Teacher Arrested in Cantu Murder
By TERRY COLLINS
April 11, 2009
A Sunday school teacher 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, said police Sgt. Tony Sheneman.
Police have arrested a Sunday school teacher and pastor's daughter, Melissa Huckaby, 28, in the death of 8-year-old Sandra Cantu. The girl's body was found in a suitcase submerged in an irrigation pond on April 6. Sandra vanished on March 27...
Huckaby's family had been questioned at length during the investigation, and their home and vehicles had been searched, Sheneman said.
Huckaby was being held without bail at the San Joaquin County Jail, with arraignment set for Tuesday, according to the county sheriff's Web site...
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. Huckaby also said she had left her suitcase in the driveway that day, and that it was missing.
The Tracy Press 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 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...