The Abduction of Sandra Cantu


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Sandra Renee Cantu vanished from her Tracy, California, mobile home park in March of 2009, just weeks after her 8th birthday. It was a Friday afternoon. Sandra left home to play at a friend’s house. She was expected home for dinner, but her mother called the police and reported her missing at 7:53 p.m. Police did not find Sandra that day, but they did locate surveillance camera footage showing the little girl skipping happily toward her home before something caught her eye and she walked off screen.

Join us at the quiet end for The Abduction of Sandra Cantu. The FBI became involved in the search for Sandra early on. Their Behavioral Analysis Unit’s profile for Sandra’s abductor pointed to an adult male between 25 and 45 years old, who knew Sandra, lived in the trailer park, and had a history with sexual assault or child pornography. But the profile was based on statistics alone. With no crime scene, investigators had to rely on Sandra’s family and neighbors for clues. And there was one neighbor who caught their attention, a neighbor who did not fit the profile, but who would soon become the primary suspect in Sandra’s disappearance.

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Sandra’s Missing Poster


“Inside Story: Clues to Why Melissa Huckaby Murdered an 8-year-old Girl,” People Magazine, by Howard Brewer, 6/27/2010. Ret. 6/12/2022.

KTLA News Archives 2009-2010

Searching for Sandra by Stacy Dittrich

“Sunday School Teacher Charged with Kidnapping, Murder” Los Angeles Times, by Vives, Ruben, & Rong-Gong II. Ret. 6/5/2022

“Woman, 28, Jailed in Sandra Cantu Slaying,” San Francisco Chronicle, by Kevin Fagan. Ret. 6/8/2022.

“Woman Accused of Raping, Killing Sandra Cantu May Have Drugged Other Girl and a Man,”, 5/22/2009. Ret. 6/8/2022.

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