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Where is 8-Year-Old Sandra Cantu?

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She has been missing since Friday.

The mother of an 8-year-old girl who is missing from her Northern California home said she believes her child was abducted.

"I think she was taken, because she would not leave the mobile home park without me -- without calling me," an emotional Maria Chavez told TODAY's Meredith Vieira.

Chavez's daughter, Sandra Cantu, came home after school around 3 on Friday afternoon. She went to a friend's house to play for about an hour before saying she was going back home. She hasn't been seen since.

Sandra was described as a happy and outgoing girl with light brown hair and brown eyes. She is 4 feet tall and weighs 45 pounds. She was last seen wearing a Hello Kitty T-shirt, striped dress and black leggings.

"It is our belief that she is alive and unharmed," said Sgt. Tony Sheneman of the Tracy, Calif., police, who are coordinating a search for the girl with the FBI. More than 200 volunteers combed the trailer park and surrounding area over the weekend, and the search for the girl is ongoing.

What do you think happened to Sandra Cantu?



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19 comments so far | Post a comment now
anony  March 31, 2009, 5:07 PM

I pray for her safe return.

Megan March 31, 2009, 5:24 PM

My prayers are with her and her family…I hope she comes home safe and sound. Too much of this going around and I don’t want to hear another tragic story.

N March 31, 2009, 6:44 PM

this is what happens when stupid parents let kids wander around neighborhoods alone.

Anonymous April 1, 2009, 12:33 PM

Why call the parents stupid for letting their kids play in their naighborhood?? You cant lock the child up and never let them go play at a friends house! And it is not their fault that there are sicko’s out there!

Bee B April 1, 2009, 7:02 PM

Sandra Cantu’s father is down in southern California, is he involved in this?

necole April 2, 2009, 1:39 AM

Well i had a neighbor with a young daughter and we lived in a huge complex and she just let this 8 year old girl wander and do what ever. She’d come to my house to play with my kids then just leave after dark to go back to her apartment. But I NEVER let her do that! The minute she arrived to my house I called her mom and let her know she was at my house then when it was time for her to leave we’d all walk her on home. The only thing is she would go to other peoples houses in the complex and the ywould not walk her home and since there were cars in and out of the complex Ijust did not ever trust that not when it comes to girls. She was hispanic as well and I think culturally they don’t believe in cooping kids up in the house…its really a different world these days.

Erica April 2, 2009, 3:12 PM

@necole: “She was hispanic as well and I think culturally they don’t believe in cooping kids up in the house…”

I am Hispanic and I would NEVER allow my daughter to go alone to my best friend’s apartment (which is literally across the hall from me - let alone go to a friend’s house in a complex by herself). I’m not going to judge that poor woman, because I cannot even begin to imagine the pain that she’s in; however, everyone raises their children differently. I don’t believe that the culture of the family had anything to do with what happened here; I just think that sometimes people who think of their neighborhoods as being safe are lulled into forgetting how dangerous the world really is.

deanna April 3, 2009, 8:59 PM

I can`t beleve the parants lets her dauter go anywhere.Even when sh went over to that old mans house and he kissd her.But I think the old man was stupid and he probely liked it.And I don`t even know if the mom new if she went over there.And leeting her have long errings and hilited hair.

leah April 5, 2009, 7:44 PM

Why don’t you sick judgemental rejects of society lay off these parents- the child is gone isn’t that enough.

gialina April 7, 2009, 1:00 AM

man i cant believe that someone would ever do something to a child.i mean no heart at all.how would they feel if someone else take something thats dear to your heart……thats a damn shame about these fools that be that cruel

Anna April 7, 2009, 11:31 AM

I am so sorry for what this child has been through.No one has the right to hurt or take anyone.But I heard there were at least 80 pedophiles near them and the parents or parent still allowed her to wander around the neighborhood alone?That is child neglect!It is not something that I enjoy saying at all. But why did they allow an eight year old child to roam the streets alone? We see what happens on the news when child go out to play without adult supervision,we even have to be cautious in our own homes.We must always take measurements to protect our families at all times.There were 80 predators who lived near them,this could of been avoided!I feel more sorry for the child then I do for the parents.I’m so sorry for that little girl may the Creator have her in the most holy place(paradise).I wonder if the predators have signs in front of their homes like they should! and I wonder if the people were mailed information about these predators in their neighborhood. These predators have No right to live among us and shop in stores where children are the government needs to have them shop in a government food and clothing store for pedophiles only I’m serious,they don’t belong living among us they will only hurt again if given a chance to.The C.I.A. should get rid of them secretly.In the mean time I only hope that parents take better measurements in protecting their families.Don’t let this happen to your kids parents.Be over protective and aware of what’s around you always every where at all times.Protect your loved ones.

Anonymous April 7, 2009, 3:34 PM

hi im so scared when im hear that sandra cantu is died she is too young for taht i wish who’s ver do taht to her is be in jail it doesnt have any scare too god oh god . i wish sandra cantu is not happy. i wish she i live right now

Meetra April 7, 2009, 8:36 PM

Deanna, you cannot even spell, so why do you think you have any useful insight into anything? You have no clue as to what you are talking about.

Kids are kids, they should be able to express themselves anyway they please (within reason) and not have someone take them and kill them. The fact of the matter is that kids should be allowed to be outside and enjoy their youth; the reality of it is that they simply cannot because there are sick people everywhere. It is a sad thing but so true; children must be protected and those who harm them; executed.

Bleh April 14, 2009, 5:59 PM

“all the world are suspects”;
Bee B I hate to break it to you but a woman did it,not the dad.Get with the program.WAKE UP PEOPLE! There are some sick women outthere,just as sinister as any black/hispanic/”stupid” white male.I mean Casey,Andrae Yates,the odd cases where women rip up another’s uterus to steal the baby…lets start putting these sick women in REAL jails, not in mommy daycares.

ha ha ha  April 15, 2009, 1:34 PM

It is normal for a 8 year old to play at thier friends house. and why not trust a sunday school teacher. If you can trust them you can not trust anyone.It is horrible that the whole world had to learn this lesson this way

sandra  April 16, 2009, 9:33 PM

In looking at sandra she seemed mighty adult for her age. I believe that she was caught experimenting sexually with her 5 year old little playmate and got caught or the girl told her mother. The mother called herself teaching sandra a lesson by raping her with a foreign object, molesting her and subsequently killing her. Nothing fits but we know she was sexually molested by a woman. I believe Sandra was molesting huckabys little primadonna only child and became outraged.

Mina Elizabeth April 21, 2009, 7:34 PM

-sandra…your idea is sick and so screwed up. You can’t tell if she was adult or not. Screw off…what seven year old knows how to molest a child…and, not to be rude, but you have no place to be stating this for fact. Lay off…she was a little girl whose life was taken too soon and you have the nerve to say it may have been her fault. Find something else to do with your time and stop accusing children of something so absurd…

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