Missing girl Sandra Cantu found dead

Sandra Cantu, 8, disappeared on March 27. Her body was found at a dairy-farm pond near her Calilfornia home.
Authorities found the body of 8-year-old Sandra Cantu in a suitcase in a dairy-farm pond near her California home on Monday.

The girl had been missing since March 27 from her home in Tracy, California. Police did not identify a suspect. News of the girl’s death devastated her family, Tracy police spokesman Tony Sheneman said. “They have just experienced the unimaginable,” Sheneman said. The day Sandra was last seen, she came home from school, kissed her mother and left to play with a friend who lives a couple of homes away. A short time later, she left that home to go to another friend’s home, according to a spokeswoman for her family. The child was last seen by her family wearing a pink Hello Kitty T-shirt and black leggings. Authorities identified her body by the clothes she was wearing, Sheneman said. Earlier in the investigation, police released surveillance video that showed the child in the mobile home park where she lives — skipping and happily swinging her arms on the day she disappeared. They had hoped to get tips with the eight-second video.

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On Monday, they got a tip about the dairy farm. Workers on the farm were getting water from a retention pond when the black suitcase came to the surface of the water, police said. “It is very difficult for everybody involved. We were optimistic that we would find Sandra alive,” Sheneman said.