Was There Another Victim Before Sandra?

Family members of a 7-year-old Tracy, Calif., girl who they said was taken by woman and returned four hours later with drugs in her system described a person who appears to bear similarities to Melissa Chantel Huckaby, the woman charged with kidnapping and murdering 8-year-old Sandra Cantu, according to police logs of the incident.

The incident was reported on January 17 by a family in the Orchard Estates Mobile Home Park in Tracy. Huckaby and Cantu also lived in the same trailer park before police found the little girl's body on April 10.

According to the police log, the woman who took the girl drove a purple Kia Sportage. Police towed a purple Kia Sportage registered to Huckaby the day after farmworkers found Sandra's body inside a suitcase dumped in a dairy lagoon.

The logs also said "Child is poss[ibly] with another residents granddaughter in a trailer." Huckaby is the granddaughter of residents of the trailer park, with whom she lived.

According to the police report, after the girl returned she tested positive for benzodiazepines, depressants that are prescribed as a sedative or to induce sleep, relieve anxiety and muscle spasms, and prevent seizures..

Tracy police said they could not discuss the reported abduction in January because it's part of the ongoing murder investigation.

This is the latest twist in the case against Huckaby, 28.

Just days after 8-year-old Sandra Cantu was laid to rest, a court is slated to hold a hearing on the latest twist in the case against her accused killer -- a request to exhume the second-grader's body.

Sandra's private funeral was held last Wednesday. One day later the request was filed to exhume her body so the defense for accused killer Melissa Huckaby would have an opportunity to conduct its own autopsy.

Huckaby's attorney, Deputy Public Defender Samuel Behar, professed to have no knowledge of the case when contacted by ABCNews.com, but a court document filed by Behar Thursday indicated the request was based on the deputy district attorney's belief that Sandra had suffered "genital trauma consistent with forcible penetration."

Sandra Cantu Exhumation Hearing Expected Friday

In addition to murder, Huckaby has been charged with the special circumstances of kidnapping, lewd and lavicious acts with a child and rape with a foreign object.

In the court document, Behar said the defense needed to examine the alleged trauma so Huckaby would be able to defend herself. He also requested the exhumation take place quickly, alleging that deterioration would cause Sandra's body to have "progressively diminishing value."

The request asked for the exhumation to take place last Friday, April 17,

A San Joaquin Superior Court spokeswoman said a hearing on the exhumation request is scheduled for Friday, the same day Huckaby is due back in court for a further arraignment where she would have the opportunity to enter a plea.

San Joaquin Deputy District Attorney Robert Himelblau told ABCNews.com today that his office would be filing a response to the request but did not elaborate.

Sandra's aunt, who has been acting as the family spokesoman, said she could not comment on the request.

"I wish I could, but I can't," Cantu's aunt, Angie Chavez, told ABCNews.com today.

  • 1
  • |
  • 2
  • |
  • 3
Join the Discussion
blog comments powered by Disqus
You Might Also Like...