Witness spotted man where Cantu was found

April 10, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
A man says he saw a suspicious man at an irrigation pond three days before Sandra Cantu's body was found in a suitcase in that area. SIGN-UP: Get breaking news sent to you from ABC7 News

The church was searched again on Friday night after it was already searched on Monday. Investigators returned to that location after Huckaby told a reporter at the Tracy Newspaper that her black suitcase had been stolen the day Sandra disappeared. Monday, Sandra Cantu's body was found in a black Eddie Bauer suitcase in an irrigation pond close to the mobile home park where she lived.

Huckaby's Kia SUV was among cars searched by police over the past few days.

ABC7 spoke to the Tracy reporter who spoke to Huckaby and asked if she had reported any of this to police.

"She came back and reported it to the manager of the mobile home park and then called Tracy police and asked about how she could file police report, which she said she never got around to," said the reporter.

"We have no policed report that a suitcase was stolen," said Tracy Sgt. Tony Sheneman.

Police would not confirm whether Huckaby's story has anything to do with the investigation, but they did say they were looking into a tip from another man who said he saw a strange truck in the area where Sandra's body was found, a few days before it was found.

"We don't really get many people down that road, so it was something I remember and something I thought was suspicious," said Tracy resident Stephen Memory.

19-year-old Memory lives just down the road from the irrigation ditch where Sandra's body was found on Monday. A Stockton police cadet told ABC7 three days before the discovery, he saw a strange man in a pickup truck that was faced the wrong way, by the side of the road.

"It was a Chevy Silverado with a couple inch lift on it with wider set tires, and it was tan colored, a newer model Chevy Silverado with a 40 to 50-year-old man in the car by himself. He was wearing a baseball cap. He didn't want to look at me too much," said Memory.

Memory says the FBI did take his information. Tracy police did not confirm if the sighting near the irrigation pond figures into their investigation, but they maintain they are making progress in finding Sandra's killer.

In the meantime, Sandra's body was released from the San Joaquin County Coroner's office. She will be interred at the Tracy Mausoleum. A marker with the little girl's name on it is being prepared. The public place for mourning has also moved from the mobile home park where Sandra lived to Fry's Memorial Chapel.

For some the sadness is mixed with a certain amount of fear because Sandra's killer is still out there.

"What if he comes and takes one of us?" said Stephanie Caragoza, a young girl from Tracy.

Fry Memorial Chapel will be open through the weekend.

Public Grieving Place:
Fry Memorial Chapel
550 South Central Avenue
Tracy, CA
Hours: 10-4 on Saturday, Sunday and Monday

Public Service for Sandra Cantu:
Thursday, April 16, 2009
1 p.m. - People are asked to arrive early since there will be limited parking
Merrill F. West High School
1775 West Lowell Avenue
Tracy, CA

The reward for information leading to an arrest in Sandra's case has risen to over $30,000.
Anyone with information is urged to call the Tracy Police at: 1-209-831-6TIP

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