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Sandra Cantu
April 7, 2009
10:58 am
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[b]Body of 8-Year-Old Sandra Cantu Found in Suitcase[/b]
[i]Second-Grader Had Been Missing for 10 Days, Lived in a California Mobile Home Park
By SARAH NETTER |ABC NEWS
April 7, 2009[/i]

Authorities roped off a mobile home park where an 8-year-old northern California girl was last seen, searching for clues to her death after her body was found a few miles away inside a suitcase left in an irrigation pond.

It brought a tragic end to a search that drew hundreds of volunteers to the small town of Tracy. How and why she died is still not clear, police say. An autopsy will be performed today to determine the cause of death.

"Our heartfelt sympathies go to Sandra's family and friends," Tracy Police Chief Janet Thiessen told reporters according to The Associated Press. "We will determine the person or persons responsible for this reprehensible act and we will bring them to justice."

Thiessen said Sandra was wearing the same clothes that she had on when she was last seen March 27 -- a pink Hello Kitty T-shirt and black leggings.

The body was found a few miles from her trailer park home, which is still roped off by police tape, the AP reported.

More than 100 mourners, many holding candles, gathered outside the mobile home park Monday night after the body was found

"I am still in shock," Brandy Robles, 27, who held her 2-year-old son, told the AP.

The outgoing second-grader went to visit a friend Friday and never made it home.

The family and police launched a massive search in the area in and around the Orchard Estates Mobile Home Park. Police reviewed surveillance footage and reexamined a disturbing encounter that Sandra had with an older man nearly two years ago.

Link: http://abcnews.go.com/US/story?id=7275611&page=1

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