Southern California -- this just in

« Previous Post | L.A. NOW Home | Next Post »

Neighbor pleads guilty in case of slain girl found stuffed in suitcase

May 10, 2010 |  1:39 pm

http://www.fox40.com/media/thumbnails/story/2009-10/50192450-30182136-187105.jpegA woman on Monday pleaded guilty in the slaying of Sandra Cantu, the 8-year-old kidnapped from her home last year and found dead in a suitcase.

A San Joaquin County judge has accepted a guilty plea from Melissa Huckaby. Under a plea agreement reached with the San Joaquin County district attorney, Huckaby will be sentenced June 12 to a prison term of life without the possibility of parole for the killing and kidnapping.

Cantu's remains were found in a suitcase that farm workers pulled from an irrigation pond 10 days after she disappeared March 27, 2009. Her slaying shocked and angered her home town of Tracy, about 60 miles east of San Francisco.

Huckaby lived with her grandfather, the pastor of the Clover Road Baptist Church, five doors down from Sandra's family at the Orchard Estates Mobile Home Park in Tracy. Her daughter was Sandra's playmate.

Police believe she was killed long after she was last seen on surveillance footage, skipping down a street in the mobile home park.

-- Shelby Grad

Photo: Fox 40 News Sacramento