Pastor's granddaughter arrested in Sandra Cantu slaying
A Sunday school teacher was booked early today on suspicion of murder and kidnapping in the slaying of 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 after she drove to the Tracy Police Department to be interviewed. She was booked at 3:25 a.m. today at San Joaquin County Jail in French Camp, where she is being held without bail.
"She revealed enough information that we had probable cause to arrest her for both kidnapping and murder," Tracy police Sgt. Tony Sheneman told reporters. During her interview, "she was very relaxed for a bit, then she became very emotional, and then she became relaxed again, and then became resigned to what was happening," Sheneman said.
No motive was disclosed in the slaying, and authorities have not said how Sandra was killed pending the results of an autopsy. Huckaby is scheduled to be arraigned Tuesday.
Huckaby's arrest capped an intense investigation in a case that has transfixed the region and sent shockwaves through Tracy, a city of 84,000 that is considered the gateway to the Central Valley.
Reporters descended on the onetime farming community, which was the focus of similar media attention in December when four suspects were arrested in the torture and kidnapping of a 16-year-old boy.