April 13th, 2009
04:51 PM ET

Family of slaying suspect says charges 'out of character'

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/CRIME/04/12/california.slain.girl/art.huckaby.mugshot.tpd.jpg caption="Melissa Huckaby was charged with kidnapping and murder in the death of 8-year-old Sandra Cantu."]

The family of a woman who faces charges of killing an 8-year-old playmate of her daughter's said Sunday the accusations are "completely out of character." The Tracy, California, family offered their prayers to the victim's family.

"We are deeply saddened by the loss of this beautiful girl," said a man who would not give his name, identifying himself only as a relative of suspect Melissa Huckaby, 28.

He was referring to Sandra Cantu, who 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 own 5-year-old daughter. The two children were close friends and played together frequently, Tracy police Sgt. Tony Sheneman said.

Sandra's body was found Monday, stuffed into a suitcase and submerged in a pond at a dairy farm.

Huckaby was arrested late Friday after she was questioned by police. She faces kidnapping and murder charges in Sandra's death.


Filed under: 360º Follow • Crime & Punishment
soundoff (7 Responses)
  1. Heidi

    why arent they mentioning that not only did she kill this little girl but also raped her with a foreign object? what a horrendous act. i am stunned by this whole story-and the crimes against children continue to rise everyday.i just cannot fathom how a person man or woman could do such a thing to a innocent child.but the fact that it was a woman is even more disturbing not to mention a sunday school teacher with children of her own.stunning.....the world has gone completely insane.be vigilant....and watch your kids 24/7.these sickos are like sharks circling waiting for theyre next prey.my heart goes out to the cantu family-may god be with you thru this.

    April 14, 2009 at 2:43 am |
  2. robyn caffrey keyser west virginia

    att anderson

    they aughta lock this one up, and throw away the key

    im sorry " but it's people like this that make life shorter

    April 14, 2009 at 1:03 am |
  3. Angie

    My heart breaks for the promise of a life cut short, for innocence lost, for a betrayal that extends beyond the child the church the community... as an incidious infection that infects us all and steals our trust and peace..

    April 14, 2009 at 12:44 am |
  4. Ron

    Its sad to see something like this happen. I'm not sure what this womans motives were or what the circumstances were surrounding the event. It'll make you think twice about where you send your kids.

    April 14, 2009 at 12:01 am |
  5. Unknown

    Some sunday school teacher. Guess she has a lot of sins she needs to be forgiven for. =/ People these days....what has this world come too?

    April 13, 2009 at 11:36 pm |
  6. Michelle R. Pankuch

    I'm not sure why I am commenting, it just seems like the right thing to do.

    A child lost her life and it saddens me.

    Did Sandra attend the church that Ms. Husaby taught Sunday School at?

    This is important. How many people are out there who because of who they know are allowed to teach and be around children, when in reality they are not stable enough.

    My heart hurts for the family and for the the Church.

    April 13, 2009 at 9:37 pm |
  7. Vicky

    this just doesnt make sense to me....something isnt right here...WHY would she kill her?? just doesnt make sense.

    April 13, 2009 at 6:17 pm |