Disturbing New Potential Motive in Sandra Cantu’s Murder

April 14, 2009

(ChattahBox) — It’s hard to imagine ‘worse’ in a case like this, but new information in the murder of 8-year-old Sandra Cantu may reveal the real tragic motivation of the murderer behind this horrific crime. The District Attorney’s Office may include rape and molestation allegations in their murder charge against the woman suspected of killing Sandra Cantu and putting her body in a suitcase. Tracy police Sgt. Tony Sheneman informed by the district attorney said Monday during CNN‘s “Larry King Live that in addition to the murder in the course of a kidnapping to be brought against Melissa Huckaby, 28, special circumstances rape with a foreign object, lewd and lascivious conduct with a child could be added.  A decade-old federally funded study recently reported that about one in every 50 sex offenders overall is a woman.
Conviction on any of the charges would make Huckaby eligible for the death penalty or life in prison without parole, although it hasn’t been announced whether the D.A.’s office will seek the death penalty. Huckaby, a Sunday school teacher, was scheduled to be arraigned in Stockton, California on Tuesday. 8-year-old Sandra Cantu, disappeared from the Orchard Estates Mobile Home Park in Tracy, California on the afternoon of March 27th. Sandra’s body was found 10 days later, stuffed into a suitcase and dumped in a farm pond. The little girl was a playmate of Huckaby’s 5-year-old daughter, Madison.


32 Responses to “Disturbing New Potential Motive in Sandra Cantu’s Murder”

  1. sad in prunedale on April 14th, 2009 10:32 am

    what happen to sandra is unspeakable, and for a woman who has her own child, to do such a hidious act, just does not make sense. she must have been working for the devil in that church. she needs to be put to death. but not in a easy way, make her suffer, like she made sandra suffer. my whole heart goes out to the family. i did not know them, but just to know what happen to that poor little girl, is just awful, i can relate to the pain. my nephew was also murdered in november, he was the 23rd homicide of 2008 in salinas, ca., and i truly know the pain they suffer. whomever feels they need to take a childs life, needs to have their life taken. what gives them the right? and they don’t need to spend months or years on death row, just do it and don’t waist taxpayers money on the trash to keep them alive and to possibly get out on parole and live in the life of luxury on us.

  2. Disturbing New Potential Motive in Sandra Cantu’s Murder - Chattahbox.com : Ahabloging.com on April 14th, 2009 11:01 am

    […] Disturbing New Potential Motive in Sandra Cantu’s Murder – Chattahbox.com(ChattahBox) — It’s hard to imagine ‘worse’ in a case like this, but new information in the murder of 8-year-old Sandra Cantu may reveal the real tragic motivation of the murderer behind this horrific crime. The District Attorney’s Office may include rape and molestation allegations in […]

  3. Ed on April 14th, 2009 12:50 pm

    What has happened to us? What can be said of a society that produces monsters like Melissa Huckaby? On the one habd I feel sorry for this woman because I speculate something(s) in her life contributed to her being able to perform such horrific acts. On the other hand, I want to see her dead. If you kill, rape, or molest a child … you desrve nothing less than death. This woman, it appears, performed each of these acts. My heart goes out to Sandra’s family and friends. As tears now fill my eyes, I still cannot fathom the pain Sandra’s family must be feeling.

  4. Ed on April 14th, 2009 12:57 pm

    What has happened to us? What can be said of a society that produces monsters like Melissa Huckaby? On the one hand I feel sorry for this woman because I speculate something(s) in her life may have contributed to her being capable of perform such horrific acts. On the other hand, I want to see her dead. If you kill, rape, or molest a child … you desrve nothing less than death. This woman, it appears, performed each of these acts. My heart goes out to Sandra’s family and friends. As tears now fill my eyes, I still cannot fathom the pain Sandra’s family must be feeling.

  5. SIF on April 14th, 2009 2:34 pm

    I can’t beleive there are people like this in our society. I have a daugther who just turned 10yrs old. And I keep her at home she does not go and play outside anymore because of the world we live in. It is so scary that this kind of person with a unthinkable and disgusting un human mind would live in the community and have a normal live. I can’t beleive no one noticed anything about her. I don’t care what kind of situation she was in financialy or if she expereniced any kind of deppression, there is no excuse for what she did to that poor little inocent girl. She has absolutly no excuse what so ever!!! I hope she get’s the death penalty.

  6. Sian B on April 14th, 2009 4:00 pm

    Sheriff’s Deputy Les Garcia would not comment on findings made during the autopsy. He said authorities are waiting on tissue sample analysis and toxicology reports before they announce an official cause of death. These tests could take from four to eight weeks to be completed.

    “Potential” charges, ie no evidence (as yet) to support them. Maybe there will be adequate supporting evidence, maybe not, but irresponsible of the police, at this stage, to make such comments. If and when sufficient evidence turns up to support charges, then presumably, Huckaby will be charged.

    Charges alone do not establish guilt – only a jury can do that, in a court of law, so until then, Huckaby is innocent. Here’s hoping we manage to avoid a rerun of the Casey Anthony witch hunt, and Huckaby gets a fair trial with a just conclusion.

  7. Kim on April 14th, 2009 4:44 pm

    Are you guys serious??? Not enough information has been revealed to us onlookers to really know the truth of the case, only what’s leaked through media, and short-handed comments from the police. I do not yet believe she is the one that did this crime!!! My theory is that it is someone she is close to, maybe her grandfather. She probably caught him in the crime, and knows that he is a well-established, respected pastor, and doesn’t want to see him lose respect from the community or her family. She has signs of depression and low self-worth, meaning that she would rather admit to a crime to save her grandfather (or close relative), than herself. She definitely knows something about Sandra’s murder, but this case is unfinished, and if she is indeed the cold-handed murderer, then I you all are right- this society is messed up!

  8. Annetta Crystal on April 14th, 2009 6:14 pm

    Interesting to me is the mental illness aspect. I read that she was on probation via a mental health court, for some petty crimes, and heard that there would be a medication evaluation. I dont know what her mental illness is, but its possible she was in a psychotic state when it happened….

    or not.

    I dont know how long before we know all of the details. I heard she is waiting to enter a plea, also. May be looking at guilty by reason of insanity? Its all speculation at this point.

    Different than the Anthony case is that she is at least showing emotion as opposed to the cockiness of the Anthony crew.

  9. Cherryl Lewis on April 14th, 2009 6:25 pm

    Obviously, there had to be a “good christian woman” somewhere behind this hideous crime. Considering the death penalty? Don’t consider it, do it!

    Christianity, ur doin’ it wrong!

  10. Cherryl Lewis on April 14th, 2009 6:45 pm

    And with a grandfather as the pastor of the church and very religious upbringing, I’m going out on a limb here and suggest that perhaps daddy and granddaddy had a hand in this somehow. She may just be protecting them.

  11. Samantha on April 14th, 2009 7:02 pm

    I agree with Kim. I think that there is at least one other individual, if not more involved, in taking the precious life of Sandra.
    EVEN if Huckaby claims INSANITY, she should have been responsible enough to get HELP for herself. Depression and even psychosis can be controlled.
    An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth, especially involving an innocent child!
    May we ALL pray for the strength, and endurance “Sandra’s family” is going to endure during these horrific times.

  12. Julie Smith on April 14th, 2009 10:10 pm

    I find it very hard to believe that a woman acting alone is capable of such a crime. I suspect the male members of her family. There are so many cases of “men of the cloth” going astray with hookers, drugs, molesting their own children, or molesting other children. I suspect that Melissa Huckaby was abused by either her father or grandfather, and that one of them had a hand in the kidnapping, molestation, and murder. I think, perhaps, Ms. Huckaby was either forced to watch, or to participate, and then (being so unsure of herself) agreed to take the rap. I highly doubt that she would rape a child with a foreign object. The only possible answer for that one is either someone else did it; or it was done to her as a child, and she was playing out what had been done to her.

    And please stop calling for her death. It won’t solve anything, or really help anyone. The child is dead and nothing can change that. Even if the family thinks it will help them, it won’t. Sandra will still be gone.

    An “eye for an eye” in the Bible was a way of deciding what recompense should be given for various crimes. I don’t think the Bible condones killing people for murder; and, even if it did, I believe this practice to be barbarous and not to be carried out in civilized societies. One of the Ten Commandants is “Thou shalt not kill.” It didn’t say “but it’s OK to kill murderers.”

  13. Christy on April 14th, 2009 11:36 pm

    Knowing the details of the why and the how and the who will never bring Sandra back. But her death is a plea and a scream to ALL parents… TRUST NO ONE. Protect your children.

    In this day of electronic gadgets and cell phones and surveillance devices, your child should never be more than 60 seconds away from you and help. Sandra, and many (too many) of our other children would still be alive if they had and carried a personal panic alarm that alerted their parents and/or police that they were in danger! Think about it the next time you’re looking for a “perfect” gift for your child.

    My prayers are with Sandra’s family, my children, and all the children who are threatened by the sick and twisted perverts in our society.

  14. Theresa on April 15th, 2009 3:27 am

    I agree with the comments made by Kim – what happened to innocent before proven guilty in a court of law? This story just doesn’t make any sense at all. The headline says there is a “disturbing new potential motive” then doesn’t say waht the motive might be. I suspect there is more to this case than meets the eye, and that a man was more than likely involved if not the perpetrator. Will be interested to see what evidence comes out in the trial.

  15. Mary on April 15th, 2009 7:47 am

    Although I sympathize with people’s shock and horror at the idea of a woman committing rape, kidnapping and sexual abuse, it happens more often then you might realize. I’ve worked with adolescent sex offenders 10+ years, and typically 1 in 50 SOs are female. And the number of women who physically and emotionally abuse their children is much higher. Just ask Childrens Services how many moms are unfit to care for their own children. Also, if I may offer my 2 cents, I’ve seen in person and in many photos the faces of abusers, and there is just something in the eyes that seems “dead” or “empty” to me. And when I saw the picture on CNN of Huckaby’s face with her eyes open, wow, she sure looks like an offender to me. I do agree with those expressing the idea of Huckaby suffering past abuse – I haven’t yet met a sex offender who didn’t have sexual trauma in their past. And the real sad news is this – we must protect our children, it’s all we can do, because treatment for these individuals is highly unsuccessful, and not because we aren’t trying – it’s just that there isn’t any “cure!” I’m not a proponent of the death penalty, but if she’s guilty, please keep her locked up!

  16. lisa on April 15th, 2009 10:26 am

    I don’t think she acted alone….I truly think she had help.

  17. S Keesey on April 15th, 2009 12:05 pm

    Alot of people are sympathizing with this beast and stating that something must have happened to her, to make her commit such an act. If something so bad had happened to me, the last thing I would want, would be to exercise the same misery on someone else. I’ll bet she has molested her own child and the motive for killing Sandra was that she couldn’t let her go home with the damage she had inflicted, after she got her sick kicks.She couldn’t let her go tell her mother. My heart goes out to the victims(Sandra and her family), not to the beast, whom by the way, used the church and the GOOD LORD, to do the crime. Wouldn’t want to be in her shoes come judgement day !!!

  18. APRIL on April 15th, 2009 12:13 pm


  19. Nina on April 15th, 2009 2:11 pm

    I would NEVER say that women couldn’t do this type of thing, however, there is just something about this case that doesn’t add up. She has her own 5 year old and nothing has been said about her, have they talked to the little girl to see if this type of thing has ever happened to her and by whom. I do believe that Huckaby didn’t act alone or that she didn’t do it and is covering up for someone. I don’t however believe that all of you people out there saying she is guilty and kill her are right, she is innocent until proven guilty and I think that until we as a public have more information, we can not make any assumptions. I am a Christian and I believe in forgiveness but these types of instances are one where I have the hardest time with forgiveness because I just can’t understand how anyone could hurt a child in any way. But I also want to say to all those who are condemning Christians because of these types of acts, you need to know the Lord and read the Bible because He clearly tells us that there are and will be those (especially in the last days) who are deceivers and do wrong in His name. Don’t forget, most of this world has turned away from God or want to keep God out of everything but Church and this is where our society has went wrong and this is how we have come to “bring up such monsters”. As we keep getting further from God, we will see more of these instances and probably worse.

  20. Lee on April 15th, 2009 3:22 pm

    Something to think about…………..
    one girl is found dead, and everyone is worried sick, shes on almost every bay area news channel, just because shes a dead 8 year old found in a suitcase.

    those that die hungry, dead in trashcans and mud, with nobody knowing where they are. surely thats the same as dying and being stuffed in a suitcase.
    There are 3-year olds dying out there. her family, i understand, but not the whole bay area. NO OFFENSE TO ANYONE PLS. but think about it. every minute kids die, and people get worked up on one kid that dies.

  21. samantha on April 15th, 2009 4:27 pm

    My opinion is she killed Sandra for some unknown reason and then performed the rape with an object just to make it look like a guy killed the little girl. But why would she kill her in the first place unless she was trying to get someone else in trouble for some reason. Maybe her grandfather?

  22. LM on April 15th, 2009 7:06 pm

    She does look pretty awful in that mug shot but she does look like she’s been crying and is hopeless, not quite exactly that dead, blank look you usually see, like Mary mentioned. Ever since I had a foster son who was sociopathic, I always look at the eyes. In the latest photo of her at court, she is just sobbing and looks to be in extreme emotional pain- this is different for these types of crimes. I just wonder what on earth led to this killing, there is something more here, it seems like. Maybe a terrible accident, I don’t know. I guess we will find out eventually. And I agree, watch your kids! they are too precious to trust to luck!

  23. Are you Kidding? on April 15th, 2009 7:26 pm

    I cannot believe what I am reading – whether Huckaby is guilty or not – the facts are: if she did it by herself – she needs to get the death penalty; if she is trying to protect her father/grandfather – she should still be in prison for life. If she is insane – excuse me me – but I am tired of that excuse – she should be locked up FOREVER. Have you seen the pictures of Sandra skipping on her way to go play with a friend. You might try to read the American Way of Life and what goes on in an autopsy. To think that one Friday afternoon this child came home and kissed her mother and went out to play – and ended up being RAPED BY AN OBJECT – who knows what hell she had to endure – she was 8 YEARS OLD – innocent – and again for you who say Huckaby could be covering up – Sandra trusted her – I think the whole lot of them need to die and burn in HELL – I am sorry but there is no way any of them – if there are THEM – should be let off the hook – if they are insane put them out of their misery. I can’t believe some of your comments. Obviously you do not have an 8 year old daughter at home!!! Shame on YOU!

  24. jess on April 15th, 2009 10:14 pm

    KIM, what the hell are you thinking? you dont think she is guilty of this crime. OH MY GOD.. than your not a very smart person. Do you have kids? Even IF she didn’t commit the crime she is a accomplice, just as guilty and in my eyes, to hide the murder of an 8 year old little girl, or lie about it, she deserves what she has coming to her, and i dont mean sitting on death row for years eating my tax dollars. People like this need to be done with, just do away with them, they are a waste of space and society has no use for them

  25. Barbara on April 16th, 2009 1:04 am

    Casey Anthony’s case has been changed to a death penalty case. Now, everyone is arguing about the tremendous cost to Florida-in the millions. So-what is the solution? Let them sit in prison @ $30,000 yearly? She probably could never go into general population. When I was a kid, we used to eat cereal and go outside until it got dark. No one knew where we were or what we were doing. What has happened? My doors are locked 24/7 even if we are home. Sad way to live.

  26. NotAgain on April 16th, 2009 2:21 pm

    Melissa was on probation already, little Sandra could very possibly have caught her doing something “illegal” that she didn’t want known to anyone else, and killed her. So the rape with an object was staged to appear that a man committed the crime.

  27. Lee on April 16th, 2009 2:51 pm

    she should be locked up forever, or sent out of the country, because if people like her are in society, it makes it dangerous for the next generation.

  28. martha on April 16th, 2009 7:29 pm

    This crime is horrendous! How can we trust our kids to neighbours, friends and even family members? I feel so bad about how the world is becoming towards innocent kids! And this time it is worse. A woman who is a mother herself killing the playmate of her kid!
    May God make the world a better place for our kids! May evils pay for their deeds!

  29. SB on April 17th, 2009 2:32 am

    Huckaby is just the self-sacrificial lamb atoning for the sins of a network following her brainwashed biased-Christian theology. She is covering and protecting someone else. What a coincidence a murder of an innocent near Easter. You do not have to be Sherlock Holmes or Einstein. It is absolutely unlikely that a sunday school woman did this alone for whatever reasons or psychopathic leads she may have had. She is protecting the real murderer who is out there. Actually this fits perfectly well into a more complex cult with their own agenda.

  30. nicole on April 17th, 2009 11:47 pm

    i think thewe horid acts were known by at least 1 or 2 other members of the family. has anyone questioned huckaby’s kid? surely someone heard or seen something! after all she was missing for 10 days right! geez man! kill the whole huckaby family, except the little girl of course. after reading about how huckaby was getting emo then calm then emo again i would bet my life she was hiding something. kill the skank ho! and all the others ! anyone who does that stuff to a poor little child deserves the exact same done to them! my heart goes out to the family of little sandra, may her soul rest in peace and may the huckaby womans soul burn forever in hell with demons raping her arse!

  31. zaklady bukmacherskie on May 10th, 2010 3:16 pm

    I think you are good writer, keep us posting

  32. louis on May 12th, 2010 1:25 am

    Why can’t people believe a woman would do this to a child? Women have strong sexual desires just as men do. She probably got the urge and made the girl suck her vulva until she came, then got scared and had to kill her.

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