Sandra Cantu's Family Breaks Silence

April 9, 2009 12:40:36 AM PDT
Sandra Cantu's family is overcome with both grief and anger. The community is also living in fear, knowing a killer is among them. But the question is who? Who could have done this to that little girl? As the investigation intensifies, so does the fear.                 |   Watch Videos Above for Extended Coverage   |

On Tuesday there was a flurry of police activity Tracy especially focused around the search of a church down the street from the mobile home park. Investigators insist they are making progress in finding Sandra Cantu's killer.

"There's a monster out there. He's got to be apprehended. He's got to be put away," said Jose Chavez, Sandra's grandfather.

The grieving family of 8-year-old Sandra spoke publicly for the first time since the little girl's body was found inside a suitcase Monday morning.

"It is so despicable to kill this little girl. I mean that's crazy. It's insane," said Chavez.

"It's ridiculous. It's absurd and it's gross. It's grotesque. I want him. I want him bad," said Joe Chavez, Sandra's Uncle.

While the family makes funeral plans for Sandra, police say they've now served more than 15 warrants and interviewed hundreds of people in their search for the second-grader's killer.

"We feel a great deal of pressure. We want to find who is responsible for this, but we don't want to rush to judgment. We want to identify the people who, or the person who is responsible for this, and develop a strong enough case that they will be brought to justice," said Tracy Police Sgt. Tony Sheneman.

Police say the coroner has yet to release the results of an autopsy started Tuesday on Sandra's body. Tuesday, an FBI evidence team combed through the Clover Road Baptist Church. It is just down the street from the Orchard Estates Mobile Home Park where Sandra lived. Investigators won't say if anything was found.

In the meantime, people continue to contribute to the growing memorial outside the mobile home park. Sandra's family told reporters, the outpouring of support is much-appreciated.

"It's comforting, but it's also a testament to the heart that Sandra had and how many people she's touched," said Angie Chavez, Sandra's cousin.

At one point, Sandra's cousin, Candice Vega, took pictures of the memorial for the family.

"Are they heartened by the effort to find whoever did this?" asked ABC30's Laura Anthony.

"They better find who did this. They don't have a choice," said Vega.

The memorial stretches 20 to 30 yards. Sandra's family can only make preliminary arrangements for a funeral or memorial service. The family says when they do have a memorial, they will have both a private and public one.

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