Police On Desperate Search For Missing 8-Year-Old Girl

Repost from:

www.KTVU.com – Original Story Link

Posted: 4:42 pm PDT March 28, 2009Updated: 6:36 pm PDT March 28, 2009

TRACY, Calif. — Police are looking for a missing 8-year-old girl in the largest missing person search Tracy has seen in at least a decade.

The FBI has also been involved in the search which started at 8:15 p.m. Friday night, four hours after the little girl was last seen in the mobile home park where she lives.

Sandra Cantu, a second grader from Jacobsen Elementary, was last seen around 4 p.m. Friday afternoon after leaving her neighbor’s house in the Orchard Estates Mobile Home Park.

“We saw her yesterday at our house,” said neighbor Nahum Diaz. “She was playing with my 5-year-old sister. Then she left, she told her she had to go do her homework, and I didn’t see her anymore.”

Saturday, family and more than 50 volunteers walked door to door handing out fliers with the girl’s picture while police searched nearby schools and parks. FBI agents also began stopping every car entering or leaving the complex and searching trunks. Police are concerned about the neighborhood’s proximity to Interstate 580. It’s less than half a mile from the freeway entrance.

“It’s just a long time for an 8-year-old to be gone,” said Tracy Police Sgt. Tony Sheneman. “We’re very concerned about that.

Sandra’s cousin says the little girl lived with her mother and grandparents and that the father has never been in the child’s life and may be living in Mexico.

“She’s got a fiery personality,” said her cousin, Janet Anderson. “She is very — and this is what scares me — she’s very friendly. She just loves everybody and is very trusting.”

Candice Vega says just two weeks ago she warned her little cousin about being safe.

“I told her, ‘Gosh, you’re so pretty and cute and little’. I said, ‘you know you’re not supposed to talk to strangers, right?’ She said ‘yeah’. I said, ‘because there’s a lot of bad people who like to take pretty, little girls like you’. She said, ‘Do you know anyone who’s been kidnapped?’ I said, ‘No, but I see it on TV all the time’."

She describes Sandra as a happy girl who was close with her family and wasnt the type to run off.

The family told KTVU about an incident at the mobile home park pool two years ago, when a middle aged male resident came up to the then 6-year-old and kissed her on the mouth.

Police say they’ve searched several homes in the mobile home park and have no persons of interest and no evidence of an abduction.

“She’s an awesome sister,” said her sister Simone Chavez. “She’s always happy. She’s always doing carwheels. And I want her to come back home, you know?”

Sandra Cantu has light brown hair, brown eyes, is 4 feet tall and weighs 45 lbs. She was last seen wearing a Hello Kitty t-shirt, a striped dress and black leggings.

Anyone with information is asked to call the National Center For Missing And Exploited Children at 1-800-the-lost or Tracy police at 209-831-4550.

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