Police: Child found in submerged luggage may have been raped

Melissa Huckaby faces charges of kidnapping and murder in the death of 8-year-old Sandra Cantu.
A Sunday school teacher accused of killing a Tracy, California girl may also have raped the 8-year-old, authorities say.

Melissa Huckaby, expected to be arraigned Tuesday at 4 p.m. ET in the death of Sandra Cantu, will face additional charges, including rape, police told CNN. “When she was booked, she was booked on charges of kidnapping and murder,” Tracy Police Sgt. Tony Sheneman said on “Larry King Live” on Monday night. “And we’re informed by the district attorney that she’ll be charged with abduction, murder, rape with a foreign object and lewd and lascivious acts with a child.” Sandra’s body was found April 6, stuffed into a suitcase and submerged in a pond at a dairy farm. Huckaby, also of Tracy, California, was arrested on April 10 after questioning by police. Sandra was last seen alive March 27 in the mobile home park where she lived with her family — the same mobile home park where Huckaby lives with her own 5-year-old daughter. The two children were close friends and played together frequently, police said.

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Huckaby is the granddaughter of Clifford Lane Lawless, pastor of Clover Road Baptist Church near the mobile home park, and she taught Sunday school at the church, police have said. The church was searched as part of the investigation into Sandra’s disappearance and death. Before her arrest, Huckaby acknowledged to a newspaper reporter that she owned the suitcase that contained Sandra’s body. But Huckaby said the suitcase had been stolen.