Arrest is little relief to Cantu's family

April 11, 2009 7:48:42 PM PDT
Sandra Cantu's family reacted Saturday to the arrest of their neighbor Melissa Huckaby. They said the arrest brings them very little relief. They are very angry and would like to see the death penalty imposed.

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They are shocked at who the police suspect turned out to be.

"Sandra was like a daughter to me. I can't imagine a mother doing this to a child," said Sandra Cantu's aunt Angie Chavez.

"What was she teaching in Sunday school? About God and love and how to treat your fellow human beings? Compassion? What kind of Sunday school teacher is that?" asked Joe Chavez, Sandra's uncle. "We're like shell-shocked here. Hopefully, with time and trust in God and Jesus Christ we're going to be able to trust people again. Who can you trust?"

"It sickens me. And, the fact we all kept saying we'll catch him, we'll catch him, not thinking twice, maybe we'll catch her," said Amber Austin of Stockton.

People showed up outside the trailer park so disturbed by the news of the arrest that they found it hard to think of anything else.

"It hurts and it really hits home. I'm still trying to figure out what happened. What was she thinking?" asked Dwight Porsche of Tracy.

At a memorial in Tracy pink balloons framed photos of 8-year-old Sandra Cantu. Well-wishers brought stuffed toys and wrote in books that will be given to the family. One father brought his 6-year-old daughter all the way from Richmond.

"She was asking, why was it that we were watching so much news. I kept telling her it's because of the little girl who disappeared and they tried to find her. I keep telling her not to walk away when we go places, not to walk away too far far from us because it can happen to her," explained Wilfredo Alegria.

A fear and mistrust disquieted nearly everyone.

"This hurts. This hurts. And, I don't even know the family and it hurts. It does," said Austin, summing up the feelings of many people in Tracy and elsewhere as the shocking news begins to sink in.

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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