Other Melissa Huckaby being harassed

April 17, 2009 6:03:02 PM PDT
A California woman is suffering dearly because of a case of mistaken identity. She has the same name as the accused killer of an 8-year-old Tracy girl.

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Melissa Huckaby lives near Tracy, in Manteca. She was misidentified by KTVU-TV and an east coast newspaper as Sandra Cantu's accused killer. "So to have that kind of thing tagged next to me, it hurt, it hurt," Huckaby said.

Huckaby, 28, always tries to look at the bright side. But this time, it has been tough.

"I'm never going to get away from this," Huckaby said.

Huckaby lives and works in Manteca. She is a single mother, who teaches preschool at her local church and who graduated from a high school in Tracy.

She is not, nor is she related in any way to the Melissa Huckaby accused of killing Cantu. It was a fact that was lost on several media outlets, which pulled a photo of Manteca's Melissa Huckaby from her MySpace page and posted it on their Web sites as the same Melissa Huckaby arrested in Cantu's murder.

"I still have to see people in this community who saw my picture tacked up against the story," Huckaby said.

The Web postings were quickly removed when Huckaby's family pointed out the mistake, but the damage was done.

"There's some of the people I went to high school with that actually thought I was the one who did it," Huckaby said.

"It's been a lot of unnecessary stress for the Manteca Huckaby family, Melissa has to be careful now when she goes out for her safety and her childrens' safety," family friend Diana Wing said.

Huckaby says the angry emails and the death threats got so bad, she took down her MySpace page. Huckaby has no plans to put her photo back on any social networking sites anytime soon; at least not until the confusion over who she really is, is well behind her.

"You can't ever take, even your own personal identity for granted, because it could be gone," Huckaby said.

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