Was There Another Victim Before Sandra?

"I can't see any sense in it," Sokoloski said. "If they checked her body before ... they wouldn't say she was sexually molested unless they did see something."

Despite the sympathies that lay with Sandra's family and the understandable ill ease that may come with the idea of exhuming her body, Denver-based criminal defense attorney Lisa Wayne said Huckaby's public defender is doing what he needs to in order to properly defend his client.

Behar's request claims Sandra's body was released to a funeral chapel April 7, four days before Huckaby was arrested and charged with her murder. According to the court document, Sandra is interred in an above-ground crypt.

Wayne, who lectures across the country on the defense of sex crimes, is not involved in the Huckaby case, but said the defense attorney is well within his rights to examine every piece of evidence against his client, including Sandra's body.

"It sounds cold, but it is evidence," Wayne said.

"It sounds as if something in the autopsy report or some evidence he has seen -- there's some red flags or he has some concerns," she said.

Could Second Autopsy Mean Life or Death for Accused Killer?

There could be many alternatives other than sexual assault to explain injuries, such as vaginal tearing or lacerations, Wayne said, including prior sexual assault or something as innocent as riding a bicycle.

If Huckaby is found to have sexually assaulted Sandra, Wayne said, evidence found during the defense's autopsy could mean the difference between the death penalty, life in prison or a lesser sentence.

On the flip side, she said, evidence that the sexual trauma was fresh and took place immediately prior to or during Sandra's death would negate the possibility that the little girl was killed by accident.

Sandra's body was discovered April 6, found stuffed into a suitcase in an irrigation pond. Huckaby, the granddaughter of a preacher who taught Sunday school and lived in the same mobile home park as Sandra, was arrested days later after police say she gave interviews to the local media that included statements inconsistent with what she had told authorities.

Chavez said the family was mostly holding up as best they could. They were shocked at the massive turnout for Sandra's public memorial service, held Thursday.

"We were very surprised," Chavez said. "We knew she touched a lot of people."

Mourners and well-wishers stopped by the mobile home park for days after Sandra was found, leaving flowers, signs, candles and stuffed animals. But now that the focus has turned to Huckaby's trial, Sokoloski said, the park, once crawling with police and reporters, has started to quiet down.

The neighborhood, she said, is just "trying to get back to normal."

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