Memorial for Cantu at Tracy funeral home

April 10, 2009 4:30:14 PM PDT
A public memorial for 8-year-old murder victim Sandra Cantu is set for next Thursday. However, grieving Tracy residents have a new way of remembering Sandra in the meantime. A local funeral home is letting people sign a memorial book or leave a token in her memory.

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The tribute to Sandra is starting all over again. Manuela Caragoca brought her four children to Fry Memorial Chapel. The family is the first of what may be many to stop at the chapel to sign a memorial book for Sandra, the girl who disappeared two weeks ago and whose body was found Monday stuffed in a suitcase. She reminds Manuela of her youngest.

"Because the way they described Sandra, it was just like her, loveable, hugging -- it's scary," said Caragoca.

Scary to the point of tears for 8-year-old Stephanie, Caragoca's daughter.

"It's really painful," said Stephanie. ""Because what if he comes and takes one of us?"

After the family of Sandra asked that the memorial outside their mobile home park be taken down because it was such a stark reminder of the girl's murder, Fry Memorial Chapel stepped up and opened its doors to everyone in the community.

"We just felt that this is something that the community needs -- a place to grieve and give condolences and just hang out and talk with each other and support each other," said Darren Diebold with Fry Memorial Chapel.

The public can bring stuffed animals, flowers and cards. Management will make sure they go to the family or a charity of the family's choosing. Fry Memorial Chapel is also handling the public memorial service which is next Thursday at 1:00 p.m. at West High School in Tracy. It will be another grieving ground for the community to try to come to grips with the loss of a little girl some are calling Tracy's angel.

Visiting hours at Fry Memorial Chapel are from 9-4 on Friday and 10-4 on Saturday, Sunday and Monday.

Click here to watch a live police news conference at 3:30 pm to update the investigation.

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