Tracy Police arrested 28-year old Sunday school teacher Melissa Huckaby around 2 a.m. Saturday Morning on suspicion of kidnapping and murdering of 8 year old Sandra Cantu.

During a 3 a.m. news conference Saturday morning Tracy Police Chief Janet Thiessen, was called in to speak. She said “over the course of the investigation, agents and investigators from numerous agencies, have been instrumental in identifying Melissa Huckaby as being responsible for Sandra’s death.”

While she would not elaborate on the cause of death, Thiessen went on to say “We have information that Sandra, by the time she was reported missing to us, probably had already been murdered.”


The arrest was made more than two weeks after Sandra was last seen outside her home at the Orchard Estates Mobile home park.

Huckaby is the granddaughter of Lane Lawless, the pastor of Clover Road Baptist Church. On Friday, Tracy police and the FBI searched the Church and the surrounding area for a second time looking for evidence in her death.

Huckaby teaches Sunday school at the church.

Earlier this week, Huckaby told the Tracy Press her black suitcase was stolen on March 27th the same day that Sandra disappeared. Sandra’s body was found just days later in a suitcase left in an irrigation pond just two miles from her home.

Tracy police now say that Huckaby’s story about the suitcase being stolen is a lie, and Sgt. Tony Sheneman confirmed the suitcase Sandra was found in belongs to Huckaby.

Sheneman said during her interview with officers Huckaby gradually came to terms with her situation.

“She was very relaxed for a bit, then she became very emotional, then she became relaxed again, then she became resigned to what was happening,” Sheneman says.

Sheneman say he will not elaborate on any motive to why Huckaby killed the 8 year old.

Huckaby has been booked in San Joaquin County jail, where she is currently being held.

You knew she was trying to cover something up when she told the “my suitcase was stolen lie.” It is a shame that her actions pointed the finger first at a bunch of innocent (If perverted) men, and finally at her grandfather. At least the community doesn’t have to worry about a child killer being on the loose anymore.

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