Via LA Times:
A Sunday school teacher was arrested on suspicion of kidnapping and killing her daughter’s 8-year-old playmate, Sandra Cantu of Tracy, Calif., after admitting to police that she owned the suitcase in which Sandra’s body was found, authorities said Saturday.
Melissa Chantel Huckaby, 28, the granddaughter of a pastor, was taken into custody late Friday night, about five hours after she drove herself to a police station for questioning, said Sgt. Tony Sheneman of the Tracy Police Department.
Sandra’s mother, Maria Chavez, 41, was grief-stricken and in shock, said Angie Chavez, Sandra’s aunt.
“How could another mother do this to another child?” she said Maria Chavez had asked her.
A break in the investigation into Sandra’s death came after Huckaby gave an interview Friday to the Tracy Press, telling the newspaper that she had owned a large, black, rolling suitcase that she said was stolen March 27, the same day Sandra disappeared.
Huckaby’s description of her suitcase resembled the one that contained Sandra’s body, the newspaper reported.
Last Monday, farmworkers discovered the suitcase at a dairy farm irrigation pond about 2 1/2 miles north of the girl’s home. Inside, investigators found the dead child dressed in the same clothes she was last seen wearing — a pink “Hello Kitty” T-shirt, black leggings and “Hannah Montana” flip-flops.