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Body Of Missing Northern California Girl Found

TRACY – Police say a woman suspected in the death of 8-year-old Sandra Cantu is on suicide watch at a California jail.

Sunday school teacher Melissa Huckaby was arrested on suspicion of kidnapping and killing the Tracy child, whose body was found in a suitcase dumped in an irrigation pond.

Police say she is refusing to see visitors. Huckaby was arrested yesterday about five hours after she drove to a police station to talk to authorities. Police say she went from back and forth from being “calm, cool and collected” to “very emotional.” Authorities say they don’t know what the motive is in the girl’s death. Officials say Sandra was friends with Huckaby’s daughter.

Police still aren’t saying whether they believe the killing was accidental or deliberate.

Tracy Police Sgt. Tony Sheneman says 28-year-old Melissa Huckaby was arrested at 11:55 p.m. Friday after voluntarily going to police for questioning nearly five hours earlier.

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

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 the granddaughter of Pastor Clifford Lawless, whose Clover Road Baptist Church was the subject of a police search.

Huckaby taught Sunday school at the church.

KESQ News Team


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