Since Sandra Cantu disappeared from the Orchard Estates Mobile Home Park in northern California on March 27th, police have been working around the clock to find out how she was skipping happily down the street one second, and gone without a trace the next.
Unfortunately, that quest came to a grizzly end on Monday when the remains of the adorable 8-year-old were found inside a suitcase that had been thrown into a pond just a few short miles from the trailer park where she lived and was last seen. Members of the community have set up an impromptu memorial for the little girl at the gates of the park, which has been shut off to media and the public.
Nicole Lee, 18-years-old and a former Orchard Estates resident, told the Mercury News that she was Sandra's babysitter until the little girl turned 7. The second-grader loved to play, was very smart and loved cookies, Lee said.
"She knew not to come out of here and not to talk to strangers," Lee noted, stressing the fact that Sandra's family always required the little girl to check in with them and be home at certain times.
The murder has shocked the small, tight-knit community. In the video below, officers confirm that they have found Cantu's body and that they will be performing an autopsy to determine the cause of death: