because they trusted these people. Parents should always question children when they come back from a friend's place, like what they did there and just a little questioning like not to scare them, but to just find out what they did. Sometimes the child may say something that wasn't right. ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ???
Title: Re: SANDRA CANTU, | CALIFORNIA - MARCH, 2009 (Body Found 4/6/09)
Post by: Silverdog on April 12, 2009, 08:35:54 PM
Scary that ANYONE can get a church building and start up any old kind of cult they want. Anyone can call themselves a Pastor...its just wrong. But I doubt it  will ever stop. The sickos see this guise as safe.

I kind of hope someone goes in for vigilante justice and destroys that building. It should not be left standing, and it should not be a place of worship. To me thats just sacreligious. (hope I spelled that right, sorry if not)
Title: Re: SANDRA CANTU, | CALIFORNIA - MARCH, 2009 (Body Found 4/6/09)
Post by: Edsonmom on April 12, 2009, 08:53:08 PM
Sandra's Murder took place in the church.. >:(

Melissa's family speaks out video..

http://www.cbs13.com/video/?id=51938@kovr.dayport.com
Title: Re: SANDRA CANTU, | CALIFORNIA - MARCH, 2009 (Body Found 4/6/09)
Post by: Edsonmom on April 12, 2009, 08:57:22 PM
Police say Tracy girl died prior to 911 call
By Mike Martinez/MediaNews Group
Posted: 04/12/2009 01:59:27 AM PDT


TRACY -- Eight-year-old Sandra Cantu was likely dead before anyone ever called police to report her missing more than two weeks ago, police said Saturday, although officials declined to discuss how the girl was killed or any potential motives.

Police late Friday night arrested a Sunday school teacher who said Sandra Cantu visited her home March 27, the day she was last seen alive. Melissa Huckaby, 28, is being held without bail at San Joaquin County Jail.


Police Sgt. Tony Sheneman said inconsistencies in comments the woman had made to investigators as well to the media prompted an arrest.


Tracy Police said the Jacobson Elementary School second-grader -- who was good friends with Huckaby's 5-year-old daughter -- was dead before her mother called 911 at 8 p.m. March 27 to report her missing.


"From information gathered, Sandra was killed not too long after she went missing," Sheneman said, adding there are no other suspects in the case.


While the arrest was good news to relatives, "there's never closure," said Sandra's aunt, Angie Chavez.


"This is just the beginning," said her uncle, Joe Chavez. "We have to live the rest of our lives without Sandra."


The girl was last seen on a surveillance video tape, skipping by her home in the Orchard Estates Mobile Home Park around 4 p.m. Her body was found inside a black suitcase in an irrigation ditch, about two miles north of the park, Monday morning.


"Everyone ... wished us luck in finding the guys,


the monster that did this," Sheneman said. "Finding out, one, that it's a woman that is responsible for Sandra's kidnapping and murder, and then finding out that it's a member of the community is another blow. To find out it was someone Sandra's family knew is a double blow."

A cause of death will not be revealed until a trial is held. A coroner's report on the girl and various other documents are expected to be sealed by the court.


Huckaby was arrested late Friday night after speaking with Tracy police for several hours without an attorney.


Deputy Les Garcia, a spokesman for the San Joaquin County Sheriff's Office, said Huckaby was "under observation" as a precaution. The woman has declined interview requests, the sheriff's office said, and members of her family could not be reached for comment.


Sheneman said Huckaby became emotional during her interview with investigators, which lasted until 1:30 a.m. She had been questioned twice in the past week.


He said they found a murder scene but couldn't reveal where it is.


"This has been difficult for any parent in the country," Sheneman said. "The parents in Tracy were frightened because there was a killer amongst them. Professionally, while we're confident and pleased that an arrest has been made, you can never reverse what happened (to Sandra). There is no joy in this."


Huckaby, a 1999 graduate of Merrill F. West High School in Tracy, is the granddaughter of Clifford Lane Lawless, pastor of Clover Road Baptist Church, which investigators searched twice this week. She lived with Lawless and his wife in a unit of the Orchard Estates Mobile Home Park, across the street and about five houses from Sandra Cantu's home.


Huckaby told several media outlets Friday the suitcase Sandra Cantu's body was found in on Monday belonged to her, which Sheneman confirmed Saturday. Huckaby said the suitcase disappeared from her driveway in the mobile home park the same day Sandra was reported missing.


Huckaby said she had prepared the suitcase with scrapbooking items to be taken to Clover Road Baptist Church for a Sunday school class she teaches. Huckaby said she left the bag in her driveway accidentally after getting distracted while searching for her phone and keys.


When Huckaby's grandmother, Connie Lawless, called her to say she had found the missing items, Huckaby said she remembered the suitcase and asked family members to check on it. It wasn't there.


She told the Tracy Press she meant to file a police report but never did. Some television stations reported Huckaby said she filed a police report.


According to logs with the San Joaquin County Sheriff's Office and the Tracy Police Department, no one reported a missing suitcase from the Orchard Park Mobile Home Estates or the Clover Road Baptist Church in the past three weeks.


Huckaby said Sandra had stopped by her house March 27 to play with her 5-year-old daughter, but she told Sandra the girl wasn't being allowed to have a friend over. She said Sandra left to go to another friend's house.


The last images of Sandra, captured on a video surveillance camera set up by her grandparents, show the little girl skipping across the roadway toward her home before veering right and heading in another direction.


Sandra's body was found Monday, inside a large black suitcase discovered in an agricultural pond being drained 2 miles from the mobile home park on West Clover Road, just off Interstate 205 in north Tracy.


A source close to the investigation said that at first glance there were no visible signs of trauma on the girl.


Lawless, who was in the media spotlight when FBI investigators searched the church earlier this week, is the pastor, but police have said he is not a suspect. The church was searched again around 4 p.m. Friday and several unidentified items were reportedly removed.


The church's Web site states two services are held there weekly, but neighbors of the older one-story building say they rarely see anyone there.


In an unrelated case, Huckaby pleaded no contest earlier this year to one count of theft with a prior conviction. She's scheduled to be sentenced Friday, according to court records.


A massive search for Sandra, whose picture was on fliers all over the Central Valley and Bay Area, included hundreds of volunteers and law enforcement officials, went on for days around the clock. It ended when farm workers found the suitcase and reported it to authorities as being suspicious. Sheneman said the farm workers have refused to accept the $32,000 reward offered by Tracy Crime Stoppers and the Carol Sund/Carrington Foundation for information leading to Sandra's return and the arrest of a suspect.

http://www.timesheraldonline.com/ci_12127322?source=most_viewed
Title: Re: SANDRA CANTU, | CALIFORNIA - MARCH, 2009 (Body Found 4/6/09)
Post by: Edsonmom on April 12, 2009, 09:03:06 PM
Town Rocked By Sunday School Teacher's Arrest
 Email
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 RSS The Associated Press

April 12, 2009

TRACY - Residents of this Northern California town attended church Easter services on Sunday and began trying to comprehend how the suspect in the murder of a young girl could be someone they knew: the granddaughter of a minister and mother of the slain girl's best friend.
     
Melissa Huckaby, a Sunday school teacher, remained in custody Sunday at the San Joaquin County Jail. She was being held without bail on suspicion of kidnapping and killing 8-year-old Sandra Cantu.
     
The girl's body was found in Huckaby's suitcase in an irrigation pond nearly a week ago, police said.
     
About 400 parishioners, including members of the Cantu family, packed into the cafeteria of a local high school to hear Journey Christian Church Pastor Scott McFarland's Easter sermon.
     
Journey was one of more than a dozen local churches that mobilized its members on Sunday to pray and fast for the Cantu family. McFarland sent a special message to the Cantu family that, like Christ, Sandra's spirit had risen to heaven.
     
"Jesus is out of the tomb and Sandra is too," McFarland told The Associated Press after the sermon. "She's not in a grave, she's not in a suitcase. She's in heaven and celebrating the best Easter ever."
     
Police and citizens in this city of 78,000 people about 60 miles east of San Francisco were still coming to grips with Huckaby's arrest.
     
"I was in shock that, number one, it was a woman and, number two, a member of our community," Tracy police spokesman Sgt. Tony Sheneman said.
     
FBI statistics show women are involved in just 7 percent of murders of any sort. Solo killings of children by women are even more unusual.
     
Sandra disappeared on March 27 and hundreds of volunteers and law enforcement officials turned out to search for the girl with dark brown eyes and light brown hair. Police said they received 1,500 tips in the hunt for Sandra and her killer.
     
"It's very unusual for women to be involved in an abduction and murder of a child," said Candice DeLong, a retired FBI profiler based in San Francisco. "Sometimes we see this when the woman is working with a male partner. It does not appear to be the case this time. But this was not a sexually motivated crime."
     
Huckaby, 28, had attended the second of the several vigils for the slain girl, Sheneman said.
     
On April 6, farmworkers draining an irrigation pond found the suitcase.
     
Sheneman said investigators have no motive for the slaying, which drew national attention. Police declined to say where or how the girl was allegedly killed, though investigators said they believed she died very soon after she was last seen.
     
Inconsistencies in Huckaby's story led to her arrest, Sheneman said. She was arrested about five hours after she drove herself to the local police station at the request of officers.
     
She was being held without bail for an arraignment Tuesday.
     
Several of Huckaby's relatives appeared briefly before reporters on Sunday. One man, who would only describe himself as a member of the family, read a statement saying the allegations against Huckaby were completely out of character.
     
The man was joined by several other relatives, including Huckaby's grandfather, Clifford Lawless, who is pastor of the nearby Clover Road Baptist Church, which was searched by authorities after Cantu's body was discovered.
     
Huckaby taught Sunday school at the church and lived with Lawless in Orchard Estates Mobile Home Park, where Sandra also lived.
     
Huckaby's uncle, John Hughes Jr. of Whittier, told The Associated Press his niece was from a good home, but had hit a rough patch in her life and had moved in with her grandparents in Tracy to get past her troubles.
     
"They opened their home up to her to try to get her life back on track. I think a lot of families have problems like that," Hughes said.
     
Huckaby grew up in Orange County and was a "pretty normal kid," he said. As the eldest of nine grandchildren, she played "mother hen" to the younger children when the family got together for the holidays.
     
After graduating from high school, Huckaby's path appears to have become rockier. She married, had a daughter and was divorced in a few short years. She had difficulty finding and keeping a job, partly owing to the challenges of single motherhood, Hughes said.
     
"She's had her struggles," he said. "But there's no way (her grandparents) or anybody would be fearful that anything this horrifying could possibly come from that."
     
Huckaby was scheduled to appear in court on April 17 to check in with a county mental health program as part of a three-year probation sentence for a petty theft charge to which she pleaded no contest.
     
Some on Sunday laid blame on Huckaby's pastor grandfather for allowing the troubled young woman to care for children.
     
"Knowing that his granddaughter had a past history why did the pastor put her in the position to teach Sunday school?" said Mary Brawley, 50, of Tracy, who attended the Easter service at Journey with her daughter, and participated in the search for Sandra's body.
     
"I'm blaming him. Doesn't he know that she's not fit to take care of kids?"
     
The slain girl's family was as puzzled as police.
     
"How would you feel if somebody took your daughter like that?" asked her uncle, Joe Chavez, referring to Huckaby's own 5-year-old daughter. "Why would you do that?
     
He said Huckaby should face the death penalty if convicted.
     
It was not immediately clear if Huckaby had hired an attorney to speak for her.
     
Police said autopsy results are not yet available, and they declined to say whether investigators believe the slaying was accidental or deliberate.
     
Huckaby had worked as a checker at a Food for Less grocery store in a strip mall just east of the mobile park for nearly four years, until she was fired sometime in 2004, said Matt Duncan, an assistant manager at the store now known as FoodMaxx.
     
"I wouldn't have anything bad to say about her, until now," said Duncan, who has worked at the store off-and-on for about 10 years. "I would've never suspected her to do something like this."

http://www.fox40.com/pages/landing_local_headlines/?Town-Rocked-By-Sunday-School-Teachers-Ar=1&blockID=264509&feedID=190
Title: Re: SANDRA CANTU, | CALIFORNIA - MARCH, 2009 (Body Found 4/6/09)
Post by: Edsonmom on April 12, 2009, 09:12:20 PM
Suspect in Tracy slaying is churchgoing mom
Kevin Faganand Jaxon Van Derbeken, Chronicle Staff Writers

Sunday, April 12, 2009




(04-12) 04:00 PDT Tracy --

She was a loving mother to her ailing child, she taught Bible study at her grandfather's church, and her 5-year-old daughter played a lot with 8-year-old Sandra Cantu and other kids on the block.

Until Saturday, that was the main impression neighbors and family had of 28-year-old Melissa Huckaby.

What they apparently never suspected was that the brown-haired single mother with the quiet smile might kill an 8-year-old girl, then stuff the body in a suitcase and hide it in a pond - but that's just what Tracy police say Huckaby did.

"She must have had a double life, because she seemed sweet and the Bible study kids love her," said Carlos Martinez, who lives in the Orchard Estates Mobile Home Park near Huckaby. "This is a total shock."

Huckaby's relatives said they were bewildered at the concept that the churchgoing woman they've seen get down on her knees to play with children and lead them in singing religious songs such as "Deep and Wide" would do what police say she has.

"I've never seen her truly scold her daughter," said Cynthia Browning of Manteca (San Joaquin County), Huckaby's great-aunt. "She is soft-spoken. I trust my grandchildren with her. I don't believe she could do this."

Huckaby lives with her grandparents because she suffers from severe allergies and wanted relatives' help to be able to have more time "to take better care of her daughter, who is super-thin and gets sick a lot," Browning said. She was named "class mother" of her daughter's preschool, friends said.

Along the way, however, Huckaby has had legal problems.

She was convicted in 2006 in Los Angeles County of property theft, and was due in court Friday to be sentenced for a local January felony burglary conviction, according to court records. In 2002, the Sutter Tracy Community Hospital won a $10,000 civil judgment against her for owed bills; she declared bankruptcy the next year.

"She is a good churchgoing girl, but she has had her challenges," said her great-aunt.

Neighbors said the only thing that struck them as odd about Huckaby was that instead of sending her child over to other kids' houses to play, she always insisted on playmates coming to her house. Huckaby wasn't overly chummy with everyone on the street, they said, but always cordial when approached.

The house, neighbors said, is a neat, inviting place where Huckaby and her daughter live with her grandparents, 77-year-old Lane Lawless - pastor of the nearby Clover Road Baptist Church, where Huckaby teaches - and Connie Lawless, a former elected member of the local Republican Central Committee. In this trim park of beige-toned mobile homes, nothing stuck out as unusual about the place. The family - including her parents, who live in Southern California and sing in their church choirs - is respected.

"Look, her grandfather is a preacher; there are some good influences in that family," said Dwight Porsche of Tracy. "This makes no sense at all. I mean, who would do that to a baby?"

Huckaby's only occupation was the Bible study job, relatives said. The Baptist church has a small membership, and Sandra's family said they were not involved with the church.

After Sandra disappeared March 27, Huckaby attended a community vigil to offer condolences, but evidently was not heavily involved in the 10-day search effort. After the girl's body was discovered Monday, she spent several days at the Tracy hospital in intensive care for various ailments, her great-aunt said.

"This just makes no sense at all," said neighbor Maria Ramirez, shaking her head sadly. "I'm so surprised. Such nice people, such bad things to happen."

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2009/04/12/MNJQ17163H.DTL&tsp=1
Title: Re: SANDRA CANTU, | CALIFORNIA - MARCH, 2009 (Body Found 4/6/09)
Post by: Edsonmom on April 12, 2009, 09:15:15 PM
Police: Cantu Was Murdered In Church
CBS News Has Learned Investigators Believe 8-Yr-Old Girl Was Killed Where Suspect Worked As Sunday School Teacher
Comments  102
TRACY, Calif., April 12, 2009

(CBS/AP)  CBS News has learned that police in Tracy believe 8-year-old Sandra Cantu was murdered in the church where her accused killer was a Sunday school teacher.

Melissa Huckaby, 28, was arrested early Saturday morning and charged with kidnapping and murder.

Huckaby’s grandfather is pastor of the Clover Road Baptist Church, near the mobile home park where Sandra Cantu’s family lives. Police searched the church Friday in the hours before Huckaby was arrested, filling a van with evidence bags.

Police and residents in Tracy responded with shock when the suspect in the murder of a young girl turned out to be a woman, the mother of the slain girl's best friend.

Melissa Huckaby was on suicide watch Saturday at the San Joaquin County Jail, where she is held on suspicion of kidnapping and killing 8-year-old Sandra Cantu. The girl's body was found in one of Huckaby's suitcases in an irrigation pond nearly a week ago, police said.

"This was an anomaly in the murder of a child," police Sgt. Tony Sheneman said at a news conference Saturday. "Finding out that it is a woman who is responsible for Sandra's kidnapping and murder, and then finding out it is a member of the community is another blow."

FBI statistics show women are involved in just 7 percent of murders of any sort. Solo killings of children by women are even more unusual.

"A review of data from the 2007 Uniform Crime Report confirms that the arrest of Melissa Huckaby in the Sandra Cantu murder investigation is uncommon," said FBI spokesman Steve Dupre in Sacramento.

Sandra disappeared on March 27 and hundreds of volunteers and law enforcement officials turned out to search for her. Pictures of the girl with dark brown eyes and light brown hair were posted all over Tracy, a city of 78,000 people about 60 miles east of San Francisco. Police said they received 1,500 tips in the hunt for Sandra and her killer.

"It's very unusual for women to be involved in an abduction and murder of a child," said Candice DeLong, a retired FBI profiler based in San Francisco. "Sometimes we see this when the woman is working with a male partner. It does not appear to be the case this time. But this was not a sexually motivated crime."

Huckaby attended the second of the several vigils for the slain girl, Sheneman said.

On April 6, farmworkers draining an irrigation pond found the suitcase.

Sheneman said investigators have no motive for the slaying, which drew national attention. Police declined to say where or how the girl was allegedly killed. Inconsistencies in Huckaby's story led to her arrest, Sheneman said.

There are no other suspects and no other arrests are expected, he said.

Huckaby is a granddaughter of Pastor Clifford Lawless, and taught Sunday school at the Clover Road Baptist Church. She lived with Lawless in the Orchard Estates Mobile Home Park that also was Sandra's home.

I wouldn't have anything bad to say about her, until now.

Matt Duncan, of former employee Melissa HuckabyHuckaby's uncle, John Hughes Jr. of Whittier, said his niece was from a good home, but had hit a rough patch in her life and moved in with her grandparents in Tracy to get past her troubles.

"They opened their home up to her to try to get her life back on track. I think a lot of families have problems like that," Hughes said.

Huckaby was scheduled to appear in court on April 17 to check in with a county mental health program as part of a three-year probation sentence for a petty theft charge to which she pleaded no contest.

She was arrested about five hours after she drove herself to the local police station at the request of officers. She is being held without bail for an arraignment Tuesday.

"She was calm, cool and collected, then she became very emotional," Sheneman said.

The slain girl's family was as puzzled as police.

"Why?" wondered her uncle, Joe Chavez, shaking his head. He said Huckaby should face the death penalty if convicted.

It was not immediately clear if Huckaby had hired an attorney.

Police said autopsy results are not yet available, and they declined to say whether investigators believe the slaying was accidental or deliberate.

She had worked as a checker at a Food for Less grocery store in a strip mall just east of the mobile park for nearly four years, until she was fired sometime in 2004, said Matt Duncan, an assistant manager at the store now known as FoodMaxx.

"I wouldn't have anything bad to say about her, until now," said Duncan, who has worked at the store off-and-on for about 10 years. "I would've never suspected her to do something like this."

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2009/04/12/national/main4937253.shtml?source=RSSattr=HOME_4937253
Title: Re: SANDRA CANTU, | CALIFORNIA - MARCH, 2009 (Body Found 4/6/09)
Post by: Edsonmom on April 12, 2009, 09:26:38 PM
Kidnap and murder suspect's family prays for her, Sandra Cantu and the people of Tracy
ShareThisBy Jennifer Garza, Andy Furillo, Chelsey Phua and Bill Lindelof
jgarza@sacbee.com
Published: Sunday, Apr. 12, 2009 - 11:05 am
Last Modified: Sunday, Apr. 12, 2009 - 12:10 pm
TRACY - Eleven relatives of Melissa Chantel Huckaby said Sunday morning that they are having trouble reconciling the 28-year-old "very loving" mother they know with the person accused of the monstrous act of kidnapping and murdering 8-year-old Sandra Cantu.

The relatives declined to identify themselves during their news conference in front of Orchard Estates mobile home park where the murdered child and Huckaby were neighbors.

They said the charges are completely out of character with the woman they know.

The relatives said their prayers on Easter Sunday are with Sandra, Huckaby and the people of Tracy.

So far, they said, family has been unable to meet with Huckaby, who is in the San Joaquin County jail, where she is booked on kidnapping and murder counts.

Huckaby is scheduled for arraignment at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday in the San Joaquin Superior Court branch in Manteca.

On Saturday, a nine-person entourage that included Huckaby's grandfather, the Rev. Clifford Lane Lawless of the Clover Road Baptist Church, descended on the jail around 3 p.m. Saturday to visit her. The family members, who could not get in for a visit at that time, then had declined to comment on the arrest.

But Sunday morning, they said they were "very, very shocked... this is very out of character for Melissa."

Huckaby is a Sunday school teacher at her grandfather's church, which is 500 yards from the mobile home where Sandra lived.

Sunday services at the small congregation were going to be held, the family said.

Huckaby's arrest was a double blow to Tracy, a police spokesman said Saturday.

Everybody was on the lookout for "the monster, the madman who would do this," the police spokesman said.

Instead, investigators said it was a neighbor - the mother of one of her best friends - who they believe kidnapped and murdered Sandra Cantu, then stuffed her little body in a suitcase and dumped it into a dairy drainage pond.

"Finding out it's a woman responsible for Sandra's kidnapping and murder, and finding out it's a member of the community is another blow, and finding out it was someone Sandra's family knew is a double blow," Tracy Police Sgt. Tony Sheneman told reporters Saturday.

"Our community will start to heal at some point," Sheneman added.

Tracy Police Chief Janet Thiessen has said that the little girl was probably dead by the time she was reported missing March 27.

Authorities did not disclose how Sandra was killed or where the homicide took place. They also wouldn't say if Huckaby confessed, or why the crime even happened.

"I couldn't begin to theorize what her motive is," Sheneman said.

The victim and the suspect lived about 75 yards away from each other in the Orchard Estates Mobile Home Park, about two miles from the agricultural area where Sandra's body was found Monday.

Huckaby's 5-year-old daughter was "close friends" with Sandra, according to Sheneman. A surveillance videotape filmed the day the girl disappeared showed her skipping across the street to the pastor's home where Huckaby also lived. Sheneman said Sandra "frequently" went over there to play.

Detectives served search warrants on several locations during the course of the investigation. One focus of the probe has been the Clover Road church, just a quarter-mile down the street from the mobile home park. On Friday, investigators searched the church for a second time, and it was that night around 6 o'clock when the case broke.

It came when Huckaby drove into the Tracy police station "on her own accord," Sheneman said, for her second interview with police.

"She walked in the front door of the Police Department and started a conversation with our investigators," Sheneman said. "During the course of the conversation, she was calm, cool and collected, and then became very emotional, and was calm again, and then became resigned."

By 11:15 p.m. Friday, Huckaby had said enough for police to book her for murder. The interview continued until 1:30 a.m. Saturday. Sheneman said that at 2:15 a.m., detectives called Sandra's family with the news.

http://www.sacbee.com/breaking/story/1774475.html
Title: Re: SANDRA CANTU, | CALIFORNIA - MARCH, 2009 (Body Found 4/6/09)
Post by: Edsonmom on April 12, 2009, 10:27:49 PM
A little info on Melissa's ex...


Accused Calif. mom has area ties
  | EMAIL | PRINT  | COMMENT  | SHARE By Taylor Atkins
Created April 12, 2009 at 8:00pm

Updated April 12, 2009 at 9:33pm
A Topeka man may be able to provide some answers for law enforcement investigating the California woman who was arrested Saturday for allegedly killing an 8-year-old girl and stuffing her into a suitcase.

Melissa Huckaby, a 28-year-old Sunday school teacher in Tracy, Calif., was taken into custody over the weekend in connection with the kidnapping and death of Sandra Cantu, a story which has been in the national news since the girl went missing March 27.

Huckaby was once married to and had a child with Johnny Huckaby, who lived in Topeka for several years but may not have been a native Topekan. Their daughter wasn’t the child Melissa Huckaby is suspected of killing.

Melissa Huckaby was using local lawyer Ward Rowe to help obtain child support from her ex-husband.

Phone calls to Rowe on Sunday weren’t immediately returned, but records showed multiple claims were filed through Shawnee County District Court, the most recent in February, to obtain the money Johnny Huckaby owed. His wages were garnished in order to collect, but the court records don’t indicate where he was employed.

According to reports from the San Francisco Chronicle, Melissa Huckaby was pregnant with Johnny Huckaby’s daughter, who is now 5, when the two separated and later divorced. Johnny Huckaby filed for a marriage license with Amanda Mays, of Topeka, a little more than a year later in 2006.

Members of the media were unable to reach Johnny or Amanda Mays Huckaby in Topeka since the news of Melissa Huckaby’s arrest. Reports indicate the couple may have moved to Arkansas.

Their last known phone number in Topeka has been disconnected, and a new resident moved into their last known address in October.

The resident said Sunday that Shawnee County sheriff’s deputies were at his house looking for Johnny Huckaby on Saturday, the same day Melissa Huckaby was arrested. It wasn’t known whether the deputies’ search was related to the arrest, as phone calls to the sheriff’s office weren’t immediately returned.

Johnny and Amanda Mays Huckaby have several listings in district court records for debts unpaid to local medical care providers and a local bank.

Melissa Huckaby also had problems with debt in California, according to the San Francisco Chronicle, and had one arrest for petty theft. Relatives said the churchgoing mom hit “a rough patch” in her life and moved in with her grandparents in Tracy, a city of 78,000 people about 60 miles east of San Francisco.

Melissa Huckaby was on suicide watch Saturday at the San Joaquin County Jail after being booked on suspicion of kidnapping and killing 8-year-old Sandra. The girl’s body was found in one of Melissa Huckaby’s suitcases in an irrigation pond in Tracy nearly a week ago, police said.

After the disappearance of Sandra, who often played with Melissa and Johnny Huckaby’s daughter around the neighborhood, hundreds of volunteers and law enforcement officials turned out to search for her. Pictures of the girl with dark brown eyes and light brown hair were posted all over the city.

Tracy police Sgt. Tony Sheneman said Melissa Huckaby attended the second of several vigils for the slain girl.

On April 6, farmworkers draining an irrigation pond found the suitcase containing the child’s body.

Sheneman said investigators have no motive for the slaying. Police declined to say where or how the girl was allegedly killed.

Inconsistencies in Huckaby’s story led to her arrest, Sheneman said. There are no other suspects and no other arrests are expected, he said. There also was no word on who was caring for Melissa and Johnny’s daughter while the mother was being held without bail until arraignment Tuesday.

San Francisco Chronicle staff writer Jaxon Van Derbeken, editor Michael Taylor and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

http://www.cjonline.com/news/2009-04-12/accused_calif_mom_has_area_ties
Title: Re: SANDRA CANTU, | CALIFORNIA - MARCH, 2009 (Body Found 4/6/09)
Post by: Silverdog on April 12, 2009, 10:33:23 PM
Sandra's Murder took place in the church.. >:(

Melissa's family speaks out video..

http://www.cbs13.com/video/?id=51938@kovr.dayport.com


SEE?? That building has to go!
Title: Re: SANDRA CANTU, | CALIFORNIA - MARCH, 2009 (Body Found 4/6/09)
Post by: capeheart on April 13, 2009, 12:42:25 PM
I understand there was a prayer service in that church for Sandra and they at the end also said prayers for the murderer Melissa Huckabye. Well, this is totally devastating. I would not allow them to mention my daughter's name in that place of murder. It is now a crime scene and not a holy place. Somebody needs to go to court on a Civil Action and have that church torn down. Nobody goes back to a place where someone was murdered. And a relative on the link that I just looked at indicated that the church is going to remain as is. The nerve of her, she has some nerve saying that. If I lived in that community that church would not be in operation one other day. The people should picket there and not allow anybody to go in there until it is torn down. Those are my comments and I sure as heck hope that the people in Tracy, California uprise against this building and have it torn down. ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ???
Title: Re: SANDRA CANTU, | CALIFORNIA - MARCH, 2009 (Body Found 4/6/09)
Post by: Edsonmom on April 13, 2009, 12:50:56 PM
Raw video.. Melissa's Dad speaks out..Dad seems pretty level headed.. I feel for him.. notice, how he talks about her in a past tense.. wonder if they were not close. Dad seems to think that Melissa was in the hospital due to suicide attempt.. says she suffers from depression..
http://www.cbs13.com/video/?id=51948@kovr.dayport.com
Title: Re: SANDRA CANTU, | CALIFORNIA - MARCH, 2009 (Body Found 4/6/09)
Post by: Edsonmom on April 13, 2009, 01:09:52 PM
The picture on this page, just breaks my heart..

8-year-old girl's memory on the minds of so many on Easter Sunday
Print this Article Email this Article Text Size: A | A | A

 
By David Siders
Record Staff Writer
April 13, 2009 6:00 AM
TRACY - Easter services were Sunday at Clover Road Baptist Church, where the woman suspected of killing 8-year-old Sandra Cantu taught Sunday school and where the suspect's grandfather, the pastor, prayed for Sandra's family and his own.

"We pray that the Holy Spirit will be felt among us on this day," Clifford Lane Lawless said at a Bible study before the service.

Officials had searched the church for clues after finding Sandra's body in a suitcase in an irrigation pond.

Melissa Chantel Huckaby, 28, was being held without bail at the San Joaquin County Jail on suspicion of murder and kidnapping.

"We would love to sit down and say, 'Melissa, come on. Tell us what happened,' " Huckaby's uncle Brett Lawless told The Record. "This is a place of worship, and for us at all to think a crime happened here is unthinkable."

He and Brian Lawless, Huckaby's father, said they did not know why police suspected Huckaby and did not believe her capable of hurting a child.

Police have declined to say where or how Sandra was killed. They said she likely was dead by the time she was reported missing March 27. Police said they have no other suspects in the case.

Brian Lawless of Cypress told reporters in the church parking lot that Huckaby is a patient and loving mother.

"She was always very gentle," he said.

The church is down the road from Orchard Estates Mobile Home Park, where Huckaby lived with her grandfather near Sandra's home. Huckaby's 5-year-old daughter, Madison, played often with Sandra.

Sandra's aunt and uncle Angie and Joe Chavez spoke to reporters Sunday afternoon in a hotel parking lot across from the mobile home park. Joe Chavez said he is angry at the Lawless family.

He said, "I want to go over there and beat the crap out of those people," though he said he would restrain himself and not do that.

Angie Chavez said she prayed often and, "God has helped me a lot."

Elsewhere in Tracy on Sunday, about 400 parishioners, including members of the Cantu family, were in a high school cafeteria to hear Journey Christian Church Pastor Scott McFarland's Easter sermon.

Journey was one of more than a dozen churches that mobilized members to pray and fast for the Cantu family. McFarland said that, like Christ, Sandra's spirit had risen to heaven.

"Jesus is out of the tomb, and Sandra is too," McFarland told The Associated Press after the sermon. "She's not in a grave, she's not in a suitcase. She's in heaven and celebrating the best Easter ever."

Clover Road Baptist Church has six rows of pews, and a woman at the front played a piano. About 20 worshipers and almost as many reporters attended the service, the day after Huckaby was booked into the jail.

"We understand that the community is outraged," Brett Lawless of Lakewood said beforehand. "We're sorrowful, too. She (Sandra) was part of our community."

He said, "We didn't cause this. We didn't know."

Brett Lawless gave a sermon about faith in difficult circumstances.

At the jail, Huckaby was declining to talk with reporters, said Deputy Les Garcia, a Sheriff's Office spokesman. She had not threatened to kill herself but was on suicide watch as a precaution, he said. She is scheduled to be arraigned Tuesday in Manteca.

Brian Lawless said his daughter was unemployed at the time of her arrest. She lived in the mobile home park since last summer, he said.

"I just can't comprehend," he said. "There are no words."

The Tracy Press reported Huckaby was released Thursday from Sutter Tracy Community Hospital, where she spent several days in intensive care for what was described as "internal bleeding."

Brian Lawless said he was concerned his daughter may have been hospitalized because she might have tried to hurt herself. He said he feared that because she was sometimes depressed, though he said she did not have a history of mental illness.

Brian Lawless said his daughter graduated from high school in Brea, in Orange County.

Huckaby's uncle John Hughes Jr. of Whittier told The Associated Press his niece was from a good home but had hit a rough patch in her life, and she had moved in with her grandparents in Tracy to get past her troubles.

Huckaby was a "pretty normal kid," he said. As the eldest of nine grandchildren, she played "mother hen" to the younger children when the family got together for the holidays.

After graduating from high school, Huckaby married, had a daughter and was divorced in a few short years. She had difficulty finding and keeping a job, partly owing to the challenges of single motherhood, Hughes said.

"She's had her struggles," he said. "But there's no way (her grandparents) or anybody would be fearful that anything this horrifying could possibly come from that."

Police have yet to assert a motive in Sandra's killing. Huckaby was arrested after driving herself to the Tracy Police Department on Friday and being interviewed for several hours, police said. Inconsistencies in her statements prompted her arrest, they said.

Sandra's disappearance resulted in a massive search. Farm workers discovered the suitcase containing her body one week ago in an irrigation pond about two miles north of her home.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

http://www.recordnet.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20090413/A_NEWS/904130314/-1/A_NEWS02
Title: Prosecutor: Rape May be Alleged in Tracy Girl's Slaying
Post by: Edsonmom on April 13, 2009, 03:03:40 PM
 :'( :'( OMG That poor little girl.. My heart is breaking all over again.. That sick Bitch needs to be punished to the full extent of the law..They are also saying on CNN, that Sandra was badly mutilated.. :'( :'(

Prosecutor: Rape May be Alleged in Tracy Girl's Slaying
Created by Kimberlee Sakamoto on 4/13/2009 3:23:03 PM


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

TRACY, Calif. (AP) - Prosecutors say they're considering rape and molestation allegations against the woman suspected of killing an 8-year-old Northern California girl and putting her body in a suitcase.

Twenty-eight-year-old Melissa Huckaby has been arrested on suspicion of kidnapping and murdering Sandra Cantu.

San Joaquin County Deputy District Attorney Robert Himmelblau told The Associated Press Monday that a homicide charge against Huckaby could also include the special circumstances of rape with a foreign object, lewd and lacivious conduct with a child and murder in the course of a kidnapping.

Himmelblau wouldn't provide more details. Huckaby is scheduled to be arraigned Tuesday.

Sandra's body was found in a suitcase in an irrigation pond last week.
     
(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

http://kron4.com/News/ArticleView/tabid/298/smid/1126/ArticleID/1028/reftab/36/Default.aspx?t=Prosecutor:-Rape-May-be-Alleged-in-Tracy-Girl-s-Slaying
Title: Prosecutors Also Considering Rape and Molestation Charges
Post by: Edsonmom on April 13, 2009, 03:34:36 PM
I hate to say this, but I pray, that Sandra was drugged before this all happened to her.. The thought of this little angel dying, knowing that someone she trusted, was hurting her so bad, is just unbearable for me.. I apologize for the use of the "B" word in my last post.. I am just so angry, and did not mean to offend anyone..


Tracy Woman to Be Charged With Pre-Meditated Murder; Prosecutors Also Considering Rape and Molestation Charges
Created by Kimberlee Sakamoto on 4/13/2009 4:27:55 PM


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

TRACY (KRON) – Prosecutors are adding pre-meditated murder to the charges against Melissa Huckaby, the woman suspected of killing eight-year-old Tracy girl, Sandra Cantu.

On Monday, San Joaquin County Deputy District Attorney Robert Himmelblau told the Associated Pres that they’re also considering rape and molestation charges against Huckaby. This could include the special circumstances of rape with a foreign object, lewd and lascivious conduct with a child and murder in the course of kidnapping.

Himmelblau would not provide any more details.

28-year-old Huckaby was arrested late Friday night in Tracy on suspicion of kidnapping and murdering the little girl. She is scheduled to be arraigned on Tuesday.

Missing since March 27, the body of Sandra was found in a suitcase on April 6th by an irrigation pond just two miles from the mobile home park where she was last seen.

(Copyright 2009, KRON 4, All rights reserved.)

http://kron4.com/News/ArticleView/tabid/298/smid/1126/ArticleID/1028/reftab/36/Default.aspx?t=Tracy-Woman-to-Be-Charged-With-Pre-Meditated-Murder;-Prosecutors-Also-Considering-Rape-and-Molestation-Charges
Title: Prosecutor: Rape May be Alleged in Tracy Girl's Slaying
Post by: Edsonmom on April 13, 2009, 03:49:46 PM
They are still looking at other charges as well, and if CNN is reporting correct, it will include a mutilation charge... This is just getting worse & worse..


Rape may be alleged in girl's slaying


Prosecutors said today they may include rape and molestation allegations in their murder charge against the woman suspected of killing an 8-year-old Northern California girl and putting her body in a suitcase.

Melissa Huckaby, 28, was arrested Friday on suspicion of kidnapping and murdering Sandra Cantu.

San Joaquin County Deputy District Attorney Robert Himmelblau told The Associated Press today that a homicide charge against Huckaby could also include the special circumstances of rape with a foreign object, lewd and lascivious conduct with a child and murder in the course of a kidnapping.

A conviction on any of the special circumstances would make Huckaby eligible for the death penalty or life in prison without parole, Himmelblau said. The district attorney has not determined whether his office will seek the death penalty in the case, he said.

Sandra disappeared March 27. She was last seen on surveillance video skipping near her home at the Orchard Estates Mobile Home Park in Tracy. A 10-day search ended April 6, when farmworkers draining a nearby irrigation pond found a suitcase that contained her remains.

Himmelblau wouldn't provide additional details on any evidence leading prosecutors to consider the sexual assault allegations. Police have not released any details on how, where or why Sandra was killed.

"I was hoping that wasn't the case," said Sandra's aunt, Angie Chavez, regarding the possibility of rape and molestation allegations. "I'm in shock," she said through tears. The whole thing is unimaginable."

Formal charges have not yet been filed against Huckaby. A final decision on which special circumstances to include has not been made, Himmelblau said. Huckaby is scheduled to be arraigned Tuesday in Stockton.

Himmelblau was not aware if Huckaby had an attorney.

Himmelblau said prosecutors were considering filing other charges against Huckaby but declined to specify what the additional charges may be.

She remained in custody without bail in San Joaquin County jail today where jail staff have been monitoring her mental health. She's not been allowed visitors.

Tracy police did not immediately return messages seeking comment. San Joaquin County Sheriff's Deputy Les Garcia said autopsy results were still pending.

http://tracypress.com/pages/full_story?article-Rape%20may%20be%20alleged%20in%20girl-s%20slaying%20=&page_label=home&id=2310960-Rape+may+be+alleged+in+girl-s+slaying&widget=push&instance=home_news_lead_story&open=&
Title: Re: SANDRA CANTU, | CALIFORNIA - MARCH, 2009 (Body Found 4/6/09)
Post by: Edsonmom on April 13, 2009, 07:59:28 PM
This tells us who the Police suspected..

Arrest Of Suspected Cantu Killer Lifts Suspicion Off Others


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FOX40 News

April 13, 2009

TRACY- The arrest of Melissa Huckaby caught many Tracy Residents off guard.
     
"I was shocked," said Tracy resident John Peneyra.
     
The arrest lifts a cloud of suspicion hanging over several people questioned extensively by police in Sandra Cantu's disappearance.
     
"...the leads they all had were all males and come to find out it was a female," said Peneyra.
     
Among those leads was Sandra's father Daniel Cantu who protested that he was treated like a suspect rather than the father of the victim
     
He was not in Tracy at the time of the kidnapping and police gave him a lie detector test.  Some said bias was at play.
     
"People were anticipating a minority, male, homeless...all these different things," said Mountain House resident Keith Fabing.
     
Chris Sinclair was also questioned after police arrested him for obstructing a search of his home, and 59-year-old Frank Wholer's poolside kiss on the lips with Sandra raised eyebrows.  To be fair, the Tracy Police Department never released the names of suspects until after the arrest.  But that didn't prevent the media from fueling speculation.
     
Wohler didn't want to go on camera, but told me the police were just doing their jobs in questioning him.  When I asked him if he got a fair shake from the media, he told me, "No comment."

Most people we talked with don't blame the police for following every lead, and for being tight lipped on who was a suspect and who wasn't.
     
"They still keep things hush hush, because they don't want to jeopardize that case," said Tracy resident Debra Antes.

http://www.fox40.com/pages/landing_sandra_cantu/?Cantu-Suspicions-Lifted=1&blockID=265360&feedID=190
Title: Re: SANDRA CANTU, | CALIFORNIA - MARCH, 2009 (Body Found 4/6/09)
Post by: Silverdog on April 13, 2009, 08:09:55 PM
oh my lord.  This is utterly devastating. I have no words.... I wanted to give her the benefit of the doubt, that somehow it had been an accident, she panicked and hid the body. But now...mutilated, raped with a foreign object??? I am literally SICK over this.
Her poor father, he seems so soft spoken and gentle.... what happened to HER?
She'll be looking at death as well.
Title: Re: SANDRA CANTU, | CALIFORNIA - MARCH, 2009 (Body Found 4/6/09)
Post by: Edsonmom on April 13, 2009, 08:47:20 PM
To many people would be pissed if they did not request the death penalty.. It is safe to say, that no matter what, this sick woman will be locked up for life at the least..I personaly feel that she should get the death penalty for the twisted things, she has done to this innocent little girl, but no matter what happens, she will be punished as soon as she hits the general population part of the prison.

Quote
San Joaquin County Deputy District Attorney Robert Himmelblau told The Associated Press today that a homicide charge against Huckaby could also include the special circumstances of rape with a foreign object, lewd and lascivious conduct with a child and murder in the course of a kidnapping.

A conviction on any of the special circumstances would make Huckaby eligible for the death penalty or life in prison without parole, Himmelblau said. The district attorney has not determined whether his office will seek the death penalty in the case, he said.
Title: Re: SANDRA CANTU, | CALIFORNIA - MARCH, 2009 (Body Found 4/6/09)
Post by: Edsonmom on April 13, 2009, 11:22:48 PM
raw video from Melissa's father after seing her in prison for the first time since her arrest.

http://cbs5.com/video/?id=48831@kpix.dayport.com
Title: Re: SANDRA CANTU, | CALIFORNIA - MARCH, 2009 (Body Found 4/6/09)
Post by: Edsonmom on April 14, 2009, 08:58:10 AM
Huckaby may face additional charges
Suspect in Sandra Cantu case set to be arraigned today in Stockton
Print this Article Email this Article Text Size: A | A | A

 
By Scott Smith
also by Daniel Thigpen

Record Staff Writers
April 14, 2009 6:00 AM
STOCKTON - In addition to murder and kidnapping, prosecutors are expected to charge a Tracy woman today with the rape and molestation of 8-year-old Sandra Cantu, whose body was found last week in a discarded suitcase.

Melissa Chantel Huckaby, 28, a preacher's granddaughter whom Tracy police arrested late Friday, is expected in court this afternoon for arraignment in a case that mobilized hundreds in a search only to end in dashed hopes with last week's grim discovery.

Huckaby could face the special circumstances of rape with a foreign object, lewd and lascivious conduct with a child, and murder in the course of a kidnapping, San Joaquin County Deputy District Attorney Robert Himelblau reportedly said.

Tracy police spokesman Tony Sheneman confirmed the anticipated charges. Sheneman and Himelblau would give no details of the alleged crime supporting the charges. Prosecutors expect to file the criminal complaint this morning.

Sandra disappeared March 27 from Orchard Estates Mobile Home park, and 10 days later, farm workers draining an irrigation pond north of town found the black suitcase belonging to Huckaby that held the girl's body.

The charges make Huckaby, a Sunday school teacher, eligible for the death penalty, something prosecutors won't decide whether to pursue until later in the court process, said Himelblau, who could not recall a case in which San Joaquin County prosecutors sought the death penalty for a woman.

Reached by phone Monday, Sandra's aunt, Angie Chavez, was too emotional to comment, saying only: "We'd rather not talk to anybody right now." Jose Chavez, Sandra's grandfather, also declined to comment.

No one answered the phone at the Orchard Estates Mobile Home park residence of Lane and Connie Lawless, Huckaby's grandparents, with whom she lived.

In court today, Huckaby will confront San Joaquin County Deputy District Attorney Thomas Testa, a prosecutor who has put two men on California's death row and countless murderers in prison for life.

Fearing a change of venue in the high-profile case, Testa said he would not oppose a judge's gag order. Moving the trial to another county would be expensive to taxpayers and become problematic to prosecute, he said.

"Overall, it's mechanically, procedurally less burdensome to try it in our own county rather than elsewhere," Testa said. "If something should be said that would be inadmissible, that hurts our case here."

San Joaquin County Superior Court Judge Richard Vlavianos in Stockton is expected to oversee Huckaby's arraignment, at which the defendant will hear the charges.

Since Friday's arrest, details of Huckaby's past - including petty theft and mental illness - are beginning to surface, yet they offer little insight into the crime she's accused of committing. She remained under observation at the San Joaquin County Jail with no visitors allowed since the arrest.

Huckaby's relatives have said they struggle to reconcile the loving mother they know with the heinous criminal depicted by police. They acknowledge rough patches in her life spotted by depression, but they never considered her capable of killing a child.

A trail of court papers from Southern California to Stockton indicates legal and personal problems dogged Huckaby in recent years.

A judge recently ordered her to attend a mental health program as part of her probation for a theft conviction at the Tracy Target store, court papers show. But her record shows no history of violence or anything that would foreshadow a gruesome attack on a little girl.

Huckaby lived with her grandparents as long as seven years ago in the mobile home park, court papers say. She was unmarried, going by her maiden name, Lawless, and in 2002 filed a domestic violence restraining order against an ex-boyfriend.

By 2003, she was living in an apartment nearby on North Tracy Boulevard and had filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection, unable to pay tens of thousands of dollars in medical bills and credit card charges.

Sutter Tracy Community Hospital had sued her months before, seeking more than $10,000 for unspecified medical treatment, while she worked at a Food 4 Less grocery store.

She got married eight days after filing for bankruptcy. Four months later, Huckaby gave birth to her daughter, Madison, who would become Sandra's playmate. Huckaby and her husband lived in Orange County, separated in 2004 and divorced the next year, court papers say.

Her known criminal record dates to 2006, when Huckaby was convicted of petty theft in Los Angeles County. She served jail time for the charge, but it is unclear for how long, according to court papers filed in San Joaquin County Superior Court.

In November, again living with her grandparents in the mobile home park, San Joaquin County prosecutors charged Huckaby with felony commercial burglary and petty theft for stealing from the Target store.

She pleaded no contest to misdemeanor petty theft in January, according to court documents, and the other felony count was dismissed. Huckaby is on probation pending completion of a mental health program, court papers indicate.

Huckaby's court hearing today is scheduled for 1 p.m.

Contact reporter Scott Smith at (209) 546-8296 or ssmith@recordnet.com.
http://www.recordnet.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20090414/A_NEWS/904140316
Title: Re: SANDRA CANTU, | CALIFORNIA - MARCH, 2009 (Body Found 4/6/09)
Post by: Silverdog on April 14, 2009, 10:55:54 AM
This is just such a sad case all around...for the Cantu's, and for Melissa's father. I felt so sad for him being unable to equate his daughter with a cold blooded killer...must just be so hard. I'm hoping when they bring up charges of rape etc, that somehow someone else will be brought into this. (Chris Sinclair?) To this day I STILL cannot believe she acted alone.

Why are we suddenly seeing WOMEN committing these crimes? Not that it never happened before, its just so unusual...seems weird.

I didnt like the grandmother's last comment on the video...about "whatever happened to innocent until proven guilty". And I think she swore and they bleeped it out when they asked her about the "new charges".
Title: Charges laid this morning. murder, rape, & Kidnapping.
Post by: Edsonmom on April 14, 2009, 01:18:01 PM
Tracy suspect charged with murder, rape
Demian Bulwa,Kevin Fagan, Chronicle Staff Writers

Tuesday, April 14, 2009


(04-14) 11:27 PDT TRACY -- Prosecutors filed charges of murder, kidnapping and rape this morning against Melissa Huckaby of Tracy for allegedly killing an 8-year-old neighbor girl, stuffing her into a suitcase and trying to hide the body in a local irrigation pond.


The San Joaquin County district attorney's office added three special circumstances to the murder count that would make Huckaby eligible for the death penalty if she is convicted. They alleged that the killing was committed during a kidnapping, involved a lewd or lascivious act on a child, and involved rape with a foreign object.

Huckaby, 28, is scheduled to be arraigned this afternoon in Superior Court in Stockton.

Huckaby is accused of killing Sandra Cantu after the girl came over to her house to play with Huckaby's 5-year-old daughter March 27. Sandra was dead before her parents knew she was missing, investigators say.

The little girl's disappearance triggered a huge search throughout Northern California. Her body was found in the suitcase 2 miles away on April 6 by farmworkers draining an irrigation pond.

Authorities have not gone into detail about how they believe Sandra died. Publicly, they have said only that she was killed soon after she was last seen March 27.

However, sources close to the investigation said Monday that the girl was deliberately killed at the Clover Road Baptist Church, where Huckaby teaches Sunday school and her grandfather is pastor. The church is two blocks from the mobile home park where Sandra lived and where Huckaby resides with relatives, and police and FBI agents searched it at least twice in the days before Huckaby was arrested just before midnight Friday.

Sandra's relatives, already devastated by her death, said they were outraged to learn that authorities believe the girl was raped.

"This is terrible, just terrible," her aunt, Angie Chavez, said through tears.

Huckaby's relatives say they are mystified that the loving mother they know could be the killer described by investigators.

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2009/04/14/BAG91728G7.DTL&tsp=1
Title: Re: SANDRA CANTU, | CALIFORNIA - MARCH, 2009 (Body Found 4/6/09)
Post by: Edsonmom on April 14, 2009, 02:41:07 PM
The official complain/charges against Melissa Huckaby for the Murder of Sandra.

http://online.recordnet.com/projects/cantu/huckabycomplaint.pdf


This one is for the theft charges @ Target. click on full screen to read it better
http://www.contracostatimes.com/ci_12133412?nclick_check=1
Title: Re: SANDRA CANTU, | CALIFORNIA - MARCH, 2009 (Body Found 4/6/09)
Post by: Edsonmom on April 14, 2009, 02:56:25 PM

Video of todays court apperance on the page posted..

Melissa Huckaby Formally Charged With Murder


April 14, 2009

SACRAMENTO - A Northern California woman has been charged with murdering an 8-year-old girl whose body was found in a suitcase pulled from a pond.
     
San Joaquin County prosecutors also included in their allegations against Melissa Huckaby the special circumstances of rape with a foreign object, lewd and lascivious conduct with a child and murder in the course of a kidnapping.
     
The 28-year-old Sunday school teacher was due to be arraigned Tuesday.
     
Huckaby lived in the Tracy mobile home complex where the victim, Sandra Cantu, also lived. The girl disappeared March 27. Her body was found in a suitcase when farmworkers drained a pond April 6.
     
Huckaby told a Tracy Press reporter the suitcase was hers but it had been stolen the day Sandra went missing.



http://www.fox40.com/pages/landing_local_headlines/?Melissa-Huckaby-Formally-Charged-With-Mu=1&blockID=266039&feedID=190
Title: Re: SANDRA CANTU, | CALIFORNIA - MARCH, 2009 (Body Found 4/6/09)
Post by: Chris on April 14, 2009, 05:32:36 PM
Did I hear this right? The killer raped her before killing her? What is wrong with people? All these children being killed, mass shootings, Moms killing there daughters, girls being lured right in broad daylight.... is this getting worse or what?
Title: Re: SANDRA CANTU, | CALIFORNIA - MARCH, 2009 (Body Found 4/6/09)
Post by: Edsonmom on April 14, 2009, 06:44:26 PM
You are reading it right Chris.. Rape with a foreign object. From what detectives are saying, poor little Sandra was mutilated pretty bad. I am thinking, this may be COD.. what ever the foreign object is, it may have been (I hate to say this) pushed inside her enough, that it did internal injurys. I am now thinking, that it very well may have been the tool handle we saw the detectives pick up, on the last sweap of the church.. Once again, this is only my opinion..
Title: church just searched for 3rd time.......
Post by: Edsonmom on April 14, 2009, 07:45:36 PM
video on page shows this evenings search.. Lawless home search is still in progress..

Apr 14, 2009 6:19 pm US/Pacific
Police Serve 2 More Search Warrants In Cantu Case
Search Church For Third Time
 
 Tracy Police searched the Clover Road Baptist Church for the third time today.
CBS


 Tracy Police were out today searching two locations in connection with the Sandra Cantu case.

According to sources, police were out at a home in Orchard Grove Mobile Home Park and the Clover Road Baptist Church searching for evidence in the murder case of 8-year-old Sandra Cantu. It's the third time police searched the church where, police say, the girl was murdered.

Sandra disappeared March 27. She was last seen on a surveillance camera skipping outside the mobile home park in Tracy where she lived just five doors down from Melissa Huckaby, the only suspect in the case.

A 10-day search by law enforcement and the community ended on April 6, when farm workers draining an irrigation pond a few miles away from the mobile home complex found the suitcase that was later determined to contain Sandra's body.

http://cbs13.com/crime/Melissa.Huckaby.arraignment.2.985058.html
Title: Re: SANDRA CANTU, | CALIFORNIA - MARCH, 2009 (Body Found 4/6/09)
Post by: D1 on April 14, 2009, 08:07:02 PM
Maybe there will be more arrests yet!!
Title: Sources: Huckaby Claims Cantu Death 'An Accident'
Post by: Edsonmom on April 14, 2009, 08:14:55 PM
Sources: Huckaby Claims Cantu Death 'An Accident'
New Search Warrants Issued In Cantu Case
POSTED: 4:56 pm PDT April 14, 2009
UPDATED: 6:12 pm PDT April 14, 2009


TRACY, Calif. -- KCRA 3 has learned that investigators close to the case said Melissa Huckaby admitted Tuesday that Sandra Cantu's death was an accident.

Investigators also told KCRA 3 that Huckaby said she wrote the note she said she found the day after Cantu's disappearance.

According to Huckaby, the note said, "Cantu, Suitcase, Water. The word 'suitcase' was misspelled, and there were two street names including the word 'Whitehall.'"

Two new search warrants were issued Tuesday in relation to the case.

The focus of one warrant was the West Clover Road Baptist Church and the other was for the Orchard Estates Mobile Home Park home where Huckaby, 28, lived.

Huckaby is accused of killing the 8-year-old.

The search of the church was completed, but officers said the search of Huckaby's home is still under way.

Huckaby, who is Sunday school teacher at the church, was arrested late Friday, four days after Cantu's body was found stuffed in a suitcase in an irrigation pond north of Tracy.

Huckaby told a Tracy Press reporter the suitcase was hers but it had been stolen the day Cantu went missing.

"I wish they could have found her a lot sooner, if they would have followed up on this a lot sooner," Huckaby said earlier Friday before her arrest.

Authorities have not said how or where Cantu was killed. They have not discussed a possible motive. But the official court complaint suggested the child was killed on or about March 27, the day she was reported missing from Orchard Estates Mobile Home Park.

Huckaby did not enter a plea when she faced a judge in a Stockton courtroom Tuesday.

A public defender was assigned to her. She will next appear in court on April 24 for further arraignment.

The special circumstances in a complaint filed Tuesday make Huckaby eligible for the death penalty if prosecutors choose to pursue that option.

Stay with KCRA.com and KCRA 3 Reports at 11 p.m. for the latest on this developing story.
Copyright 2009 by KCRA.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

http://www.kcra.com/news/19181009/detail.html
Title: Re: SANDRA CANTU, | CALIFORNIA - MARCH, 2009 (Body Found 4/6/09)
Post by: Edsonmom on April 14, 2009, 08:38:55 PM
video talking about Melissa saying it was a accident

http://www.kcra.com/video/19181739/index.html
Title: Re: SANDRA CANTU, | CALIFORNIA - MARCH, 2009 (Body Found 4/6/09)
Post by: Silverdog on April 14, 2009, 09:39:11 PM
Yep, they (defense) are for sure going to play the mental illness card. It's their only hope in this circumstance.

Amazing to her a courtroom observer say she wanted to get up and choke her. Thats how I feel, just baffled...How could she do this?? Even worse, police seem to insist that she acted alone, there will be no further arrests. I just don't get it. What is this world coming to? I mean, she has her own 5 year old daughter, you'd think as a MOM she would get it, that you dont terrorize, rape and murder children. I think her tears in court were for herself, she has now messed her own life up beyond repair, (beyond the petty theft stuff she was already dealing with) as well as the life of her daughter. That little girl can't grow up in this trailer park now. Kids can be so mean, they will torture her in school because of her mom. 

If Sandra's death was an "accident", what in God's name did she do to cause it??? What possessed her to not stop? Next thing we'll be hearing how poor Melissa was molested as a child...  wait for it...
Title: Re: SANDRA CANTU, | CALIFORNIA - MARCH, 2009 (Body Found 4/6/09)
Post by: Edsonmom on April 15, 2009, 08:34:35 AM
Inmate sheet has been updated..

Inmate Information 
Inmate Detail 
 
 
Inmate Name:  HUCKABY, MELISSA 
Aliases:  HUCKABY, MELISSA CHANTEL 
Booking Number:  09-09082 
Date of Birth:  02/23/1981 
Gender:  Female 
Height:  5'03" 
Weight:  125 
Visiting:  24 Hour Lobby Visiting 
Mailing Address:
Mailing Information  HUCKABY, MELISSA / 09-09082
San Joaquin County Jail
999 West Mathews Road
French Camp, CA 95231 
Booking Date/Time:  04/11/2009 at 03:25 AM 
Projected Release Date:  None 
Arresting Agency:  TRACY POLICE DEPARTMENT 
Type of Arrest:     
Charges/Bail:  Case# SF111539A (00)   - No Bail 
  PC 187  Felony   
      MURDER
  PC 190.2(A)(17)(B)     
      SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCE: KIDNAPPING
  PC 190.2(A)(17)(E)     
      DESCRIPTION NOT AVAILABLE
  PC 190.2(A)(17)(K)     
      SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCE: RAPE BY FOREIGN OBJECT
 
 
Total Bail:  Bail not Allowed 
Next Court Date:  04/24/2009 at 01:30 PM 
Court Location & Department:  Stockton Courthouse  Department: 25 
 
http://207.104.50.87/WhosInCustody/InmateDetails.aspx?ID=DAF0723370D288C6624A7007795233ED2EAD0C27289C93EB37E3E3935AF77065CF16B412EA88CAECE6BC53
Title: CBS: Huckaby Swallowed Knife Blades Before Arrest
Post by: Edsonmom on April 15, 2009, 10:23:18 AM
I knew it was a suicide attemp..
Video on bottom link.
CBS: Huckaby Swallowed Knife Blades Before Arrest
Rape Alleged In Sandra Cantu's Murder

The Sunday school teacher accused with raping and murdering 8-year-old Sandra Cantu attempted suicide days before her arrest in the case, according to CBS News.

Melissa Huckaby was hospitalized after swallowing three X-Acto knife blades, reports CBS News correspondent John Blackstone. She remains under suicide watch after being formally charged yesterday with kidnapping, raping and murdering her daughter's playmate.

Just hours after Huckaby was in court, police on searched for a second time the home where she lived just a few doors down from Sandra, who was found slain in a suitcase April 6.

Authorities also again searched Huckaby's grandfather's Clover Road Baptist Church in Tracy, a city of about 78,000 people 60 miles east of San Francisco.

Tracy police Sgt. Tony Sheneman would not say why police returned to the church and home, which were also searched in the days after Sandra's body was found. But he said police are continuing to investigate Huckaby, who they believe acted alone.

Huckaby appeared in a San Joaquin County courtroom Tuesday for her arraignment in a red jumpsuit and shackles, trembling and crying as a judge read the charge: one count of murder with the special circumstances of rape with a foreign object, lewd or lascivious conduct with a child under 14 and murder in the course of a kidnapping.

The special circumstances mean Huckaby, if convicted, could face life in prison without the possibility of parole or the death penalty. District Attorney James Willett said Tuesday he has not decided whether to seek the death penalty.

Sandra disappeared March 27, and was last seen on a surveillance camera skipping outside the Orchard Estates Mobile Home Park.

A 10-day search by law enforcement and the community ended on April 6, when farmworkers draining an irrigation pond a few miles away from the mobile home complex found the suitcase containing Sandra's body.

Police have said Sandra was found wearing the same clothes she had on when she was last seen: a pink "Hello Kitty" T-shirt and black leggings. They have not said how, why or where she was killed, and the coroner's office has said autopsy results are pending.

The complaint said the murder happened "on or about" March 27, but gave no other details.

Huckaby was arrested Friday, hours after she told a Tracy Press reporter that the suitcase was hers but it had been stolen the day Sandra went missing.

Huckaby's family has described her as a loving mother who had a strong religious background and wouldn't hurt anyone. She lived with her grandparents.

Relatives visited Huckaby at San Joaquin County Jail on Monday night, where she had been under observation. That was the first time they'd seen her since her arrest.

Huckaby's father, Brian Lawless, said the family cried and prayed together during the visit.

"She's not getting much sleep but in spite of all that that she looks good," he said afterwards. "We're in shock ... The young lady I see on film, that's not my daughter."

A public memorial service is scheduled for Sandra in Tracy tomorrow.  CBS13 will air the service live on TV and it will be streaming on CBS13.com for those who cannot get to a television.

Huckaby has been ordered to return to court on April 24, when she's expected to enter a plea.

http://cbs13.com/crime/new.search.warrant.2.985293.html

http://www.cbs13.com/video/?id=52084@kovr.dayport.com
Title: Police comb community for other possible victims
Post by: Edsonmom on April 15, 2009, 10:32:04 AM
Police ask for additional tips, information in 8-year-old's killingStory Highlights
Police comb community for other possible victims

Melissa Huckaby was arrested and charged with killing and raping Sandra Cantu

Sandra, 8, was friends with Huckaby's 5-year-old daughter

(CNN) -- Police are searching for any other alleged victims of a Sunday school teacher accused of raping and killing an 8-year-old girl from Tracy, California.

 
Melissa Huckaby is charged with killing 8-year-old Sandra Cantu, who was a friend of her own daughter.

   "We are asking the public if they have any indication that any of their children may have had inappropriate contact with [the suspect] to contact us," Tracy Police Sgt. Tony Sheneman said Tuesday evening. "There has been no indication that this has happened. But she is a Sunday school teacher and did have contact with children, so that is why we are asking."

Melissa Huckaby, 28, was arrested and charged with killing and raping 8-year-old Sandra Cantu, a friend of her 5-year-old daughter.

Huckaby, wearing red jail scrubs over a white T-shirt, was in court Tuesday for an arraignment. She was charged with murder, kidnapping, the performance of a lewd and lascivious act on a child under 14 and rape by instrument.

If convicted, Huckaby would face the death penalty or life in prison without parole, San Joaquin County District Attorney James Willett told reporters after the hearing. A decision on whether to seek the death penalty will be made later, he said.

Huckaby did not enter a plea or speak during the court hearing, although she flinched when Sandra Cantu's name was spoken, and she cried at times.

Sandra's body was found April 6, stuffed into a suitcase and submerged in a pond at a dairy farm. Huckaby was arrested Friday night after questioning by police.


Sandra was last seen alive March 27 in the mobile home park where she lived with her family -- the same mobile home park where Huckaby lives with her daughter. The two children were close friends and played together frequently, police said.

Huckaby is the granddaughter of Clifford Lane Lawless, pastor of Clover Road Baptist Church near the mobile home park, and she taught Sunday school at the church, police have said. The church was searched as part of the investigation into Sandra's disappearance and death.

Before her arrest, Huckaby acknowledged to a newspaper reporter that she owned the suitcase that contained Sandra's body. But Huckaby said the suitcase had been stolen.

Willett declined to comment on any of the evidence or allegations in the case, saying evidence would be presented in court.

A memorial ceremony is scheduled for Sandra at 1 p.m. Thursday at a high school in Tracy, police said.
Title: Sandra Cantu buried today during private service
Post by: Edsonmom on April 15, 2009, 02:50:24 PM
RIP Little one.. :'( :'(

Sandra Cantu buried today during private service
by Jennifer Wadsworth27 mins 22 secs ago
A picture of Sandra Cantu, 8, at a make-shift memorial after her body was found. Press file photo.
slideshow Family, friends and city leaders gathered for a private burial today for slain 8-year-old Tracy girl Sandra Cantu.

A horse-drawn carriage brought her tiny body from Fry Memorial Chapel to the Tracy Mausoleum shortly after noon today.

Sandra’s mother was “like a rock” during the service, said Tracy police Sgt. Tony Sheneman after the burial. TV news crews gathered outside the cemetery grounds to film as much of the service as they could from a distance.

A few dozen people attended, including several police officers who last week arrested a 28-year-old Sunday school teacher on suspicion of killing the little girl.

Melissa Chantel Huckaby was arraigned Tuesday on charges that she kidnapped, raped and then murdered Sandra on March 27.

Sandra lived in the same mobile home park as Huckaby with her mother, three older siblings and her grandparents. Surveillance footage that captures the girl’s last moments alive shows her skipping playfully toward Huckaby’s house, five doors away from her own home.

It was the last anyone ever saw of her, before her body was found 10 days later stuffed in a suitcase someone dumped in a manure-filled pond on a north Tracy dairy.

“She became an angel to the community,” said Tracy Unified School District Superintendent James Franco of Sandra, a Jacobsen Elementary School second-grader.

Her disappearance drew hundreds of volunteer searchers and nearly 20 agencies on the case. Photos of the blonde-haired brown-eyed girl were plastered on utility poles, car windows and bulletin boards all over Northern California.

It became a familiar face, especially to Tracy.

The national interest in her search brought and the sordid fascination sparked by recent charges against Huckaby of murder and rape likely mean a crowd of thousands will show up for her public memorial service on Thursday.

Organizers have prepared for as many as 8,000 guests, but there’s only enough parking for 500 cars.

The public service is scheduled for 1 p.m. Thursday at the West High School gym, 1775 W. Lowell Ave.

For information, call the memorial chapel at 836-1970.

• Contact Tracy Press reporter Jennifer Wadsworth at 830-4225 or jwadsworth@tracypress.com.

http://www.tracypress.com/pages/full_story?article-Sandra%20Cantu%20buried%20today%20during%20private%20service%20=&page_label=news&id=2323288-Sandra+Cantu+buried+today+during+private+service&widget=push&instance=lead_story_left_column&open=&
Title: Re: SANDRA CANTU, | CALIFORNIA - MARCH, 2009 (Body Found 4/6/09)
Post by: Silverdog on April 15, 2009, 07:43:46 PM
I'm sure God has a very special place for Sandra. In the arms of an angel, now she is safe.... RIP Sandra.
Title: Re: SANDRA CANTU, | CALIFORNIA - MARCH, 2009 (Body Found 4/6/09)
Post by: Silverdog on April 15, 2009, 11:16:22 PM
Swallowing X Acto blades, why am I not surprised by this? Are we supposed to feel sorry for this pitiful excuse for a human being? And why did she keep telling the MEDIA stuff that directly conflicted with what she was telling the cops? Does she actually think the cops dont read what the media prints? Boy, I hope they make an example out of this girl. I hope her life is a living hell from now til her execution day, (presuming she will face death of course).
Cops have her computers and stuff, you can bet this will not be the ONLY abuse that comes out.
However, I watched NG tonight, and I WAS relieved to know that her own 5 year old daughter has been checked out and does not appear to be a victim. I guess thats debatable, she may not have been physically or sexually abused, but if your mom is convicted of kidnapping, rape, and murder.... I think you qualify as victimized by it all.
Title: Re: SANDRA CANTU, | CALIFORNIA - MARCH, 2009 (Body Found 4/6/09)
Post by: Edsonmom on April 15, 2009, 11:39:12 PM
Thank god Melissa did not abuse her own daughter, she has done enough to ruin her life as it is.. I pray only for her daughters sake, that the family moves, so the kids in school do not start to bully her about her mom being a murder.
Don't you know Silver.. This is is perfect way for her to start a "insane Plea" I found it funny, that she at one time wanted to be a cop, and started her studies for it, and dropped out.. I mysel, feel that she was just learning how to get away with murder, and what drug effects have on different age groups..sorry for spelling, sleeping pills kicking in..

Title: Re: SANDRA CANTU, | CALIFORNIA - MARCH, 2009 (Body Found 4/6/09)
Post by: waabzy on April 16, 2009, 09:04:04 AM
re pc 190.2(a)(17)(e)
   (E) The performance of a lewd or lascivious act upon the person of
a child under the age of 14 years in violation of Section 288.
http://law.onecle.com/california/penal/190.2.html
Title: Re: SANDRA CANTU, | CALIFORNIA - MARCH, 2009 (Body Found 4/6/09)
Post by: capeheart on April 16, 2009, 02:23:39 PM
The sad part about this is, it didn't have to happen. Melissa H. was under psychiatric care while being on probation and her father knew this. Why was she allowed to be teaching Sunday School or have any children in her care, including her own daughter. Her father should have made sure that she was not alone with anyone, considering that she had attempted suicide and that she was on probation. I mean the neighbours are not going to know what is going on with that woman. Thousands are attending a memorial service tonight for Sandra. Her private funeral was today with her family and friends. Rest in Peace, Sandra. My condolences to all of her family and friends. :'( :'( :'( :'( :'( :'( :'(
Title: Re: SANDRA CANTU, | CALIFORNIA - MARCH, 2009 (Body Found 4/6/09)
Post by: Silverdog on April 16, 2009, 08:30:21 PM
Hmm, I dont know Cape. I dont think I would put any of the responsibility for this onto her father or grandparents. I dont think they even knew that dark side of Melissa existed. If she was under psyche care and they thought she was some kind of danger to herself or anyone else, they should have committed her. Thats to do with the professionals, not her relatives. Also, look at her reaction in court...she KNOWS what she did was wrong. She isnt zombie-like, like most people charged with this kind of crime.
Now, I can't remember when she "found" the "Cantu Water Suitcase" note (that she wrote herself), but I am thinking she somehow wanted that child to be found. Even though, I think she hoped to get away with it.
Title: Re: SANDRA CANTU, | CALIFORNIA - MARCH, 2009 (Body Found 4/6/09)
Post by: Edsonmom on April 16, 2009, 08:47:31 PM
Video of Sandra's public funeral service  :'( :'(

RIP BABY GIRL.. YOU HAVE TOUCHED THE LIVES OF MILLIONS.
http://www.fox40.com/pages/fox40live_blog
Title: DEFENCE WANTS OWN AUTOPSY DONE...
Post by: Edsonmom on April 17, 2009, 09:54:51 AM
 >:( Like Sandra & her family have not been through enough, now they want to disturb her resting place..

Defense request to disinter body on hold
Print this Article Email this Article Text Size: A | A | A

 
By Scott Smith
Record Staff Writer
April 17, 2009 6:00 AM
STOCKTON - A judge refused to rule on a request Thursday by Melissa Huckaby's attorney to have 8-year-old Sandra Cantu's body removed from her Tracy mausoleum so the defense could conduct its own autopsy.

San Joaquin County Deputy Public Defender Sam Behar's request - drawing the judge's reproach and sharp opposition from the prosecutor - unfolded in a Stockton courtroom the same afternoon thousands of mourners gathered in Tracy to remember Sandra's short life.

San Joaquin County Superior Court Presiding Judge William J. Murray Jr. said he would not make a final determination on Behar's motion, because that decision rests with the judge assigned to the case.

Murray said he was disappointed Behar approached him and not Superior Court Judge Terrence Van Oss, who has been assigned to take up Huckaby's case next Friday.

Behar said Van Oss is not on the bench this week, and he also expects Van Oss to dismiss himself because of a conflicting case with Huckaby's prosecutor. Behar said he couldn't wait and had no choice but to ask Murray.

"Every hour is critical," Behar told the judge, adding that he's worried Sandra's body is deteriorating. "Any delay will be prejudicial to my client."

Sandra disappeared from Tracy's Orchard Estates Mobile Home Park on March 27. Farm workers found her body April 6, stuffed in a black suitcase and dumped in an irrigation pond a couple of miles north of Tracy. Investigators said they believe she was killed just hours after she disappeared.

Behar's request came the day after he was assigned to represent Huckaby, the 28-year-old Tracy woman charged with murder and the special circumstances of kidnapping, lewd and lascivious acts on a child, and rape with a foreign object - charges that make her eligible for the death penalty if convicted.

Sandra's body was placed in a casket even before Huckaby's arrest. Behar, who was later assigned to Huckaby's case, implied that the autopsy was conducted without Huckaby's interests being represented.

Most homicide cases involve a single, independent pathologist's report such as the one performed by the San Joaquin County Coroner's Office.

Behar said in the 14-page request that he wants his own analysis of "genital trauma" Sandra allegedly sustained that supports the lewd and lascivious acts and sexual penetration charges.

Behar seeks to have the Sheriff's Office send officials to Fry Memorial Chapel, who would then take custody of Sandra's body, which was entombed Wednesday at the Tracy Mausoleum.

The Sheriff's Office would "preserve" and "deliver" the body to the Coroner's Office "with all due haste" to prevent further deterioration. Behar's defense pathologist would examine and then return the body to Fry's or Sandra's family, the court motion requests.

"In this case, Ms. Cantu's body is of such material evidence and that, without immediate intervention by this court, her defense will be prejudiced," Behar's motion says.

This is the last chance Huckaby's defense pathologist will ever have an opportunity to refute the people's case, the motion says. Huckaby was not in court for the hearing. Behar declined to comment further outside court.

Put off by Murray, Behar has two options: to make his case before the state's 3rd District Court of Appeal or to wait for next Friday's scheduled hearing in Stockton.

San Joaquin County Deputy District Attorney Thomas Testa argued against Behar, saying he needed time to prepare a written response, consult with Tracy police detectives and his pathologist and give Sandra's family a chance to be in court and state their own objection to disturbing the girl's remains.

"It's obscene. I'm outraged by it," Testa told the judge. "Let me have my detectives here, my doctor here, (Sandra's) family here."

Murray, in declining to rule on Behar's motion, said he did some research on the law before the brief hearing, and the arguments Behar cited did not convince him he has the right to remove Sandra's body from the mausoleum.

"If I thought your legal arguments were compelling, I might be of a different thought," Murray said. "But I'm not."

Contact reporter Scott Smith at (209) 546-8296 or ssmith @recordnet.com.
http://www.recordnet.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20090417/A_NEWS/904170320

Court documents filed for this motion..
http://www.recordnet.com/assets/pdf/SR906416.PDF
Title: Re: SANDRA CANTU, | CALIFORNIA - MARCH, 2009 (Body Found 4/6/09)
Post by: Edsonmom on April 17, 2009, 10:13:53 AM
Good Morning America interview with Melissa's ex..

http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/story?id=7356264&page=1

The ex-husband of Melissa Huckaby, the California woman accused of the assault and murder of 8-year-old Sandra Cantu, said his former wife suffered from depression and other mental health problems but he didn't believe she was capable of violence.

"I do believe the emotional issues came into play quite often in her lifetime," Johnny Huckaby told "Good Morning America's" Chris Cuomo in an exclusive interview today.

"She did suffer from depression. She did have issues with ... her self-persona, who she saw herself as," Huckaby, 26, told "GMA."

Huckaby said his former wife was prescribed medication at one point. "So I imagine at some point in time, she did see somebody for the problems," he said.

ABC News has learned that Huckaby was admitted to a local hospital in the days after Sandra's disappearance and that she'd had at least two other relationships with men she claimed abused her.

Watch the full interview today on "Good Morning America," which airs 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. ET.

"I wouldn't wish this on anybody. Especially on the family members of the victim," he said. "But mainly for my daughter. I mean, I do not want my daughter growing up with that type of legacy to look forward to."

Despite her struggle with depression, Huckaby described his ex-wife as a generally "care-free person," not prone to violence. He added that as far as he knew, Melissa was doing well since their split.

"Well from what I understand she went to school and she got a job," he said. "She was making fairly good money. She had a pretty good life going the last I'd heard."

"I don't see this being any type of intentional situation," Huckaby said of the alleged murder.

Huckaby said he was shocked when he saw television coverage of Melissa in the courtroom during her arraignment

"The way she walked out there ... was not the person that I knew," he said. "It was, looks like she was a person in somebody else's body."

Johnny Huckaby, who said he had not talked to his former wife for more than three years, is seeking custody of their daughter. He is remarried and has two other children.

He said that when they separated, Melissa Huckaby moved in with her parents in Southern California, so he rarely saw his daughter.

In 2002, Melissa Huckaby took out a restraining order against a former boyfriend. In a handwritten note obtained by ABC News, Huckaby claimed he stalked her, threatened to kill her and harm her grandfather.

A year later, she was married to Johnny Huckaby. In their divorce papers, she accused him of child abduction and domestic violence, charges he vehemently denies.

His daughter is in a safe place and doing well, Huckaby said.

"She does not have any knowledge of the situation that's going on, which is best," he said.
Title: Re: SANDRA CANTU, | CALIFORNIA - MARCH, 2009 (Body Found 4/6/09)
Post by: Silverdog on April 17, 2009, 08:46:47 PM
OMG they want to exhume the body. This is just as cruel as taking her life in the first place....so they can exhume the body and then say "well, its possible she was being abused in the home ..." this just makes me SO  UPSET!!! Sure they should be allowed to look at existing documentation, but let the poor girl rest in peace now!


The only good thing going on here : its very nice to hear that Melissas little girl has no knowledge of what is going on. I hope her father gets her out of there and into anonymous life where she can grow up. The father seems very articulate and "normal" and doesnt want this little girl scarred by this legacy.
Title: Re: SANDRA CANTU, | CALIFORNIA - MARCH, 2009 (Body Found 4/6/09)
Post by: capeheart on April 18, 2009, 08:30:54 AM
Silverdog, I had mentioned earlier that her father should have not had her teach Sunday School when she was on this program for psychiatric help. The only reason I am saying this is, if I had a child that was going to Sunday School, I would not want her in the company of someone who was having mental problems and who had a criminal record. I certainly would be upset by that. Would you want your daughter being involved or alone with someone like that???Sorry, but that is what I meant. I know it is not her father's responsibility, but I understand she was living with her parents, but maybe she isn't. However, the pastor, her grandfather should not have had her involved in teaching Sunday School either until she was well enough to take on her duties again. Silver, I am like you, I am so sick to my stomach about them disrupting the gravesite of Sandra. This is obscene and cruel to do this to this wonderful child. They just laid her to rest and God bless her mom to have to even hear this request. What is it they are trying to say here, I did not get the details and was shocked to know this. But we all know that there are a lot of cases where they have exhumed the body a couple of times, which is heartbreaking for the familys. I hope the Judge doesn't approve this order.  ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ???
Title: Re: SANDRA CANTU, | CALIFORNIA - MARCH, 2009 (Body Found 4/6/09)
Post by: Edsonmom on April 18, 2009, 07:21:34 PM
Cape, they want to exhume Sandra's body, as the defence lawyer says, that they want to examine her vagina, to make sure that it is not just a malformation.. they said, that they never got a copy of the autopsy report.. and that the rape charges were laid before Sandra even had her autopsy..therefore there is no way for them to know she was raped..
Title: Huckaby told friends she was raped by a cop..
Post by: Edsonmom on April 18, 2009, 11:19:25 PM
YOU CALLED IT SILVER.. HERE WE GO WITH THE RAPE STORY..

Huckaby told friends she was raped
by Jennifer Wadsworth/ TP staff22 hrs ago
Melissa Chantel Huckaby, who has been accused of kidnapping and killing Sandra Cantu, was herself raped, according to three friends who talked with the Tracy Press.  A woman accused of kidnapping, raping and killing an 8-year-old Tracy girl told three of her friends separately that she was once raped herself.

At the time of the rape, Melissa Chantel Huckaby was 18, just out of high school and still living with her parents in La Habra, a city in Orange County, the friends said.

The three people who knew Huckaby at different times in her life told the same story. None knew each other. One was a high school friend, another was from a vocational school, and a third was from where she used to work — all from Southern California.

The three asked that their names be withheld, because Huckaby told them of the rape in confidence. They also said they’re afraid of being caught in the media spotlight.

They all said the rape occurred at a time when Huckaby’s life began to spiral downward.

Her first serious boyfriend had moved away, which broke her heart.

Her best friend had moved away to college.

Huckaby had trouble getting along with her family, said the friends.

Private letters shared by one source indicate Huckaby was suicidal, and had been since the sixth grade.

According to a passage one of her friends read over the phone, the letter dated May 20, 1999, read: “I just wasn’t meant to live, I guess. No one wants me or even cares if I live or not, and I’m just in the way, anyways.”

Earlier in 1999, before Huckaby graduated from Brea-Olinda High School, her grades dropped, she got kicked off the dance team, and she became more withdrawn, one friend said.

Soon after graduating from high school 10 years ago, a cop asked her out on a date. Afterward, the police officer handcuffed her, shoved her in the back seat of his car and raped her — a story that all three friends said Huckaby told them.

Huckaby never reported the incident to authorities, the friends said. One of her best friends was unsure if Huckaby’s family even knew.

Today, Huckaby is 28 years old. The Sunday school teacher and single mother of a 5-year-old girl named Madison was put on suicide watch at the San Joaquin County Jail as soon as she was arrested, shortly before midnight April 10.

Police booked her without bail on suspicion of kidnapping, raping and killing second-grader Sandra Cantu. Four days earlier, farmworkers draining a filthy dairy pond north of town found a suitcase identified as Huckaby’s. Inside, police found Sandra’s body. She had been missing since March 27.

During Sandra’s disappearance, hundreds of volunteers joined 18 agencies to search for the girl. The desperate hunt for her whereabouts turned into a murder investigation when police opened the black Eddie Bauer bag to find Sandra’s body.

The mood changed from hopeful, to fearful and angry. Parents talked about how they looked forward to the day when police would find the “psychopath,” the “monster” who murdered Sandra.

Several neighbors in the Orchard Estates Mobile Home Park, where Sandra lived five doors down from Huckaby, became suspicious of one another. Many started keeping their children inside and keeping a closer eye on their neighbors, several said.

When news broke that the alleged killer was a friend to Sandra, many in the neighborhood said they felt betrayed that the alleged killer was someone Sandra knew. Sandra used to play with Huckaby’s daughter, Madison, a bright-blonde, blue-eyed but sickly girl.

“It was someone she trusted,” said 26-year-old Amber Austin, a mother of two, the morning after Huckaby’s arrest. “The frightening thing is that they knew each other. That’s scary.”

Sandra's uncle, Joe Chavez, said he found it difficult to contain his rage toward Huckaby's family.

"I want to go over there and beat the crap out of those people,” he told an Associated Press reporter on Easter Sunday, two days after the woman’s arrest. “But I'm not going to do that. I just want to vent my anger, but it's not in me."

Friends and family said few knew much about the hardships Huckaby had endured for most of her adult life — bankruptcy, divorce, physical abuse, depression. Even fewer knew of her struggles before that and how emotionally fragile she was for most of her life.

A classmate of hers at Bryman College — a Southern California vocational school Huckaby attended in 2005 — said she remembers vividly the day the recent divorceé told her about the assault.

Huckaby’s face flushed, it wrinkled, she sobbed, she got angry, said the classmate, who asked to withhold her name because the story was told in confidence.

“I had never seen her angry before, she was very laid-back, relaxed, so I figured she must have been telling the truth,” said the friend, who said the only reason she shared the story with the Tracy Press is because she believes it would make Huckaby sound more human.

“Everyone makes her out to be a monster,” she said. “But she went through a lot of stuff that people don’t know about.”

Another friend — who said she knew Huckaby very well during the two years before Huckaby was assaulted and also asked for anonymity — said she knew the preacher’s daughter had deep-seated troubles, but never knew their extent. The friend said she knew Huckaby would slash her wrists at times, and wore long-sleeved shirts in the summer to hide the self-inflicted gashes.

“She’s just a wounded person,” said the friend, sobbing uncontrollably. “I don’t think people understand that she’s so wounded, that she has so much pain in her life.”

Huckaby’s father, Brian Lawless, 45, has said that after high school, his daughter’s life started to unravel.

She became rebellious, he said. She hit a rough patch in life. She had a tough time keeping a job as a single mother. She battled depression.

To corroborate the personal accounts is a paper trail that begins in Huckaby’s early 20s.

Public records tell a story of a woman who claimed abuse at the hands of an ex-boyfriend and ex-husband, who filed for bankruptcy, who racked up enormous medical bills and who was arrested twice for petty theft.

She bounced back and forth over the years from Northern California, where her grandparents live, to Los Angeles County, where she grew up and where her parents still live.

That last arrest for property theft landed her in the San Joaquin County mental health courts. When Tracy police arrested her on suspicion of killing Sandra, Huckaby had recently started serving a three-year probation after pleading no contest in January to theft and burglary for stealing or trying to steal from Target in Tracy.

She missed a court date with a county-appointed psychiatrist on April 3, days before Sandra’s body was found, records show.

When reports came out that police found Huckaby’s suitcase, she was admitted to the local hospital in Tracy for what she described as “internal bleeding.” She refused to elaborate when asked just hours before her arrest. But police said they went to the hospital during her stay to keep an eye on her. Police said over the scanner on April 7 that they had to change detail at the hospital.

Huckaby’s grandfather, 77-year-old Tracy pastor Clifford Lane Lawless, said Friday he didn’t know what to say about the stories of his granddaughter’s rape.

“I’m not really of a mind to talk right now,” he said.

• Contact Tracy Press reporter Jennifer Wadsworth at 830-4225 or jwadsworth@tracypress.com.

Editor's note: This story was corrected to reflect that she lived in La Habra in Orange County at the time her friends said she was raped.

http://www.tracypress.com/pages/full_story?article-Huckaby%20told%20friends%20she%20was%20raped%20=&page_label=home&id=2341927-Huckaby+told+friends+she+was+raped&widget=push&instance=home_news_lead_story&open=&
Title: Re: SANDRA CANTU, | CALIFORNIA - MARCH, 2009 (Body Found 4/6/09)
Post by: Edsonmom on April 19, 2009, 02:56:40 AM
Disbelief among those who know Tracy suspect
Kevin Fagan,Demian Bulwa, Chronicle Staff Writers

Sunday, April 19, 2009

She is described as a straight-laced preacher's granddaughter, a member of her high school dance team who never got into trouble. She is passionately devoted to her 5-year-old daughter. She has no serious criminal history, just a couple of petty thefts, and no violent mental illnesses that several of her closest relatives know of, just depression.

It leaves those who know her to wonder: If she is responsible, did Huckaby have a sudden psychotic break from a hidden mental illness and go crazy, raping an 8-year-old playmate of her daughter, killing her and throwing away her body in a suitcase? Was someone else involved, and is Huckaby covering up for someone?

Or was she, as prosecutors say, simply a killer in waiting?

Those are the main theories whirling among friends and relatives of the 28-year-old Sunday school teacher - along with many experts, and even some authorities in the case - now that Huckaby's arrest and arraignment, and the public memorial in Tracy for Sandra Cantu, are finished.

Even some investigators say Huckaby fits none of the usual life patterns or behaviors that lead to violent crime - especially a case as rare and extreme as this one. Only 5 percent of pedophiles in the United States are female, and criminal historians have tried in vain to find another offense that approximates Huckaby's alleged crime.

It's the unusual nature of the allegations - the special circumstances of kidnapping Sandra, raping her with a foreign object and performing lewd acts upon her while murdering her - that make Huckaby eligible for the death penalty. But those charges also make her sound diametrically opposite to the woman long known by her family and friends, even those who have had conflicts with her.

"I feel like my heart is being ripped open every time I see her on the news," said Emily Glyer Fontes, Huckaby's best friend from Brea Olinda High School in Orange County. "That person on the screen is not the person I know. We were straight-laced, good kids.

"Either something terribly big happened to her in the past few years, or something else is going on here and she's not the one who did all this," she said. "It just doesn't make sense."

Ex-husband in disbelief
Huckaby's ex-husband, Johnny Huckaby, told The Chronicle that she had some emotional difficulties. But he added that despite their contentious 2005 divorce, during which she accused him of abusing her, he could not believe she was capable of homicidal rape.

San Joaquin County Public Defender Peter Fox said he doubts the case against Huckaby can fly.

Fox said prosecutors have not yet handed over their evidence against Huckaby, but if what he's seen so far is as solid as it gets, "I think there is plenty of room for healthy skepticism with regard to any charge whatsoever."

"As an attorney with experience in homicide cases," Fox said, "I just don't think there was any kidnapping or sexual molest in this case. I have a very strong suspicion (there was not)."

The case, as described by police, "is a mystery to me," Fox said. "It really is."

Tracy detectives say that as with most criminal cases, any development is still possible - but they insist they believe they have arrested the sole suspect in the March 27 killing of Sandra. They also say the slaying was done deliberately and was not simply an accident.

"If we had any indication of anyone else being involved in this, they would have been taken into custody," Sgt. Tony Sheneman said. "The district attorney is confident we have done a good job."

Depression, but no violence
Huckaby was arrested April 10 after she drove herself to the police station in response to investigators' queries about an interview she had given to the Tracy Press newspaper, which police said conflicted with what she had told them earlier. Sources say that in five hours of questioning, she admitted involvement of some kind in Sandra's disappearance - and by the next morning she had been booked on suspicion of murder.

The most disturbing elements in Huckaby's background, however, still aren't typical of someone who acts with homicidal fury.

Authorities and relatives say she has grappled with depression over the years, and before she was arrested last year in Tracy on theft charges, she had a "pre-existing diagnosis" and was on prescription medication for mental health issues, Fox said. Also, sources say, she tried to commit suicide by swallowing razor blades in the week leading up to her arrest.

Several friends also said she had low self-esteem, which they think may have led her after high school to have at least two boyfriends who abused her and had criminal records.

'Picky about her friends'
Cindy Sanchez, who was Huckaby's confidante while they attended Bryman vocational college in Southern California in 2004 and 2005, said her friend "was depressed a lot, and really private, really picky about her friends."

"She had some rough patches in her life, but she wasn't abused as a kid," Sanchez said. "I think the divorce (in 2005) was very hard on her, and then when she had her daughter, it was a very hard pregnancy and the girl was born prematurely.

"But those were all just kind of normal things," Sanchez said. "She was actually really mellow and a good friend, and she loved her daughter so much."

Huckaby's father, air conditioning technician and church choir singer Brian Lawless, said his daughter had struggled with depression and "some emotional issues" around her divorce and single motherhood, "but she kept a level head."

An even stronger indication that she may have had a grip on her depression came just three weeks before Sandra disappeared.

Huckaby pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor petty theft charge of stealing items at Target in 2008, and was ordered to attend mental health counseling as part of the sentence. She was in San Joaquin County court March 6 for an evaluation of her counseling progress, and one of the officials of the program told the judge, "She's doing very, very well. You know, we really work on some deep, prudent issues. She really participates with everything."

"Obviously, there is a pattern of some instability emerging here in her life - there are a lot of red flags about a troubled person," said Dr. Debra Moore, past president of the Sacramento Psychological Association, who is not directly familiar with the case. "But what isn't here is a lot of red flags about a hardened criminal or a sociopath."

Candice DeLong, an ex-FBI profiler and prison psychiatric nurse, said it's impossible to rule any scenario out, but it is almost unheard of for a woman to perform the kind of sex crime Huckaby is accused of.

"Usually she's working with a man," DeLong said. "A lot of times women are used to lure children to the man. There are such things as absolutely degenerate females, but usually they are mothers who hit their children too hard or the children become like excess baggage to them and they dispose of them. But what's really rare is the sexual murder."

Police still working case
Even some investigators in the Huckaby case have their eyebrows raised.

The Tracy Police Department is still vigorously probing for new evidence - investigators descended Tuesday on Huckaby's home and the church that her grandfather runs - and officers say privately that there is no letdown in sight to the pace of the probe.

Usually after the main suspect has been arrested in such a high-impact case, there is some sense of stand-down and accomplishment, several said - but on this one, detectives are still working it like it's on fire.

Two Tracy investigators who have worked similar juvenile and homicide cases said the diligence is probably just detectives making sure they have the best case they can assemble. But many on the force aren't dismissing the possibility that someone else was involved. As a show of unity, no officers other than Sheneman are speaking publicly about the case, but one said "we wouldn't be much surprised" if another arrest is made.

Sandra's family, however, is having none of the discussion about what might have driven Huckaby to do what she is accused of doing. They are furious, believe investigators have the right woman, and say there is no use in listening to how hard Huckaby's life might have been up to this point.

"Death penalty," Sandra's uncle, Joe Chavez, said through clenched teeth last week.

Chronicle staff writers Henry K. Lee and Jaxon Van Derbeken contributed to this report. E-mail the writers at kfagan@sfchronicle.com and dbulwa@sfchronicle.com.
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2009/04/18/MN07174DBJ.DTL
Title: Cop cleared of Huckaby rape charge..
Post by: Edsonmom on April 19, 2009, 03:08:15 AM
HAHAH that blows her story out of the water.. just another lie in Melissa's evil life..

SoCal officer cleared of Huckaby rape charge, probe found
by TP staff13 hrs ago
 
police department spokesman Sgt. Tom Bruce said today that the department there conducted an investigation into claims by a Tracy murder suspect that a cop raped her 10 years ago. The investigation cleared the Orange County officer.

Melissa Chantel Huckaby, 28, was arrested on April 10 by Tracy police on suspicion of kidnapping, raping and murdering 8-year-old Tracy girl Sandra Cantu.

On Friday, three of Huckaby’s friends – none of whom knew each other – said she told them that a policeman raped her when she was 18, just out of high school.

Bruce confirmed that there was a report and an investigation, but provided no details and referred all calls to Tracy police.

Tracy police spokesman Sgt. Tony Sheneman said he can’t comment on an report involving Huckaby because it’s now part of an ongoing investigation.

Huckaby was arraigned on Tuesday, but entered no pleas. As charged, she could face the death penalty or life in prison without parole.

http://www.tracypress.com/pages/full_story?page_label=home&id=2345658-SoCal+officer+cleared+of+Huckaby+rape+charge-+probe+found&article-SoCal%20officer%20cleared%20of%20Huckaby%20rape%20charge-%20probe%20found%20=&widget=push&instance=home_news_lead_story&open=&
Title: Re: SANDRA CANTU, | CALIFORNIA - MARCH, 2009 (Body Found 4/6/09)
Post by: capeheart on April 19, 2009, 05:00:43 PM
I think the death penalty suits this crime. What just made her do this in the middle of the afternoon want to murder a little girl, I mean she must have had it in her head for a while. She had evil thoughts and carried them out. I just wonder if somebody did help her or was involved in this. I also just wonder, where was her daughter when this was going on???Who was with her daughter, I mean she was supposed to be playing with Sandra, so somebody had to be with her.I guess all those details will come out at the trial.Maybe she had this planned for a while and just was waiting for the right time to carry it out, when she had Sandra alone. Lots of times you see these over religious freaks do something because they think they are saving someone from the devil, when they are the devil who is commiting the crime. Sad that Sandra is gone and a lifetime of grief for her family. ??? ??? ??? :'( :'( :'( :'( :'( :'( :'(
Title: Re: SANDRA CANTU, | CALIFORNIA - MARCH, 2009 (Body Found 4/6/09)
Post by: Edsonmom on April 19, 2009, 06:34:33 PM
from my understanding Cape, and I will have to find the link again.. Gramma & Grandpa were home with Melissa's daughter, as well Sandra's older sister was babysitting Melissa's daughter, the same time Melissa was killing Sandra..She is just a sick twisted Biotch in my mind..
Title: Huckaby was POI in 2 arson fires in 2007
Post by: Edsonmom on April 19, 2009, 07:16:07 PM
Suspect in gruesome murder grew up in O.C.
Melissa Huckaby blended in at local high school before she hit a rocky patch.
By SARAH TULLYand LOU PONSI
The Orange County Register
Comments 21| Recommend 4

Ten years ago, Melissa Huckaby gossiped about cheerleaders in physics class, dressed up like a cat for Halloween and chatted with her dance teacher during lunch or after school.

She didn't dress in an unusual way. She didn't act out. She just blended in at Brea Olinda High School, friends and a teacher recall.

It's a stark contrast to the image of a woman, accused of a child's murder, that's being flashed in media outlets today.

Huckaby, 28, is facing charges of murder, kidnapping, rape with a foreign object and lewd or lascivious conduct in connection with the death of 8-year-old Sandra Cantu in Tracy, a town near San Francisco. Sandra, a playmate of Huckaby's daughter, was found in a suitcase in a pond.

Huckaby's ex-husband told ABC's Good Morning America on Friday he was in "shock and disbelief" when he heard about her arrest, The Associated Press reported.

"It's not something you want to think anyone possibly (is capable) of doing – let alone somebody that you knew and that's a mother of your child," John Huckaby said. He said their 5-year-old daughter, Madison, is in a "safe place" and doesn't know anything about the case, the AP reported.

HIGH SCHOOL YEARS

Huckaby grew up in La Habra and attended Brea Olinda High School from 1995 to 1999.

One of Melissa Huckaby's high school teachers also was baffled.

"It's shocking that anyone would do that, but it's very surprising that Melissa would do it," Brea Olinda's former dance director, Carole Finn, said about the murder allegations. Finn was Huckaby's high school dance instructor.

"I think sometimes kids in high school, you see there's hatred or they are upset about things in the world. … But Melissa was never that way."

At school, Huckaby showed no signs of trouble.

Classmate Charya Lon, a cheerleader who was a year younger than Huckaby, used to chat with Huckaby, a dancer, during physics class about cheerleading and dance. Huckaby told her that some of the cheerleaders were mean, but that Lon was a nice one. In her yearbook, Huckaby wrote that Lon was a cool person and wished her an awesome senior year.

"She had plenty of friends. She was not an outcast by any means. She was very friendly. Everybody liked her. I don't know anybody who didn't like her," Lon said.

Huckaby served as the secretary of the dance performing group, according to the 1999 yearbook.

Finn said Huckaby and a friend would regularly visit her during lunch and after school. Finn doesn't believe Huckaby had previous dance training but enjoyed dancing. Huckaby never caused any problems.

Finn said she recognized Huckaby when she saw the police mug shot.

"I said, 'It's Melissa.' I immediately knew who it was. Immediately. Like a flashback," Finn said.

But the image is not the way Finn remembers her.

"She was always so cooperative and nice. And it's just so sad. I'm just so sad about that," Finn said.

"You know there … are students, they did something bad and you say, 'Oh well, I could see that coming.' But that wasn't the case with Melissa at all. You never would have dreamt that she (would do) anything bad."

TOUGH PERIOD

In recent years, she has gone back and forth between Orange County and Tracy, most recently moving to the Northern California town about a year ago to live with her grandparents. Her grandfather, Clifford Lawless, declined to comment.

Sometime after high school, Huckaby hit a tough period, according to court records and family members in other reports.

Before moving to Tracy, Huckaby rented a room for a few months in a four-bedroom house in La Palma in 2007.

"She was very nice ... very cordial," said Evelyn Lloyd, her housemate who lived at the house for about 12 years. "Every girl who ended up in (that) house had a story. She (Huckaby) really didn't have a story. She was very secretive."

At first, Lloyd said she "never detected any depression or craziness or any violent behavior."

But then, in 2007, two fires were set at the house just eight days apart. Lloyd was arrested in the first fire on July 20, but the case against her was dismissed. Lloyd said Huckaby might have set her up.

Huckaby and her daughter were at the house when the second fire broke out, on July 28, said La Palma Police Chief Edward Ethell. Everyone who lived at the house, including Huckaby, was questioned about the fire.

Huckaby was considered a "person of interest," but she was not arrested, Ethell said. La Palma police officers are sharing information about the fire case with the Tracy Police Department and the investigation is ongoing, Ethell said.

Cypress police also are cooperating with the Tracy Police Department, said Sgt. Tom Bruce, but he declined to say if officers provided information about any specific incidents.

CRIME TROUBLE

Huckaby also faced other crime trouble.

In 2006, Huckaby was convicted of petty theft in Los Angeles County, according to The Associated Press.

More recently in November, Huckaby was arrested and charged with burglary and petty theft from a store in San Joaquin County, according to The Associated Press. In a deal with prosecutors, she pleaded no contest in January to the petty theft charge, and the burglary charge was dropped. She was sentenced to three years' probation and was required to participate in a county mental-health program for a year.

However, Huckaby didn't show up for an April3 hearing – a week after Sandra's disappearance. The hearing was rescheduled for April 17. But by then, Huckaby was already arrested on suspicion of Sandra's slaying. Her next court date is Friday.

MARRIAGE AND MOTHERHOOD

Some of her troubles seem to have started about the time she got married.

In May 2003, she married John Huckaby. The same month, she filed for bankruptcy, listing $26,313 in debt, records show. Four months later, Melissa Huckaby gave birth to their daughter, Madison, in San Joaquin County.

Bankruptcy court records show her debts were discharged, and the case was closed in August 2003.

But the couple separated about two years into the marriage, according to divorce court records in Orange County Superior Court. The divorce was finalized in September 2005. Melissa Huckaby listed her parents' Cypress address in court records.

According to the Topeka Capital-Journal, John Huckaby lived in Topeka for several years and remarried there. As recently as February, Melissa Huckaby was seeking child support payments from Huckaby through Kansas courts, according to the Topeka newspaper.

While she was going through the divorce, Huckaby got a job in May 2005 as a medical biller at Associated Therapists in Huntington Beach, where she earned $11 an hour. A man who answered the phone at Associated Therapists declined to comment. Huckaby also got $237 a month in public assistance.

Huckaby's uncle, John Hughes Jr. of Whittier, told The Associated Press that Huckaby had trouble finding and keeping a job. Family members told media outlets that Huckaby was sometimes depressed.

TIGHT-KNIT FAMILY

Despite her troubles, Huckaby comes from a strong family, acquaintances said.

Roberta O'Toole, the manager of the homeowners association where the Lawless family lives, said Huckaby's mother, Judy, regularly keeps an eye on the neighborhood, alerting neighbors if she sees that officers are about to ticket a car.

"They were really good, and they've just never been on my radar as a problem family at all," O'Toole said.

Pastor Eric Brown of First Missionary Baptist Church in Bellflower, which the family attends, said that Huckaby only occasionally went to the church between 2005 and 2008, but that her parents and younger sister are involved. Huckaby helped in her daughter's Sunday school class a few times.

Brown said she knows that Huckaby faced challenges.

"She struggled with it. But I see all kinds of people struggling," Brown said. "This was just a shock to everyone around here. I don't know how else to describe it."

He said he has talked to Brian Lawless, Huckaby's father, and church members are praying for both the Lawless and Cantu families.

http://www.ocregister.com/articles/huckaby-school-melissa-2368620-finn-family
Title: Re: SANDRA CANTU, | CALIFORNIA - MARCH, 2009 (Body Found 4/6/09)
Post by: capeheart on April 20, 2009, 04:38:24 PM
The murdered lured little Sandra into that church and must have had the plan to do that, I'm sure she just didn't do that out of the blue. She must have planned it, it had to be premediatated because what on earth would make her act in such a manner towards Sandra. So shocking it is for everyone in the family and the community. At least she is in jail and I hope nobody is sending her ice cream and fancy clothes and dinners like is happening with Casey Anthony. Thank heavens she is behind bars and she cannot hurt any other child. ??? ??? ??? ??? 8) 8) 8) 8) 8)
Title: Re: SANDRA CANTU, | CALIFORNIA - MARCH, 2009 (Body Found 4/6/09)
Post by: capeheart on April 20, 2009, 06:49:59 PM
Just heard on the American news that Melissa H. is a suspect in another case. There was another case of a child that came home and was under the influence of drugs in her system and the details are not clear, but they are looking at Melissa H. as a suspect. I daresay this is the first time she has had done something like this and lucky there are no more deaths from her actions, as far as we know anyway. You never know what they are going to come up with on this investigation. ??? ??? ??? ???
Title: NOT MELISSA"S FIRST CHILD DRUGGING
Post by: Edsonmom on April 20, 2009, 07:47:00 PM
Your right cape

Quote
News of a judicial switch-up came Monday as The Tracy Press reported that Huckaby was linked to a 7-year-old girl in January found drugged with muscle relaxers.

Huckaby case switched to new judge (5:40 p.m.)
Print this Article Email this Article Text Size: A | A | A
By The Record
April 20, 2009 8:41 PM
STOCKTON — A judge previously assigned to oversee the trial of Melissa Huckaby, the 28-year-old Tracy woman charged with the murder, kidnapping and rape of 8-year-old Sandra Cantu, dismissed himself from the case Monday.

Superior Court Judge Linda Lofthus will now take up the case on Friday, when Huckaby’s public defender, Sam Behar, is expected to ask to remove Sandra’s remains from the Tracy Mausoleum for a second autopsy.

San Joaquin County Superior Court’s presiding judge in a one paragraph letter said that “The Honorable Terrence Van Oss has recused himself.” The brief letter gives no explanation, but it is likely due to an old conflict with Huckaby’s prosecutor.

News of a judicial switch-up came Monday as The Tracy Press reported that Huckaby was linked to a 7-year-old girl in January found drugged with muscle relaxers.

Huckaby faces a death sentence is she if found guilty of the charges stemming from Sandra’s death.

Read Tuesday’s Record for more on this story by staff writer Scott Smith.
http://www.recordnet.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20090420/A_NEWS/90420010/-1/A_SPECIAL0263
Title: Huckaby tied to January missing girl report
Post by: Edsonmom on April 20, 2009, 07:54:57 PM
Huckaby tied to January missing girl report
by Jennifer Wadsworth6 hrs ago

slideshow Melissa Chantel Huckaby, 28, is tied to a report that someone in January took a 7-year-old girl to a park for four hours and brought her back high on muscle relaxers.

The incident was reported on January 17 by a family in the Orchard Estates Mobile Home Park. Huckaby lived in the same complex, also where 8-year-old Sandra Cantu lived before police found her dead body on April 10. Police arrested Huckaby four days later on suspicion on kidnapping, raping and killing Sandra.

The January report alleges that someone took a 45-pound blue-eyed dark-haired girl to a park. The woman and the child were gone for four hours, from about 1:30 to after 5 p.m., according to the police log. The woman who took the girl drove a purple Kia Sportage, according to the report.

Police towed a purple Kia Sportage registered to Huckaby the day after farmworkers found Sandra’s body inside a suitcase dumped in a dairy lagoon.

The police log also noted an officer said the girl might be with a mobile home park resident's "granddaughter." Huckaby until her arrest lived with her grandparents, Clifford Lane and Connie Lawless.

When the woman — apparently Huckaby — returned the girl, the family took her to the hospital. A doctor found benzodiazepines — a muscle relaxant — in the girl’s bloodstream, the police log noted.

Police logs say the girl’s mother had alcohol on her breath and carried around some type of drug. Police dismissed the incident because of the mother’s drug and alcohol problem, said a friend of the family’s who asked not to be identified because the FBI asked the family not to talk about the case.

Tracy police Sgt. Tony Sheneman said he can say nothing about the reported abduction in January because it’s part of the ongoing murder investigation.

• Contact Tracy Press reporter Jennifer Wadsworth at 830-4225 or jwadsworth@tracypress.com.

Editor's note: A reference to a Huckaby interview with a news station was removed from this story.

http://www.tracypress.com/pages/full_story?page_label=home&id=2353504-Huckaby+tied+to+January+missing+girl+report&widget=push&article-Huckaby%20tied%20to%20January%20missing%20girl%20report%20=&instance=home_news_lead_story&open=&
Title: Re: SANDRA CANTU, | CALIFORNIA - MARCH, 2009 (Body Found 4/6/09)
Post by: Silverdog on April 20, 2009, 08:30:09 PM
Wow, those people are lucky to have their daughter back alive! Bet you any money pathologists have found the same benzodiazipines in Sandra's body!! How very tragic that the police did not take this one seriously because the mother had alcohol on her breath. Now we have to wonder if that child was sexually abused, and I would be confident to say YES. We I can only hope they keep finding little treasures like this to mount against MH. I don't mean I hope other children have been abused, I just mean, IF there are others, I hope it comes to light!!
Title: Re: SANDRA CANTU, | CALIFORNIA - MARCH, 2009 (Body Found 4/6/09)
Post by: lostlinganer on April 21, 2009, 08:42:13 AM
If I were one of those investigators on that case, I would be more seriously looking at "who would possibly in the position to control the Huckaby woman" during the time frame of these happenings.  I'm leaning toward somebody more responsible than Huckaby - somebody controlling her .... possibly with a combination of medication, instructions, and fear.  I find it almost impossible to believe that Huckaby did the actual sexual assault, killing and possible harm to another child - completely of her own valition.  That kind of behavior is a result of something.  Find that "something" ... and possibly find something a lot bigger involved here.
Title: Family of second drugged girl speaks out.
Post by: Edsonmom on April 21, 2009, 01:13:42 PM
There is a video of this at the top of the page as well.

TRACY, CA -- In Tracy there is a new disturbing twist in the Sandra Cantu murder case. On Monday, police linked the 8-year old's accused killer with another child who went missing.
Police are not saying much about the prior case of a missing girl at the Orchard Estates Mobile Home Park, except to confirm that it has now become a part of their larger investigation into accused killer Melissa Huckaby.
Ten weeks before Sandra Cantu was abducted and murdered, another little girl went missing from the mobile home park, only to be found hours later -- according to the girl's family -- in the company of Melissa Huckaby.
On the afternoon of January 17th, according to a Tracy Police log, the girl was reported missing by her family. She returned two and half hours later. According to the family, the girl had spent the afternoon with Melissa Huckaby without their permission.
Story continues belowAdvertisement
ABC7 spoke with the girl's mother and sister at their home. They said Huckaby had taken the girl to several local parks and given her a cup of water from a local fast food restaurant. They did not want to appear on camera, but the sister told ABC7 by telephone, the little girl acted strangely when she got home.
"Her speech was slurred, like she had a really bad lisp. She kept falling asleep. She would cry like something was wrong with her. She couldn't stand up without help. She couldn't walk. Every time she tried to walk, she's fall," said the girl's sister.
The family says they took the little girl to Sutter Tracy Memorial Hospital, where she was examined. A police log for January 17 confirms the family's account that the girl tested positive for the muscle relaxant "benzodiazepine."
"Was Melissa Huckaby involved?" asked ABC7's Laura Anthony.
"Any report with Ms. Huckaby's name on it, whether it's this report or a traffic collision, is part of our investigation," said Tracy Police Sgt. Tony Sheneman.
Now that Sandra Cantu is dead, the girl's family wonders if police should've done more to investigate their incident.
"If they would've done their job right, everything with Sandra could've been prevented and she would've been here today," said the girl's sister.
The family told ABC7, besides the drug test given to the little girl at the local hospital, she was examined for any signs of molestation and the family said that examination was negative. Police insist Monday afternoon they did everything they could to investigate the January 17th missing child case, but there was simply no probable cause to make an arrest.

http://abclocal.go.com/kfsn/story?section=news/state&id=6772201
Title: Re: SANDRA CANTU, | CALIFORNIA - MARCH, 2009 (Body Found 4/6/09)
Post by: capeheart on April 21, 2009, 08:14:40 PM
I just want to mention that the Dr. Phil show is going to be having this case on his show tomorrow, Wednesday. I am set to watch and see what he is going to say about the details of this case, it should be interesting to watch. It comes on here at 4:00 p.m. on CTV. 8) 8) 8) 8) 8) 8)
Title: Huckaby past is biting her is the A$$
Post by: Edsonmom on April 21, 2009, 10:58:49 PM
Huckaby Tied To SoCal Arson Case, Police Say
Woman Arrested In Homicide Of Sandra Cantu
POSTED: 3:56 pm PDT April 21, 2009
UPDATED: 7:33 pm PDT April 21, 2009


TRACY, Calif. -- Police said Melissa Huckaby, the woman charged in the homicide of 8-year-old Tracy girl Sandra Cantu, is a suspect in one or two house fires in Southern California, according to police. However, police said she would not be charged in that case.

KCRA 3 and a reporter from NBC 11 talked in San Jose with the La Palma police department in Orange County on Tuesday.


Huckaby had rented a room in a home in La Palma and arson was to blame for a minor fire and later a moderate fire in the same house.

Police confirm Huckaby is a suspect in at least one or possibly two fires that occurred in July 2007.



Melissa Huckaby, who is accused of killing Sandra Cantu, wept in a Stockton courtroom on Tuesday.
 

A week before Huckaby was arrested on suspicion of the murder of Cantu, La Palma police contacted the Tracy Police Department.

Police said Huckaby's current arrest takes priority over the fires, so the La Palma investigation will stop and she will not be charged in that case.

Huckaby, 28, was charged last week in Cantu's homicide. The girl's body was found in a suitcase pulled from an irrigation pond 10 days after she went missing.

Prosecutors added to the charge the special circumstances of rape with a foreign object, lewd or lascivious conduct with a child under 14 and murder in the course of a kidnapping.

Tracy Police Sgt. Tony Sheneman said Tuesday that Judge Linda Lofthus ordered a gag order in the case.

"Parties and counsel" are directed not to "release information or opinions concerning this case or any issue likely involved in this case," according to the order.

http://www.kcra.com/news/19244229/detail.html
Title: Defense drops bid to exhume Tracy girl's body
Post by: Edsonmom on April 21, 2009, 11:06:32 PM
 WHY THE SUDDEN CHANGE......Thank God, Sandra will be left alone now.

Demian Bulwa, Chronicle Staff Writer

Tuesday, April 21, 2009




(04-21) 16:12 PDT TRACY -- The attorney for murder suspect Melissa Huckaby is no longer seeking to exhume the body of 8-year-old Sandra Cantu from a Tracy mausoleum in order to conduct independent tests to determine whether she was raped, San Joaquin County's public defender said today.

The defense will withdraw its request, which Huckaby's attorney made to a judge Thursday just a day after Sandra was laid to rest, Public Defender Peter Fox said.

He said the deputy public defender handling the case, Sam Behar, learned this morning from the county's chief medical examiner, Bennett Omalu, that "the relevant samples were preserved" and had not been interred.

"It will not be necessary to disturb the child's remains," Fox said in an interview. "From a human point of view, certainly it's nice not to have to do that."

Huckaby, a 28-year-old Sunday school teacher who is the mother of one of Sandra's playmates in a Tracy mobile home park, was arrested April 10 and charged with her murder. Prosecutors alleged that the murder was accompanied by special circumstances, including rape, that would make Huckaby eligible for the death penalty if convicted.

Sandra was last seen near her home March 27. Her body was found in a suitcase April 6 in a dairy farm's irrigation pond 2 miles from the mobile home park.

The defense was concerned that prosecutors were basing the rape allegation solely on the findings of the medical examiner's autopsy. Fox said his office has not been given the autopsy results or any other evidence in the case, including recordings or transcripts from a long interview Huckaby gave to police before her arrest.

In his motion to exhume Sandra's body, Behar wrote that a second autopsy, which would have been conducted by a forensic pathologist hired by the defense, was "extremely crucial and material to Ms. Huckaby's defense."

The defense team, Behar wrote, "should be allowed to examine Ms. Cantu's body to discern alternative explanation for the assigned coroner's observation of alleged genital trauma, so that Ms. Huckaby can defend herself against those allegations."

Now, Fox said, Behar has learned that tissue samples will be available for testing by the defense pathologist.

The county medical examiner has not released Sandra's cause of death or the results of toxicology tests.

Angie Chavez, Sandra's aunt, said today that the family did not wish to comment on the withdrawal of the defense motion.

Later this afternoon, Judge Linda Lofthus of San Joaquin County Superior Court issued a gag order to attorneys in the case, meaning they cannot discuss evidence or their opinions outside court.

Deputy District Attorney Robert Himelblau, a spokesman for the district attorney's office, said the gag order may be discussed when Huckaby returns to court Friday. She may also enter a plea then.

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2009/04/21/BAFI176FFO.DTL
Title: Judge issues gag order on Huckaby case
Post by: Edsonmom on April 21, 2009, 11:08:43 PM
Judge issues gag order on Huckaby case
By TERRY COLLINS, Associated Press Writer

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

(04-21) 18:30 PDT San Francisco, CA (AP) --

A California judge issued a gag order Tuesday in the case against the woman accused of killing and raping an 8-year-old Northern California girl.

San Joaquin County Superior Court judge Linda Lofthus imposed the gag order Tuesday, which prohibits parties involved from publicly discussing the case against Melissa Huckaby.

The order came on the same day Huckaby's attorneys said they will drop a request to exhume Sandra Cantu's body for a second autopsy. Last week, Huckaby's lawyers argued they would have no way to fight the rape allegation if their own pathologist could not evaluate Sandra's body.

Before the gag order, public defender Peter Fox told the San Francisco Chronicle that the exhumation was unnecessary because the county medical examiner had preserved tissue samples that the defense's experts could test.

"It will not be necessary to disturb the child's remains," Fox told the paper. "From a human point of view, certainly it's nice not to have to do that."

Sandra's cause of death and the results of toxicology tests have not been released.

The 28-year-old Huckaby, a Sunday school teacher and granddaughter of a minister, is being held without bail at the San Joaquin County Jail. She faces charges of murder with three special circumstances: kidnapping, rape with a foreign object and lewd or lascivious conduct with a child.

The special circumstances mean Huckaby could face life in prison without the possibility of parole or the death penalty, if convicted. Prosecutors have not decided whether to seek the death penalty.

Huckaby lived down the street from the Cantu family and her daughter was one of Sandra's playmates.

Sandra disappeared on March 27 and hundreds of volunteers and law enforcement officials turned out to search for her. Her body was found in a suitcase on April 6 in an irrigation pond by dairy farmworkers about two miles from her home.

Police have not said how, where or why Sandra was killed.

Huckaby is scheduled return to court on Friday, when she's expected to enter a plea.
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/n/a/2009/04/18/state/n114107D97.DTL
Title: Re: SANDRA CANTU, | CALIFORNIA - MARCH, 2009 (Body Found 4/6/09)
Post by: Chris on April 22, 2009, 03:01:33 AM
I sure can't wait to hear the details of this. Why did this person do that? Of all the killings, the ones involving young ones are the sadest and I cannot imaigne how anyone could ever do such a thing.
Title: Re: SANDRA CANTU, | CALIFORNIA - MARCH, 2009 (Body Found 4/6/09)
Post by: Silverdog on April 23, 2009, 09:45:02 PM
I'm so glad they will not be exhuming Sandra's remains. That would just be so devastating for her family. Particularily because its the DEFENSE wanting to do it!
Title: Re: SANDRA CANTU, | CALIFORNIA - MARCH, 2009 (Body Found 4/6/09)
Post by: capeheart on April 24, 2009, 09:33:32 AM
I cannot understand why this church is still standing where Sandra was murdered. I just wonder if her grandfather is still having services in that church and if he is, he is as sick as Melissa. I saw a clip of a reporter coming up to him at his mailbox when he was getting the mail and he asked him if he had anything to say and he said, no, but I'll have lots to say after the trial. I wonder what he meant by that, what lies is he going to cook up after the trial. ::) ::) ::) ::) ::)
Title: Judge seals Sandra’s autopsy, toxicology reports
Post by: Edsonmom on April 24, 2009, 06:42:11 PM
Judge seals Sandra’s autopsy, toxicology reports (2:51 p.m.)
Print this Article Email this Article Text Size: A | A | A
By The Record
April 24, 2009 5:52 PM
STOCKTON – A judge today ordered the reports from the autopsy and toxicology tests performed on 8-year-old Sandra Cantu to be sealed so Tracy ’s Melissa Huckaby can have a fair trial on charges she murdered, kidnapped and raped the girl.

Ruling on a prosecutor’s motion, San Joaquin County Superior Court Judge Linda L. Lofthus said the potentially inflammatory reports could jeopardize the case for both Huckaby and prosecutors. Lofthus cited the intense media interest while making the ruling.

Huckaby, 28, is charged with murder and three special circumstances of kidnapping, rape with instrument, and lewd and lascivious acts on a child under age 14. Prosecutors haven’t said if they will seek a death sentence.

“If these records were released, there’s no doubt they would be disseminated before I walked out of the door,” Lofthus said. “There is no doubt the public views the sexual assault of a child to be a heinous act.”

Cantu disappeared March 27, and farmworkers 10 days later discovered her body stuffed in a black suitcase abandoned in an irrigation pond. Tracy Police then arrested Huckaby who made inconsistent statements in interviews with investigators and the media.

This was Huckaby’s first time appearing before Lofthus. San Joaquin County Deputy Public Defender Sam Behar did not enter a plea on behalf of his client, but asked instead for a delay. Behar officially withdrew his request to exhume Sandra’s body.

Huckaby’s demeanor remained solemn, but she didn’t cry as in her first hearing. Before today’s hearing, she showed a nervous smile to Behar, who leaned toward her in a private conversation. She was shackled and wore red jailhouse clothes.

San Joaquin County Deputy District Attorney Thomas Testa said in court that he already gave Behar 500 pages of reports and recordings. Lofthus ordered Huckaby back in court May 22.

Read Saturday’s Record for more on this story by staff writer Scott Smith.

http://www.recordnet.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20090424/A_NEWS/90424009/-1/A_SPECIAL0263
Title: FBI Visits 2nd Church In Cantu Case
Post by: Edsonmom on April 24, 2009, 07:07:38 PM
TRACY, Calif. -- In recent weeks, FBI agents visited a church along the Washington-Idaho border in connection with Melissa Huckaby's family, KCRA 3 has confirmed.

"They were trying to put the pieces of their puzzle together. They were asking about certain people who might be able to lead them to other people. But I do not know exactly what they were looking for," Pastor Bill Creutzberg said by phone.

Sources close to the Cantu investigation told KCRA 3 that most of the FBI's questions centered on Pastor Lane Lawless.

Lawless, who lives in the mobile home park where Cantu once lived, is Huckaby's grandfather.

He is the pastor of Clover Road Baptist Church, which was searched while Sandra was missing and after Huckaby's arrest.

Sources told KCRA 3 that Lawless was questioned years ago as part of a report of suspected child abuse.

However, both the Asotin County Sheriff's Department and the Clarkston Police Department in Washington said they do not have any records of a criminal case ever being filed.


Copyright 2009 by KCRA.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

http://www.kcra.com/news/19266204/detail.html
Title: Grandpa lawless allegations of child abuse and/or molestation in 80's
Post by: Edsonmom on April 24, 2009, 07:14:16 PM
Meanwhile, a source close to the investigation said that back in in the mid-'80s there were allegations of child abuse and/or molestation somehow connected to the First Church of God. Lawless was working at the Clarkston church at the time and was questioned regarding the allegations, but nobody was ever charged.

Current First Church of God pastor Bill Creutzberg, who was not at the church at the time the allegations were made, said he was aware of the earlier investigation.

Video: Questions Surround Tracy Pastor, Former Church

"There are deep emotions about that incident," Creutzberg told KCRA 3. "People here never mention it."



First Church of God
 

Creutzberg said he was unsure if FBI agents visited First Church of God in relation to the earlier investigation or the Cantu case.

Clarkston residents were unnerved by a possible connection between their town and Cantu's killing.

Cid Johnson called the link a "scary thing," adding she worries that her security may be at risk.

Investigators also returned Thursday to Clover Road Baptist Church to gather more information. The church is located a short distance from the mobile home park were Cantu lived.

http://www.kcra.com/news/19269800/detail.html
Title: LAWLESS RELATIVE ARRESTED ON SEX CHARGES
Post by: Edsonmom on April 24, 2009, 07:20:25 PM
BREAKING NEWS

Folsom, CA– As Melissa Huckaby awaits her arraignment in court this afternoon in San Joaquin County, Blinkoncrime.com has discovered the arrest last week of Timothy John Lawless, a relative to Huckaby and the Lawless family. Folsom Police Department verified this afternoon Lawless was arrested on April 15.



Timothy Lawless was arrested on THE EXACT SAME SEX CHARGE AS Huckaby. Lawless is in custody at the Sacramento County Jail under a $1Million Bond, charged with 10 counts of lewd and lacivious acts on a child under 14.

288.  (a) Any person who willfully and lewdly commits any lewd or
lascivious act, including any of the acts constituting other crimes
provided for in Part 1, upon or with the body, or any part or member
thereof, of a child who is under the age of 14 years, with the intent
of arousing, appealing to, or gratifying the lust, passions, or
sexual desires of that person or the child, is guilty of a felony and
shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for three,
six, or eight years.

 Lawless is also charged with rape with a foreign instrument, but formal charges have not been formalized by the DA. Lawless’s next appearance in court is scheduled for May 14, 2009. 

http://www.sacsheriff.com/inmate_information/inmate_details.cfm?a=24A029448097AC12FB18F82BD6C84E4284C71C
Title: Re: SANDRA CANTU, | CALIFORNIA - MARCH, 2009 (Body Found 4/6/09)
Post by: Silverdog on April 24, 2009, 08:45:38 PM
Guess the sick & evil gene is in the family. I bet Lane Lawless isnt squeaky clean either. Melissa probably learned this stuff somewhere...so, as I've said before, WAIT FOR IT, the pity trip, the I was abused as a kid story...its coming.....
Title: Re: SANDRA CANTU, | CALIFORNIA - MARCH, 2009 (Body Found 4/6/09)
Post by: Edsonmom on April 24, 2009, 09:00:17 PM
LOL Silver, you must have missed it.. I posted a few pages back, about Melissa saying she was raped by a cop, when she was 19, and the funny part is, the cop has been completely cleared of it..
Title: Re: SANDRA CANTU, | CALIFORNIA - MARCH, 2009 (Body Found 4/6/09)
Post by: Silverdog on April 26, 2009, 08:42:55 PM
Yeah, I saw the story about the cop, and since he was cleared of it, I'm just waiting for the next one. You know, the BIG one....The one that destroyed her entire life, but she could never tell a soul....maybe that other Lawless guy, not sure how he is related to her exactly, but you know...maybe he was practicing on her many years ago....
There's a story, I'm just sitting on the edge of my seat waiting to hear what traumatized her so bad that she could do this to a child...
Title: Re: SANDRA CANTU, | CALIFORNIA - MARCH, 2009 (Body Found 4/6/09)
Post by: capeheart on April 27, 2009, 08:06:54 PM
I just watched Nancy Grace and it was on the screen, The Records of Sandra's autopsy are being sealed by ordero of the courts. The reason indicated at the bottom of the screen is that if the knowledge of what happened to Sandra was released there would be a "public outrage". They also indicated that it was in the best interest of this whole case that they protect this knowledge to the family and also that in order to keep this secret, because of a jury being tainted by the reports. I just wonder in my mind because of this terrible report if she acted with more then one person on this evil crime. Now we will have to wait and see, because she did not even enter a plea today as I understand it. They indicated she was smiling at the judge and also there were not tears today. ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ???
Title: Re: SANDRA CANTU, | CALIFORNIA - MARCH, 2009 (Body Found 4/6/09)
Post by: Silverdog on April 27, 2009, 08:55:15 PM
Thanks for posting that Cape, I missed Nancy tonight. I shudder to think of what MH put Sandra through that day. I say they should just tell the public what the autopsy says she did...then let just her walk out of the front door of the jail. Save the taxpayers a whole lot of money. Smiling at the judge. Hmmm.
Title: Re: SANDRA CANTU, | CALIFORNIA - MARCH, 2009 (Body Found 4/6/09)
Post by: capeheart on April 29, 2009, 07:15:24 PM
Yes, we all want the public to know, but it could jeopordize the trial and we do not want that, because if that was the case she could be free on a technicality and the whole thing would have to be tried again. I know it is going to be hard for the family to have to go all through that again when the trial comes forward. But you know what is going to happen, I bet anything she is going to plead guilty in the end when it all comes down to it. That is what usually happens when they don't want the details to come out. Like the one here in Nova Scotia, Penny Boudreau pleaded guilty before the judge and there was no jury and that is just probably what this woman will do. Because they can't stand the outrage of the citizens and they don't want all the details to come out, so I'd say her lawyer is going to have her plead guilty. But we will know afterwards how she died, because it will be made public after the day in court. I hate to hear what happened to that little girl, there are going to be a lot more tears shed then already have been. :'( :'( :'( :'( :'( :'(
Title: 3 new charges for Huckaby
Post by: Edsonmom on June 02, 2009, 11:50:48 PM

STOCKTON - Prosecutors on Thursday filed three additional felony counts against Melissa Huckaby, charging her with poisoning two people, including a 7-year-old girl and an adult man.

The girl lived in the same Tracy mobile home park as the slain Sandra Cantu.

Huckaby, 28, is expected to appear in San Joaquin County Superior Court today for further arraignment on previous charges that she kidnapped, raped and murdered 8-year-old Sandra on March 27 before dumping the girl's body in an irrigation pond north of Tracy.

Huckaby's attorney, Sam Behar, was expected to enter a plea on his client's behalf at today's hearing, but the new charges could lead to a change in the defense strategy.

The new complaint charges Huckaby with a single count of child endangerment and two felony counts of furnishing a harmful substance, which is not identified in the document.

In both counts of alleged poisoning, the complaint says Huckaby "did willfully and unlawfully mingle a harmful substance with food or drink with the intent that (it) be taken by a human being."

The complaint charges Huckaby with poisoning the 7-year-old girl, identified only as Jane M. Doe, on Jan. 17, the same day a woman in the Orchard Estates Mobile Home Park - where both Sandra and Huckaby lived - reported to Tracy police that Huckaby returned her daughter drugged with a muscle relaxant.

Tracy police fell under scrutiny for failing to thoroughly investigate the report. Rather, detectives reportedly accused the girl's mother of giving her daughter the pills and ended their investigation. The girl recovered from the poisoning.

In the second poisoning charge, Huckaby allegedly drugged a man identified as Daniel Plowman on March 2 - 21/2 months after the first alleged poisoning and 25 days before Sandra was reported missing. Her body was found April 6.

Plowman's relationship with Huckaby is unclear, and his whereabouts are unknown. He could not be located for comment Thursday. The complaint doesn't give his age or any details of the alleged poisoning.

A judge's gag order prevents attorneys, investigators and potential witnesses from talking to the media. Huckaby is scheduled to appear before San Joaquin County Superior Court Judge Linda Lofthus at 1 p.m. today.

Contact reporter Scott Smith at (209) 546-8296 or ssmith@recordnet.com.

http://www.recordnet.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20090522/A_NEWS/905220312
Title: Re: SANDRA CANTU, | CALIFORNIA - MARCH, 2009 (Body Found 4/6/09)
Post by: Edsonmom on June 02, 2009, 11:53:05 PM
STOCKTON, CA (AP) -- The Tracy woman charged with the killing of 8-year-old Sandra Cantu appeared in San Joaquin County Superior Court Friday for further arraignment.

Prosecutors filed three additional charges against Melissa Huckaby alleging that she tried to poison two people. She was previously charged with the kidnapping, rape and murder of Cantu. Her body was found in a suitcase pulled from an irrigation pond April 6 after a 10-day search for her.

According to court records filed Thursday, prosecutors say Huckaby gave what they termed "a harmful substance" to a 7-year-old girl in January and an adult man in March. The type of substance was not revealed in the complaint. The girl has since recovered. The man has not been located.

The complaint alleges a third count of child endangerment involving the 7-year-old girl.

During Friday's 6-minute hearing, Huckably appeared composed and even smiled a few times at Judge Linda Loftus and public defender Sam Behar who is representing her. No cameras were allowed in the courtroom or Stockton courthouse.

Behar said his client would not be entering a plea to the charges at this time because he needed more time to review more than 1,000 pages of discovery documents and evidence in the case.

Loftus set June 12 for further arraignment.

Both Cantu's and Huckaby's families were at the hearing.
http://www.news10.net/news/local/story.aspx?storyid=59762&catid=2
Title: Re: SANDRA CANTU, | CALIFORNIA - MARCH, 2009 (Body Found 4/6/09)
Post by: capeheart on June 03, 2009, 05:25:20 PM
Des, this person certainly fell through the cracks. Obviously, something very traumatic happened to this woman in the early stages of her life. Maybe things happened to her that caused her to be mentally unstable and nothing was done about it. I do know there was a clip of her on TV last night, now I don't know if she was pleading or not, but I know she was charged with other crimes against two other children. I think that is what she was in court about. I will turn N.G. on tonight to see if I see any new news on it. It is such a horrible crime against Sandra and to think that a woman was capable of committing it is still more disturbing. Sandra did not have to die, if persons close by knew of how unstable she was, she should have gotten help a long time ago and Sandra would be still alive. I just hope she pays dearly for this crime, because she should never be free to hurt anyone else. ??? ??? ??? ??? ???
Title: Re: SANDRA CANTU, | CALIFORNIA - MARCH, 2009 (Body Found 4/6/09)
Post by: Edsonmom on June 03, 2009, 06:43:34 PM
No Des she has not entered a plea as of yet, and yes was charged with more charges. next court date is on the 12th of this month.

Quote
Behar said his client would not be entering a plea to the charges at this time because he needed more time to review more than 1,000 pages of discovery documents and evidence in the case.

Loftus set June 12 for further arraignment.
Title: Re: SANDRA CANTU, | CALIFORNIA - MARCH, 2009 (Body Found 4/6/09)
Post by: capeheart on June 04, 2009, 03:44:35 PM
1000 pages of court documents, that is certainly an extensive file since March. I worked in the court system and typed many pages of transcript, boy, 1000 pages on one case that is discovery evidence. Well there certainly is a lot of evidence then. I believe the defense is stalling, because he is going to plead her guilty by reason of insanity or something like that. If he does that then nobody will know the terrible things that happened to Sandra. There will be a statement possibly the by prosecutor and then the defense will plead for her and it will be short and sweet, they the lawyer wants it. I daresay, I hope this woman is also confined for a very long period of time. And she does look mentally ill and if that is the case, she should never be released from a mental institution. Those are my views on it. ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ???
Title: Re: SANDRA CANTU, Huckaby pleas not guilty
Post by: Edsonmom on June 23, 2009, 10:45:01 PM
Jun 12, 2009 2:04 pm US/Pacific Huckaby Pleads Not Guilty In Sandra Cantu CaseSTOCKTON (CBS/AP) ― 
Melissa Huckaby, the woman accused killing a Sandra Cantu last April, has pleaded not guilty in court.

Huckaby, was back in a San Joaquin County Superior Court Friday after being charged with the murder, rape and kidnapping of eight-year-old Sandra Cantu of Tracy. During the 10-minute hearing, the lawyer for Huckaby entered the plea on her behalf. He also denied the special enhancement charge of rape.

Deputy District Attorney Thomas Testa filed a request with the court Tuesday, asking the judge to enter a plea for Huckaby if she refuses.

If eventually convicted of the charges against her, the 28-year-old Huckaby could face the death penalty.

Melissa Huckaby's mother also appeared for the first time in court since proceedings began.

Authorities say Huckaby killed Sandra Cantu, who was a playmate of Huckaby's daughter. The girl's body was later found stuffed in a suitcase in a nearby irrigation pond. Friday's plea comes after increased pressure by prosecutors to have Huckaby enter a plea. Her lawyer, Sam Behar, has repeatedly requested more time to review evidence in the case.

If convicted, Huckaby could face the death penalty.

This was Huckaby's fourth appearance since she was arrested in early April.

The judge scheduled her preliminary hearing to start Sept. 24.

http://cbs13.com/breakingnews/sandra.cantu.court.2.1042525.html
Title: Huckaby Murder Case Goes To Grand Jury
Post by: Edsonmom on July 06, 2009, 10:07:21 PM
Posted: Saturday, 04 July 2009 11:54AM

Huckaby Murder Case Goes To Grand Jury

 
TRACY, Calif. (KCBS)  -- Beginning later this month, a grand jury is expected to convene to decide if Melissa Huckaby should stand trial for the kidnapping, rape, and murder of 8-year-old Sandra Cantu.
The proceeding will last about two weeks and take the place of Huckaby's preliminary hearing.

"The prosecution wants to go grand jury on this case because it preserves the testimony without making the testimony public. They can put on all of their evidence and the devastating impact of that evidence won't make its way into the public until the time of trial. This may save the prosecution from saving a change of venue motion," said Steven Clark, a former prosecutor who has been following the case.

Clark says the grand jury proceeding could speed up the entire process, meaning Melissa Huckaby could go to trial in as little as 6-months.

Huckaby, a Sunday school teacher and neighbor of Sandra’s is charged with kidnapping, rape with a foreign object, lewd and lascivious acts on a child under age 14, and murder. On June 12, she pleaded not guilty to the charges.
 

Copyright 2009, KCBS. All Rights Reserved. 
http://www.kcbs.com/Huckaby-Trial-Goes-To-Grand-Jury/4735463
Title: Re: SANDRA CANTU, | CALIFORNIA - MARCH, 2009 (Body Found 4/6/09)
Post by: openthebox on July 07, 2009, 05:28:17 PM
It was said somewhere is this thread that it is rare for a woman to kill a child. I beg to differ. I think it happens often but it is rare for a woman to kill her OWN child. This is just my opinion and I have no stats on that altho I will try to find some as I am really curious now.
Title: Re: SANDRA CANTU, | CALIFORNIA - MARCH, 2009 (Body Found 4/6/09)
Post by: capeheart on July 07, 2009, 06:54:35 PM
Openthebox, I think Des meant, it is extremely rare for a mother to murder her own child and especially the age of Karissa. It is also extremely rare as stated for a female to murder a child and sexually abuse her. These are cases that are rare. We all know that there are many crimes against children, but I believe this is what Des meant or she can tell you herself. ::) ::) ::) ::) ::) ::)
Title: Re: SANDRA CANTU, | CALIFORNIA - MARCH, 2009 (Body Found 4/6/09)
Post by: openthebox on July 09, 2009, 02:03:56 AM
My Bad! Some where back I said that it was rare for a woman to murder her own kid. It was supposed to be rare that a woman kills someoneelses kid (as opposed to her own!)
Title: Re: SANDRA CANTU, | CALIFORNIA - MARCH, 2009 (Body Found 4/6/09)
Post by: Edsonmom on July 16, 2009, 12:56:39 AM
News report says grand jury will convene in Huckaby case
by TP staffJul 07, 2009
A grand jury will on July 20 begin hearing testimony and evidence against a Tracy woman accused of murdering 8-year-old Sandra Cantu, according to the Stockton Record.

A gag order prevents anyone with ties to the case from talking about it to the media. So no one contacted by the Tracy Press would confirm the Record’s story — published on July 2 — reporting that witnesses have been subpoenaed and that grand jury proceedings are scheduled to begin later this month.

San Joaquin County Superior Court spokeswoman Stephanie Bohrer said she wasn’t aware that a grand jury would convene in connection with the case against 28-year-old Melissa Huckaby, who’s accused of kidnapping, raping and murdering Sandra. She said that even if she did know, she wouldn’t be able to talk about it because of the gag order.

Indictments handed down by a grand jury are normally made public after the fact, along with transcripts of witness testimony, unless the presiding judge seals them.

San Joaquin County Superior Court Judge Linda Lofthus has already sealed Sandra’s autopsy report as well as some motions filed by attorneys in the case.

Prosecutors have charged Huckaby with murder and three special circumstances of kidnapping, lewd or lascivious acts on a child and rape by a foreign object. She also faces charges — unrelated to Sandra’s killing — of furnishing a harmful substance to a 36-year-old Hayward man named Daniel Plowman as well as a 7-year-old girl.

Sandra disappeared on March 27 from Orchard Estates Mobile Home Park in Tracy, where Huckaby also lived. After a massive search, the little girl’s body was found 10 days later inside a suitcase in a dairy lagoon north of Tracy.

Huckaby was arrested on April 10 after making statements published in the Tracy Press that were inconsistent with what she earlier told police.

•Contact a Tracy Press reporter or editor at 835-3030 or tpnews@tracypress.com.
http://tracypress.com/pages/full_story/push?article-News+report+says+grand+jury+will+convene+in+Huckaby+case%20&id=2896296-News+report+says+grand+jury+will+convene+in+Huckaby+case&instance=home_news_bullets
Title: Re: SANDRA CANTU, | CALIFORNIA - MARCH, 2009 (Body Found 4/6/09)
Post by: Edsonmom on July 16, 2009, 12:58:26 AM
Jul 8, 2009 6:34 am US/Pacific Melissa Huckaby's Ex-Husband Wins Custody Battle
 
The ex-husband of the woman accused of kidnapping and killing Sandra Cantu has won custody of the couple's own daughter.

Melissa Huckaby's ex-husband has won custody of their 5-year-old daughter.

25-year-old Johnny Huckaby has been granted custody of their daughter, Madison.

Court records show that Melissa's mother, Judy Lawless, will be allowed to visit the girl, but cannot allow her contact with her mother.
http://cbs13.com/local/huckaby.custody.battle.2.1076759.html
Title: Re: SANDRA CANTU, | CALIFORNIA - MARCH, 2009 (Body Found 4/6/09)
Post by: Edsonmom on July 16, 2009, 01:01:33 AM
Newspaper's Calls Monitored In Cantu Case
Record In Stockton Receives Letter From District Attorney
POSTED: 9:56 am PDT July 14, 2009
UPDATED: 7:27 pm PDT July 14, 2009

STOCKTON, Calif. -- Police investigating the death of an 8-year-old Tracy girl found stuffed in a suitcase used telephone wiretaps to monitor calls in the case.

The Record in Stockton reported Tuesday it had received a letter from the San Joaquin County District Attorney's office informing the newspaper that its calls were among those monitored.

"It does have a bit of a chilling effect. If you are talking to news sources often in a confidential manner and to not know if law enforcement is listening in on those," Mike Klocke, editor of The Record, said. "It just makes you pause and think, how are we going to approach our jobs? At the same time, we certainly don't begrudge law enforcement using the tools they need to try and solve cases."

Connie Lawless, the grandmother of the woman charged with murdering Sandra Cantu, told the newspaper she and several members of the church her husband leads received similar letters.

The letter said calls were monitored from April 8, two days after Cantu was found, until April 13.

Melissa Huckaby's cell phone was wiretapped, along with the home phone of Connie and Lane Lawless, according to the DA's office.

Phones at The Record were not wiretapped.

There were other people whose conversations were monitored, the DA's office said, but it's unknown who they are right now because of a gag order in the case.

Judge Richard Vlavianos signed an order to authorize the wiretapping.

http://www.kcra.com/news/20050487/detail.html?treets=sac&tml=sac_break&ts=T&tmi=sac_break_1_12050107142009
Title: Re: SANDRA CANTU, | CALIFORNIA - MARCH, 2009 (Body Found 4/6/09)
Post by: Edsonmom on July 21, 2009, 12:17:01 AM
Huckaby grand jury proceedings begin (9:56 a.m.)
Print this Article Email this Article Text Size: A | A | A
By The Record
July 20, 2009 12:56 PM
STOCKTON – A secret grand jury began meeting today to hear evidence in the case of Tracy’s Melissa Huckaby, the Sunday school teacher accused in the kidnapping, rape and murder of 8-year-old Sandra Cantu.

The hearing is scheduled to last two weeks. In the end, the grand jury will decide if Huckaby, 28, should stand trial on the charges in open court.
http://www.recordnet.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20090720/A_NEWS/90720005
Title: Re: SANDRA CANTU, | CALIFORNIA - Huckaby was indicted
Post by: Edsonmom on August 20, 2009, 09:48:52 PM
Huckaby back in court at 1 p.m. today

August 17, 2009 11:10 AM
STOCKTON –Melissa Huckaby is expected in a Stockton courtroom today in a rescheduled hearing following a secret grand jury proceeding.

The Tracy woman is accused of the kidnapping, rape and murder of 8-year-old Sandra Cantu.

Originally set for a September hearing, Huckaby's new court date may indicate that the grand jury has indicted 28-year-old Huckaby, who will face a new arraignment today.

Huckaby was arrested on suspicion of killing Sandra, who lived in the same Tracy mobile home park as Huckaby. The girl's body was found in a suitcase dumped in a dairy pond about two miles north of town.

The case that drew national media attention could result in a death sentence for Huckaby.

A secret grand jury met during the last two weeks in July to hear evidence against Huckaby. With an indictment, Huckaby's case goes straight to trial rather than the anticipated preliminary hearing in open court.

The hearing is scheduled for 1 p.m. before San Joaquin County Superior Court Judge Linda Lofthus.

http://www.recordnet.com/apps/pbcs.d.../A_SPECIAL0263

Indictment against tearful Huckaby read in court today
by Jennifer WadsworthAug 17, 2009  STOCKTON — Tracy murder suspect Melissa Huckaby was indicted today on charges that she kidnapped, raped and intentionally killed an 8-year-old girl and drugged two other people.

The 28-year-old appeared in court this afternoon with two bright red scratches on her right temple and some on her left arm, apparently from an incident at the jail this morning that San Joaquin County Superior Court Judge Linda Lofthus mentioned was an attempt by Huckaby to get out of her court appearance.

“Hopefully something like this doesn't happen again,” Lofthus said.

Though she's heard them before, Huckaby broke down in tears when she heard the charges read against her. She looked quizzically at her public defender when the judge read the charge of child abuse and endangerment against a 7-year-old Huckaby allegedly drugged in January.

The single mother and one-time Sunday school teacher did not enter a plea to the charges handed down today. Her attorney Sam Behar said he needs more time because he has yet to review the indictment filed on July 31. Prosecutor Thomas Testa, apparently annoyed that Behar had yet to read the indictment, said the case needs to move along because there are underage witnesses whose memory may fade.

Prosecutors convened a grand jury in July instead of holding a preliminary hearing to decide if there's enough evidence to take the case to trial.

A trial date has not been set, but could be within a few months, prosecutors said. Lofthus said she wants to give the defense enough time to review the lengthy transcripts from July's grand jury proceeding before both sides can agree to a trial date.

Because of the special circumstances of rape and kidnapping, Huckaby does qualify for the death penalty.

“Until otherwise indicated, your honor, this is a death penalty case,” Testa said to the judge.

Huckaby previously pleaded not guilty to charges of murdering 8-year-old Tracy girl Sandra Cantu, a playmate of Huckaby's daughter. Sandra went missing in late March and her body was found days later stuffed in a suitcase.

Huckaby was arrested on April 10 and has since then been held without bail and in solitary confinement at the San Joaquin County Jail in French Camp.

Lofthus ordered Huckaby back in court on Sept. 10, when she's expected to enter a plea.


http://tracypress.com/pages/full_story/push?article-Indictment+against+tearful+Huckaby+read+in+court+today%20&id=3203614-Indictment+against+tearful+Huckaby+read+in+court+today&instance=home_news_lead_story

The San Joaquin County grand jury indicted Huckaby on five counts: murder with the allegation of kidnapping; sex with a child 10 years old or younger; child abuse and endangerment; furnishing a harmful substance to a child; and furnishing a harmful substance to an adult.

The murder indictment carries two special circumstances: lewd and lascivious acts on a child, and rape by instrument.

The harmful substance indictments stem from charges prosecutors filed in May alleging Huckaby tried to poison a 7-year-old girl and a 37-year-old man. The girl recovered. The man has not been found.

Huckaby began crying when the indictment was read.

Title: Re: SANDRA CANTU, | Death Penalty Sought for Melissa Huckaby
Post by: Edsonmom on September 10, 2009, 11:07:04 PM
Death Penalty Sought for Melissa Huckaby, Sandra Cantu's Suspected Killer
 C. Johnson  Tim Geraghty     4 hrs ago
STOCKTON, CA (AP) -- The San Joaquin County district attorney says he will seek the death penalty against the Tracy woman charged with kidnapping, raping and killing 8-year-old Sandra Cantu last March.

In a Stockton courtroom Thursday, prosecutor Thomas Testa, representing James Willett, announced they'll seek capital punishment for 28-year-old Melissa Huckaby.

Huckaby entered a not guilty plea to Cantu's murder and additional charges she drugged a 7-year-old girl and 37-year-old man.

The former Sunday school teacher also wanted to fire her court-appointed attorney. Following what is known as a Marsden motion in which the judge and the defendant meet to discuss the matter, the judge denied Huckaby's request.

No trial date was set.

In July, a grand jury indicted Huckaby. Prosecutors want a speedy trial because the case involves a minor.

"Memories fade over time. As a general rule, the defense wants to drag a case, witnesses move away, memories face, evidence is lost or destroyed. It's been my practice to move a case along as quickly as possible, so events are fresh in the mind," said Testa.

Cantu's body was found stuffed in a suitcase in a Tracy irrigation pond 10 days after she vanished.

Huckaby and attorneys return to court in about two weeks, when a trial date is expected to be set.


News10/KXTV and The Associated Press
Copyright 2009 / All Rights Reserved
http://www.news10.net/news/local/story.aspx?storyid=66640&catid=2
Title: Re: SANDRA CANTU, | CALIFORNIA - MARCH, 2009 (Body Found 4/6/09)
Post by: capeheart on September 11, 2009, 03:40:47 PM
Well MH sure looks like she is in another world, but she is not a bumbling mess when she decides she wants to fire her court appointed attorney. She is crazy like a fox. Thank heavens, the right judge is listening to this request and has denied it. I sure do hope that there is a trial date set soon. As the Crown says, people go away, evidence gets lost and then the Crown has a hard time proving their case. God bless Sandra's family and I hope we will hear that awaited word as this woman is convicted and sentenced to death for this terrible crime. RIP Sandra. :'( :'( :'( :'( :'( :'( :'(
Title: Re: SANDRA CANTU, | CALIFORNIA - MARCH, 2009 (Body Found 4/6/09)
Post by: Edsonmom on March 15, 2010, 08:51:05 PM
Judge grants request by Huckaby's attorney for evidenciary hearing delay
February 13, 2010 12:00 AM
<snipped>
A Tuesday court hearing for Melissa Huckaby, a Tracy woman charged with the kidnapping, rape and murder of 8-year-old Sandra Cantu, has been delayed at the defense attorney's request, a prosecutor said Friday.

San Joaquin County Deputy Public Defender Sam Behar wanted more time to prepare for a hearing on his motion to suppress evidence to be used against his client, San Joaquin County Deputy District Attorney Thomas Testa said.

The suppression hearing in Huckaby's case was rescheduled for April 12 and it could last up to one week. Huckaby is next due back in court on March 29 for a readiness conference, Testa said.

Despite the delay, Huckaby's trial date remains set for Oct. 18. The 28-year-old faces a death sentence if she is convicted on all charges
http://www.recordnet.com/apps/pbcs.d...A_NEWS/2130327
Title: Re: SANDRA CANTU, | CALIFORNIA - MARCH, 2009 (Body Found 4/6/09)
Post by: Edsonmom on March 15, 2010, 08:52:10 PM
Mar 3, 2010 6:09 am US/Pacific
Cantu Case Detectives Under Internal Investigation

Internal Affairs investigators are looking into the actions of several Tracy Police detectives who investigated the murder of Sandra Cantu, according to the Stockton Record newspaper.

Murder suspect Melissa Huckaby's public defender may accuse a Tracy detective violated his client's constitutional rights — triggering the internal investigation, according to a report on the Record web site. Citing court records, the newspaper reports the violation may be related to a comment a detective made to Huckaby on the day she was arrested. The comment was not revealed in the court documents.

http://cbs13.com/crime/cantu.interna...2.1533657.html
Title: Re: SANDRA CANTU, | CALIFORNIA - MARCH, 2009 (Body Found 4/6/09)
Post by: Edsonmom on March 15, 2010, 08:53:19 PM
Probe targets Huckaby investigators
Defender may ask judge to toss some evidence
March 03, 2010 12:00 AM

Several Tracy police detectives investigating Melissa Huckaby's alleged murder and rape of 8-year-old Sandra Cantu have fallen under an internal probe themselves, court papers say. Huckaby's public defender appears ready to argue that a Tracy detective violated his client's constitutional rights - triggering the internal investigation - by making an undisclosed comment to her the day she was arrested. San Joaquin County Deputy Public Defender Sam Behar is expected to ask a judge to toss evidence out of Huckaby's upcoming death penalty trial based on the officer's alleged violation. Behar's arguments are scheduled for a weeklong hearing next month.

Behar's motion, on file at the Stockton courthouse, says that Huckaby made a statement the day she was arrested. Tracy police Detective Timothy Bauer used her statement to get a judge's signature on search warrants. But on that same day, Detective Nate Cogburn told Huckaby something that landed "several" Tracy police detectives under an internal investigation to determine if they violated any rules, Behar's motion says.

Behar says in court papers that San Joaquin County Deputy District Attorney Thomas Testa sent him a memo explaining the internal probe. Court papers reveal neither statement by Cogburn nor Huckaby. Behar says in the motion that he is preparing to argue that police violated his client's constitutional protection from unreasonable search and seizure. He also says he will argue that detectives illegally compelled Huckaby to make incriminating statements.

Huckaby's next appearance in a Stockton courtroom is scheduled for March 29. That's when Behar will say if he is ready to go ahead with his arguments to suppress the evidence in the hearing set to begin April 12.

http://www.recordnet.com/apps/pbcs.d...24/-1/a_news02
Title: Re: SANDRA CANTU, | CALIFORNIA - MARCH, 2009 (Body Found 4/6/09)
Post by: Edsonmom on March 15, 2010, 08:59:22 PM
Event remembers Sandra Cantu on her birthday
By Sophia Kazmi
Contra Costa Times
Posted: 03/08/2010 09:29:22 PM PST
Updated: 03/09/2010 06:38:34 AM PST


On what would have been her ninth birthday, people gather at Jacobson Elementary School in TRACY — There was music and balloons and cupcakes with pink frosting — all the makings of a little girl's party.

But Monday night's gathering at Jacobson Elementary School included tears and hugs, too, for the family of Sandra Cantu and the Tracy residents who came together to remember Sandra on what would have been her ninth birthday.

Sandra disappeared March 27, 2009, from her Tracy home. The search for her drew hundreds of volunteers. Ten days later her body was found in a suitcase dumped in a pond. A neighbor, Melissa Huckaby, was arrested April 10 and charged with kidnapping, raping and killing Sandra, as well as drugging two other people. Prosecutors plan to seek the death penalty if the 29-year-old is convicted. She remains in custody at San Joaquin County Jail.

Sandra's family held Monday's event to remember the child's birthday and to focus on the good things her life represented.

She had a big heart and an infectious laugh, said her aunt Angie Chavez. "Sandra loved life and she lived it."

Even though Sandra was just a kid, she had a way to make everyone feel welcomed, Chavez said. She was the first to greet people and would ask for help.

"She had a way to capture your heart," Chavez said.

Sandra also brought a community together, said Don Higgins, the Tracy Police Department chaplain. Addressing the family, he said the city residents support them.

"We can come together often enough to

remind you that you are not alone," Higgins said.

Higgins said Sandra's death was the community's loss, too.

The celebration was originally planned to be held outdoors at Robert Kenner Park, where a tree planted to honor Sandra grows. But the wind and the cold sent the event indoors.

Sandra's grandfather, Joe Chavez, told the audience that he became concerned about the tree because it had turned brown. Then he learned the tree was healthy, that its strength lay within its roots. He made a parallel to his granddaughter.

"That's where Sandra's strength is, in this community," he said.
http://www.mercurynews.com/breaking-news/ci_14638039
Title: Re: SANDRA CANTU, | HUCKABY CHANGED PLEA TO GUILTY.. AVOIDS DEATH PENALTY
Post by: Edsonmom on May 27, 2010, 04:18:42 PM
Melissa Huckaby: Surprise guilty plea in Sandra Cantu trial
By Thomas Hart,  Monday, May 10th, 2010
 

The Melissa Huckaby Sandra Cantu case took a surprising turn when Huckaby pleaded guilty in a procedural hearing to avoid the death penalty. Flickr photo.
Melissa Huckaby surprised everyone when she pleaded guilty to murder Monday in the Sandra Cantu case. The Sunday School teacher entered her plea in what was intended to be a procedural hearing in advance of the Melissa Huckaby trial scheduled for fall 2010. Huckaby, from Tracy, Calif., is on trial for the kidnapping and murder of 8-year-old Sandra Cantu. Under a plea agreement reached with the San Joaquin County District Attorney, Huckaby will be sentenced June 12th to a prison term of life without the possibility of parole.

Melissa Huckaby escapes death penalty
In exchange for Melissa Huckaby pleading guilty to murder in the Sandra Cantu case, prosecutors took the death penalty off the table and dropped all other charges against her including child endangerment and furnishing a harmful substance for allegedly drugging a 7-year-old girl and a man in the months before Sandra died. The San Francisco Chronicle reports that a Melissa Huckaby trial could have resulted in the death penalty had a jury convicted her of killing Sandra Cantu, whose body was found April 10, 2009, in a suitcase in a Tracy, Calif., irrigation pond.

The Sandra Cantu Melissa Huckaby case
Sandra Cantu was last seen March 27, 2009, when a surveillance video captured images of her skipping near her home.  Huckaby, who is the mother of one of Sandra Cantu’s playmates, was arrested four days later and originally charged with murder and three special circumstances alleging that the murder was committed during a kidnapping, involved a lewd or lascivious act on a child, and involved rape with a foreign object.

Melissa Huckaby Sandra Cantu details
Melissa Huckaby told FOX40 News and local newspaper The Tracy Press her suitcase was reported stolen from the driveway of her mobile home the day Sandra Cantu went missing. However police investigating the Melissa Huckaby Sandra Cantu case said a report was ever filed for a missing suitcase. FOX40 News reports that Huckaby’s interviews with various media outlets led authorities to suspect the Sunday school teacher in connection with the disappearance and murder of Cantu. She was arrested April 8th.

http://personalmoneystore.com/moneyblog/2010/05/10/melissa-huckaby/
Title: Re: SANDRA CANTU, | CALIFORNIA - MARCH, 2009 (Body Found 4/6/09)
Post by: Chris on May 27, 2010, 08:03:28 PM
Very interesting. Glad they were able to convict her for this.
Title: Re: SANDRA CANTU, | CALIFORNIA - MARCH, 2009 (Body Found 4/6/09)
Post by: capeheart on May 28, 2010, 06:07:07 PM
Edsonmom, thanks for posting that information. I am so happy this case is over and she has been convicted. The fact that she is never going to see the light of day or be free again is a great relief. The death penalty would be great, but this is closure and the end of a very horrible crime. God bless her mom and family and friends and I hope they can find some peace now that this monster is never going to be free. 8) 8) 8) 8) 8) 8)
Title: Re: SANDRA CANTU, | CALIFORNIA - MARCH, 2009 (Body Found 4/6/09)
Post by: Edsonmom on May 28, 2010, 08:20:37 PM
You are very welcome Cape.. I for one, wishes she would have got the death penalty.. This moster deserved to die for what she did to poor little Sandra..I am glad she will be in prison for life, and not be able to hurt anyone else.. but I also hope that she NEVER gets to see her own daughter again..Make her have to face what Sandra's family is going through.. Take her rights to see her daughter away for life..
I pray this will bring some sort of closure to Sandra's family & friends..and that they may be able to have some sort of a "normal" life now..
RIP little one.. Justice has been served for your honor!!
Title: Re: SANDRA CANTU, | CALIFORNIA - MARCH, 2009 (Body Found 4/6/09)
Post by: debbiec on June 14, 2010, 04:13:02 PM
Killer of Calif. girl found in suitcase gets life

47 minutes ago

        3

What's this
By Terry Collins, The Associated Press

 
STOCKTON, Calif. - A Sunday school teacher who pleaded guilty to kidnapping and murdering a neighbour girl in Northern California made a tearful apology to the victim's family Monday as she was sentenced to prison for the rest of her life.

The punishment came after Melissa Huckaby, 29, reached a plea deal with prosecutors that took the death penalty and the possibility of parole off the table in the killing of 8-year-old Sandra Cantu, whose body was found in a suitcase pulled from an irrigation pond.

Huckaby offered no motive for the 2009 killing as she addressed the girl's mother, Maria Chavez. The victim was a playmate of Huckaby's daughter.

"I still cannot understand why I did what I did. This is a question I will struggle with for the rest of my life," Huckaby said, her voice trembling.

She said Sandra "did not suffer, and I did not sexually molest her."

"I'm asking you, Maria, for your forgiveness," Huckaby said. "I can't imagine forgiving someone who harmed my daughter. I hope someday you can forgive me."

Authorities had provided few details about the killing until Monday, when Judge Linda Lofthus lifted a gag order.

Prosecutors released a summary of their investigation that showed the cause of Sandra's death was "homicidal asphyxiation."

The summary included a pathologist's report saying she was found with a piece of bloody cloth tied around her head.

She also had injuries to her external genitalia that were consistent with a bent, bloodstained rolling pin found inside a church where Huckaby had taught, according to the report.

The blood stain matched Sandra's blood.

The victim's body also contained alprazolam, a prescription sedative commonly used to treat anxiety. Prescription bottles of alprazolam were found in Huckaby's purse and home, prosecutors said.

Huckaby entered her surprise plea last month to first-degree murder with the special circumstance of kidnapping. All other charges, including allegations that she sexually abused the girl, were dropped as part of the plea deal.

Sandra was last seen on a surveillance video walking through the Orchard Estates Mobile Home Park on March 29, 2009. Prosecutors said Monday the girl can be seen looking in the direction of Huckaby's home before she goes off-camera.

Eight minutes later, the tape shows Huckaby driving her car from the mobile home park in the direction of her grandfather's church, where the bloody rolling pin was found.

A massive search ended April 6, 2009, when her body was found stuffed in a black suitcase pulled from the pond a few miles (kilometres) from the community where she lived.

A couple later told authorities that they saw Huckaby and her SUV at the pond on the day of Sandra's disappearance.

Huckaby was arrested less than a week later after telling a reporter the suitcase belonged to her but had been stolen from her driveway the day Sandra disappeared.

Title: Re: SANDRA CANTU, | CALIFORNIA - MARCH, 2009 (Body Found 4/6/09)
Post by: Sleuth on June 15, 2010, 01:52:00 AM
I sure wish there was no plea deal and Huckaby had gotten the DP. I'm wondering if it was a man if a plea deal would have been given? I'm also wondering if little Sandra's mother had a say in this plea deal? What a psychopath, to keep this scumbag in jail for the next 70 years at the tax payers expense. Pffffffffffft.
Title: Re: SANDRA CANTU, | CALIFORNIA - MARCH, 2009 (Body Found 4/6/09)
Post by: Edsonmom on June 18, 2010, 11:03:56 PM
 :oOMG Poor Sandra :'( :'(.. That sick b**ch never should have got a deal.. She should have got death..Why the hell do they even do plea bargins in cases such as this..