Police investigate note left at memorial

April 9, 2009 7:10:29 PM PDT
Police in Tracy released details of a strange note they found while investigating the murder of 8-year-old Sandra Cantu. The note was left at what was once a massive memorial at the mobile home park where Sandra lived.

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The note was left at the memorial some time Wednesday night. Police said it was addressed "From Sandra to My Killer." They did take it into coustody, took a look at it and decided that it had nothing to do with the investigation.

In the meantime, police said they received 400 new tips since Sandra's body was found on Monday. That brings the total to 1,400 along with all the new information, investigators are retracing some of their old steps.

"I heard a rumor a short time ago, that we were within an hour or two of making a significant arrest. That is not correct," said Tracy Sgt. Tony Sheneman.

That provides little comfort to those anxiously waiting and hoping for an arrest in young Sandra's murder. Three days after her body was found inside a suitcase in an irrigation pond, police still haven't made any arrests, but say they've narrowed their investigation considerably.

"Interviews are continuing and will continue throughout the day. The direction of our investigation is headed in the right way. And we are still looking forward to a conclusion of this, but I can't give you a time," said Sgt. Sheneman.

Plain clothes police officers were back to visit at least one home inside the Orchard Estates Mobile Home Park. It was the home of a man they've interviewed before in Sandra's disappearance and murder. However, the investigators left without taking any items or anyone into custody.

Meantime, the huge memorial that had grown in front of the mobile home park was taken away overnight, at the request of Sandra's family. With rain moving in, they wanted to make sure all the stuffed animals, gift baskets, and other items left there were not damaged, so they could donate them to charity.

That didn't stop at least some people on Thursday from coming to pay their respects. Tom Giustino drove from Pleasanton Easter Lily in hand, for Sandra's family.

"I don't know if I could live with myself, if anything should happen to any of my children or my grandchildren. I feel that relationship and what they're feeling now," said Giustino.

Sandra's family made a formal request that people no longer bring things and leave them at the mobile home park. They don't want the items to get ruined in the weather and they say it's too difficult for them to see it as they come and go from their home.

They also released some information about a public memorial for Sandra Cantu. It will be held on Thursday, April 16, at 1 p.m. at West High School in Tracy.

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