April 14th, 2009
05:26 PM ET

Police: Child found in submerged luggage may have been raped


[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/CRIME/04/14/california.slain.girl/art.huckaby.mugshot.tpd.jpg caption="Melissa Huckaby faces charges of kidnapping and murder in the death of 8-year-old Sandra Cantu. "]

A Sunday school teacher accused of killing a Tracy, California girl may also have raped the 8-year-old, authorities say.

Melissa Huckaby, expected to be arraigned Tuesday at 4 p.m. ET in the death of Sandra Cantu, will face additional charges, including rape, police told CNN.

"When she was booked, she was booked on charges of kidnapping and murder," Tracy Police Sgt. Tony Sheneman said on "Larry King Live" on Monday night. "And we're informed by the district attorney that she'll be charged with abduction, murder, rape with a foreign object and lewd and lascivious acts with a child."


For more details from the Tracy Police Department, click here.

Filed under: Crime & Punishment
soundoff (24 Responses)
  1. RL S

    Maybe there was another person involved forcing her to commit this heinous crime- maybe they threatened her with killing her child...because WHY is the biggest question here. Motive?
    Such a adorable little girl...looking so self assured in the world- so sorry Sandra...<3

    April 14, 2009 at 9:09 pm |
  2. Catherine

    IF the Huckaby woman is guilty, she is obviously a deranged sociopath. Very unusual for a woman to commit such a horrific crime. Would be curious to know her past history.
    That poor little child......

    April 14, 2009 at 7:47 pm |
  3. christy

    what she did is considered pure evil to me. she probably grew up in the church and should have known that was wrong. make an example of her to all the pedophiles in the world. she definetely has a mental illness but that doesnt excuse her from ANYTHING. she should be extremeley punished for the death of a CHILD!

    April 14, 2009 at 7:45 pm |
  4. Donna

    This whole story is sad. They don't seem to be releasing too much information though. How did they coerse a confession out of this woman. The last I heard, she had voluntarily went in to talk with police and blow someone else in. Doesn't that seem strange to you? The woman is obviously mentally unbalanced to have done this. She will probably end up in the pysch ward somewhere. Most pedifiles do.

    April 14, 2009 at 7:07 pm |
  5. abc ~ anything but (tracy) Cal hugh

    I live in Tracy, California and I can tell you people are so shocked here at the murder of little Sandra Cantu, they're less friendly or willing to even crack a smile because they don't know who to trust, or they're still just grieving. Of course this doesn't occur all the time, but it is real, and it will take some time for this community to heal.

    Watch your children–always, but living in constant fear is just giving up hope, because I believe most folks are good decent people who want to help others. Time is the great healer.

    April 14, 2009 at 7:01 pm |
  6. Samuel

    Am not surprised.As America gets more and more religious and circular(but not Christians),derailing from the America we know( IN GOD WE TRUST ),more of this is bound to happen.

    April 14, 2009 at 6:59 pm |
  7. Elisabeth Keyes

    Often times, people who victimize small children were victims themselves at one point.

    April 14, 2009 at 6:55 pm |
  8. Lynne

    This shows how true it is that there indeed are a lot of disturbed individuals walking around and we just don't have any idea.
    A 28 year old woman, with a child or her own...rapes an eight year old with a foreign object and stuffs her in a suitcase and throws it in a pond. There are no words to adequately describe how sick such a person must be. My heart aches for the child that was murdered.
    Why are our children such easy prey for these sick people in society??

    April 14, 2009 at 6:40 pm |
  9. Dee - CA

    I never understand why some people victimize small children. I think when it comes to crimes commited against children they should change the laws and we need to gave them death penalty.

    April 14, 2009 at 6:36 pm |
  10. enea ostrich

    it's absolutely horrendous what someone we call a human being can do something so vial, but it is a reality we have to face. No one knows their neighbors well, but maybe we should all get to know them. Even with our good gut instincts, we all are bound to make mistakes with a real sicko. The best we can do is pray hard that we never meet someone like that!

    April 14, 2009 at 6:33 pm |
  11. Earl Joseph Gaines from Alabaster, Alabamba

    Why does the story begins with " A Sunday school teacher"? This person is no difference from your average rapist and murder. I thank people confuse religion with God. They are two different things! Religion is man-made and God is everlasting life!

    April 14, 2009 at 6:30 pm |
  12. Emily, NYC

    This story just breaks my heart. It's sad enough that this poor innocent child was killed in such a brutal way. The scary thing is that the accused is a relatively young mother herself who taught Sunday school??? Maybe they should interview the children in her Sunday school class? There is definitely more to this story than meets the eye.

    April 14, 2009 at 6:25 pm |
  13. Raq

    Those were horrible acts. I'll never understand how somebody can do that to anybody else, especially a child. Something tells me she might be taking the rap for someone else.

    April 14, 2009 at 6:21 pm |
  14. janette

    Relatives in denial.The girl had a dark side they couldn't
    see it maybe bacause they didn't want to.

    April 14, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  15. ChicaWest

    I agree with Fay, there has to be more to this story. Something about her, the details of this horrible crime and the way it all went down is just not adding up or making sense.

    April 14, 2009 at 6:05 pm |
  16. Joanne Pacicca, Solvay, NY

    Although the children in our household are older, and...we think we are very responsible regarding talking to parents of their friends, this new atrocity brings questions as to how can we provide a safe neighborhood environment for our children?

    The "more" to this story is mental illness. The severity of which is not apparent.

    April 14, 2009 at 6:04 pm |
  17. Crystal

    Forget locking her up or putting her in jail for life, why doesn't the gov't implement an eye for eye (quite litterally). I think when it comes to crimes commited against children they should change the laws. Do exactly to her what she did to that poor 8 yr old. I have an 8 yr old boy, and if G-d forbid something of that nature were to happen to him, the police would have to ensure that the person or persons that commited the crime were locked up 24/7 with armed guards at their cell. I will not say what I would do, but take as you wish.

    April 14, 2009 at 6:02 pm |
  18. Deborah

    The malicious nature of her attack on this child, should surely point the investigators towards the suspects own child and her treatment of her? The fact that it included a sexual attack shows a hidden paediophilic nature that may not have only been directed at the victim. How devastating this story is!

    April 14, 2009 at 6:00 pm |
  19. Elisabeth Keyes

    Wasn't this lady the daughter of the minister? If that's the case, then it's off putting because you tend to trust them more. So there is no way the parents could have foreseen this.

    April 14, 2009 at 5:55 pm |
  20. Fay - California

    Huckaby's relatives are claiming that she never even as much as raised her voice to a child and that the person charged with these crimes bears no resemblance to the one they know – of course they're going to back her, but if what they say is true, what on earth could've possibly possessed her to commit such a heinous act with no prior history of this type of behavior? Maybe I'm wrong, but I think there might be more to this story.

    April 14, 2009 at 5:50 pm |
  21. Steve Turner

    Hard to imagine why she did this. Perhaps some day she'll consent to an interview. Very bizarre.

    April 14, 2009 at 5:48 pm |
  22. Annie Kate

    I can never understand why some people victimize small children, but for one to be the mother of a friend of that child is even more horrible – you think you know your neighbors and the parents of other children your children play with. Yet, in this case it seems no one did. Maybe she had a psychotic break or something but my "unreasonable" rules for who could babysit my children and whose house they could go to suddenly seem very reasonable to my family.

    April 14, 2009 at 5:39 pm |
  23. Sherie

    What a pathetic woman. How could she do this? She has a child of her own. How sickening. Hopefully they will give her death.

    April 14, 2009 at 5:37 pm |
  24. Vickie Show Me State

    Lock her up and throw away the key.

    April 14, 2009 at 5:29 pm |