STOCKTON, Calif. (AP) - The neighbor of an 8-year-old Northern California girl whose body was found in an irrigation pond has made
her first appearance in court to face a murder charge.
Twenty-eight-year-old Melissa Huckaby was led into a San Joaquin County courtroom in a red jumpsuit and shackles for the Tuesday afternoon arraignment. She cried as a judge read the charge: one count of murder with the special circumstances of rape with a foreign object, lewd or lascivious conduct with a child under 14 and murder in the course of a kidnapping.
She did not enter a plea.
Authorities have not said how or where Sandra Cantu was killed, nor discussed a possible motive.
The local Sunday school teacher was arrested Friday, four days after the little girl's body was found stuffed in Huckaby's suitcase in the pond.