Sandra Cantu Case: Mom of Drugged Child- “CPS Did Nothing to Huckaby”

Tracy, CA– As reported this morning, the Mother of the first known alleged victim of Melissa Huckaby, a 7 year old girl from the Orchard Estates Mobile Home Park spoke out against Huckaby in an interview with CBS13.

In a shocking development, the child’s mother, “Laura”, said not only did Police NOT investigate allegations that Huckaby NEVER had permisission to take the little girl anywhere, but Child Protective Services actually took custody of her daughter the evening she was in the Hospital to investigate her for possibly drugging her own child.  

“Laura” is adamant that Melissa Huckaby did not have permission to take her daughter anywhere, from anyone, and stated she called 911 when she returned home from work and could not locate her. She said it was almost 5 hours by the time Huckaby brought her back.

“CPS took her from me that night because they thought I has something to do with it,” Laura said. “She didn’t have permission,” Laura said. “Nobody gave her permission to take my baby.”

“I’m just kind of disappointed in them, that they didn’t look into Melissa more than they did.”

When asked her reaction when Huckaby was arrested, “Laura” was visibly shaken.

“I was shocked, but I kept telling them to look into Melissa Huckaby a little bit more,” Laura said. She says she believes if authorities investigated Huckaby more closely, Sandra might still be alive.”


Laura Polk, 41, admits to a checkered past and prior drug use. She had a child taken from her and put into foster care in 1994 and feels this may have prejudiced CPS against her.

Det Nate Cogburn, the Detective assigned to the case at the time, told Polk he thought she was on crank at the time of the 911 call. She granted permission for him to search her home and nothing was found.

This past Friday, April 17, her daughter was re-interviewed by detectives and re-examined for signs of Sexual Abuse; none were found. 

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  1. Amber says:

    So it does seem to be that the CPS lady “stepping down” did have something to do with this case. Sadly at this point I’m not surprised or shocked. =(

    If the Sacramento Health and Human Services oversees the San Joaquin CPS, that is correct. DO any locals know?

  2. introspect says:

    I think any cop who responds to a call in a trailer park does so with a certain bias relating to the stigma attached to these places and the people who live there (fair or unfair, its real). It would appear this bias may have colored the responding officers handeling of the call. The mother called the police first to report her child missing, and then later at the hospital when her child’s drugged state was confirmed. In another setting would police have not investigated these obvious crimes?

    Morover, did this same bias color TPD intial handeling of the Cantu case? No Amber Alert, no scent dogs, calling it a missing person case instead of an abduction, etc.

  3. asldka says:

    On Tracy Press they reported that the little girl said she was driven to 3 parks with Huckaby, and they stopped at Wendy’s where Huckaby gave her water that “tasted like medicine” The girl doesn’t remember anything after that point.

  4. Amber says:

    Ok I googled for each and they seem to be seperate. Sorry I was jumping the gun on that one. Just seemed to be tied, especially after the “Kyle” story…which was also in Tracy, but CPS from Sacramento…(only because he lived there before being kept in Tracy).

  5. introspect says:

    Bye the way, insofar as evidence of similiar crimes would be admissable in MH’s trial, it seems quite likely Ms Polk will be a material witness in the Cantu Case; does she not understand the meaning of the Gag order….
    Nope, she would have had to be named in it, and she was not, but I predict she will.

  6. deena says:

    “Anterograde amnesia is a well-known side effect of benzodiazepines” which means that you forget everything that happens right after it is taken.

    There are drugs that can reverse the affects but those drugs don’t last as long as the benzodiazepines. Just a thought, perhaps her daughter was given the medication at Wendy’s, things occured and MH gave the girl the reversal drug and then a while later it’s affect wore off and then the girl was sedated again.

    I can see that the time lapse may have made it difficult for police to prove it was Melissa, but for them to wait until 2 AM to even look into her is outrageous.

    Just because they are no physical signs of sexual abuse now, does not mean that nothing occured, including photographing.

  7. introspect says:

    B-thanks for the correction.

    The point here is that MH is atleast implicated in a crime with striking similarities to the crimes she stands accused of against Sandra Cantu. It would appear quite obvious that MH was preying on another young girl who lived in the trailer park and played with her own daughter; just like her current victim did. This January 17th crime will be admissable in MH’s murder trial, and will probably provide the basis for seperate charges against MH in the end.

    Ms. Polk’s credibility issues notwithstanding, the similarities to the Cantu murder are too much to ignore; that alone makes me believe Ms. Polks version over MH’s side of the story.

  8. Jaelin says:

    Was anyone aware that Maria Chavez was on Dr. Phil this afternoon and spoke about MH? I happened to catch a clip of it on the local news station. I really would have liked to have seen it. Apparently, shortly after the judge ruled on the gag order.

  9. Scoop says:

    So is the autopsy report included in the gag order?


    Where are you?


    yes’m it is

  10. Scoop says:

    I can relate… You live in a small town and everyone knows your business or think they do… They don’t see people change. How desperate she must have felt to have gone to the hospital to see if her daughter was going to be okay… to find herself in protective custody.

    How do you explain that one to your children?

    As far as MH, I still don’t think she acted alone.

  11. mamacrazy30 says:

    ya know what…Ms’ POLK could be my mother-in-law REALLY. i’m located in AR and have no qualms about it. ‘CAUSE REALLY, WHEN YOU DRUG YOUR OWN CHILD YOU TAKE THEM TO THE ER? really…ya’ll have got to start looking above the pretty paper ( a’ la’ Anthony) and live in this really real world. maybe Laura WAS a meth user. AND MAYBE MELISSA HUCKABY kidnapped and drugged her child. most are quick to make judgment but look at it his way:
    MH: kidnapped child
    drugged child
    molested child??? {i have no idea)
    returned child very stoned.

    LP: realized her child had drugs in her system
    contacted the police
    contacted the hospital
    AND COULD BE a meth user…maybe, she might look like one, AND she lives in a trailer park……

    come on PEOPLE..LIFE IS NOT TV…..

  12. Scoop says:

    … and I agree with Deena.

    You don’t just wake up one day and say, ‘I’m going to go out and rape and kill a little girl’ without something leading up to it. I think she may have done this many times before and there are men involved that either photograph or film… coaching. But, then again, there’s always that one in ten million women who are child predators. The autopsy will tell the story.

    Someone asked why we always jump to conclusions when it comes to priests, pastors and elders of churches… Answer: They make up a large % of the serial offenders.

  13. JMN says:

    I think the reason that they added the rape charges in Sandra’s case was because they found something indicating an assault on the video equipment from the church. That would explain the delay in charges. Perhaps there is video of this other victim. Or perhaps I’m wrong. But if there is video it would explain why there is no sense in performing another autopsy from a medical standpoint. These poor little girls.

    JMN, no chance of that. They added the rape charges because the autopsy yielded physical evidence that she was raped with a foreign object. I do think your right there is video of them leaving the park or other.

  14. cheryl says:

    I think there’s a big probability that she did act alone. Her actions are typical sexual predator characteristics-down to picking a victim from a family who wouldn’t care, WOULDN’T BE BELIEVED, or who would be skittish because of their own brushes with the law. And in the end, the children suffer & the predator remains free.

  15. mamacrazy30 says:

    time to wake up people….. life is NOT PRETTY. get over yourselves…really.. most crime victims are NOT camera ready…

  16. just opinion says:

    What happened to the mom’s car? Did the police take it?

    Melissa having the child for those hours is obviously warranted for suspicion. The mother did call and report her missing and I think I read that Melissa’s grandmother Connie called her and Melissa told the reporter that the child was “missing”. I think the report says that the report was like 5:17 or something and Melissa brought her back around 5:38 after the grandmother called her.

    However, the mother says the police were at her house until after dinner and the child was ok. No signs of drugging.

    Is it possible that Melissa may have JUST given the med to the girl right before Melissa’s grandmother called and it took a while for it to take effect?

    Something with the time frame IS NOT RIGHT HERE and I think most of you will agree.

    Possibly drugged late and she didn’t have time to do what she was intending to do????

    Now if they had cameras showing Melissa leaving with Sandra the very first day they would have been all over her. She had to have had her hid in the vehicle or told her to meet her down the road.

    Regarding video cameras at the church, isn’t that speculation?

    Perhaps they were looking on the roof JUST IN CASE???

  17. JMN says:

    I stand corrected, thank you blink. So i still am wondering about the recording equipment at the church???

    I know it was confiscated, but that’s all JMN.

  18. Prevost1580 says:

    We the people need to hold our elected officials responsible. Thos BS has got to end. That goes for the useless media who turns the Mellisa Huckabees out there into overnight celebrities. I am really sick & tired of this crap-

    I also wish that parents out there would watch their kids. I see & hear about so many scenarios where the parent is clueless about where the child is or WHO they are hanging out with. Put down the cell phones or whatever & watch your kids.

  19. kelli says:

    i would have filed a complaint and pressed charges, then got me a lawyer

    my hubby would have got his gun


  20. kelli says:

    and had her locked up for kidnapping

  21. Scoop says:


    I would have shot her myself.



    Who are these people you’re talking to? Everybody knows that certain police officers can be judgmental and/or too lazy to even make a report. And… in some cases, they should be held responsible for their actions. If LE had of listened to this woman in the first place, Sandra might still be alive.

    One thing to think about, in the interim… human trafficking, illegal production of child pornography and drugs go together. MH was on a down-hill slide and stooped WAY too low. I have a feeling someone was drugging her, as well. Question is: Who?

  22. dddeerma says:

    Since when do police get to ignore crimes against children because they don’t like the mother? Since when do police ignore crime because the mother is not rich? Tracy police need to clean house. Sandra is dead because someone was too lazy to do the job. If those directly involved with the lack of investigation in the first abduction can not voluntarily resign they should be fired. There should have been an extensive investigation and MH should have been taken into custody for the safety of other children. Yet another Get out of Jail free card issued by the folks who refused to investigate and then claimed there was no evidence. LE did very poorly in Tracy and their actions in a very direct way lead to Sandra’s death.

  23. Brenda in Virginia says:

    introspect, I didn’t realize CPS had been involved early on until today. Must have missed it. In my experience, they are who determine whether anything occurred against the child that would justify them being taken from the parents. same with suicide attempts. Mental health comes in and decides what needs to be done. In the case of this child, apparently they didn’t take her, so the police let it go. Which brings me to this point….

    I agree bias can be there, but remember LE also knows who the good folks are in any trailer court just like the good and bad in subdivisions or city blocks. No doubt they viewed the pastor and his wife as goodly people and MH was living with them. Sadly, mom in 1st incident had been in trouble and we cannot forget that at this point, local LE didn’t know about all of MH’s weird behavior and she is living with a local pastor…so that is something MH obviously knew would give her an edge so to speak.

    I agree with the poster who said no sign of sex abuse doesn’t mean nothing happened. True. That gave me the idea what MH did to Sandra was preplanned, and maybe what she did in Jan was a “dry run” for what she planned to do later?? She maybe picked this girl due to the reputation of the mother knowing she’d be believed over her…but didn’t consider fact she’d be barred from getting to this girl again…so unfortunately the opportunity arose to nab Sandra.

    Could that be what happened in January???

  24. sweetpea says:

    Let’s see here, since noboby seems to want to acknowledge the big elephant in the room I might as well threw it out there.

    We have 2 seperate crimes against 7 year old girls. MEXICAN GIRLS and a white, sunday school teacher, granddaughter of pastor. UMM?

    Police talk mother out of pressing charges on the January child and
    never send out an Amber Alert on Sandra.

    Im sorry, it seems that people always want to discard the race card because it is politically incorrect these days. BUT COME ON!

  25. Andre says:

    Blink. This is a great website. I think you do a great job of researching and bringing us the facts on a wide variety of stories. I haven’t followed much of the other cases but the Cantu case just hits home. If there is anything amusing to take out of this case, and I’m not saying that anything about a precious young girl being killed is amusing, it’s the comments I read. If you have kids, hug them, take them out to the park today since the heat has subsided. Step away from the keyboard for a few minutes. Get a hobby. Y’all are just a bunch of armchair detectives. How many of you actually have LE experience? Anyone go to law school? Our justice system doesn’t always work flawlessly. But right now it’s all we have. Trust it. Last week everyone was commenting on what a great job the TPD did in this case. Now its fire them all from the mayor on down. Get real people. The police and the DA know exactly what happened and how to proceed with this case. I’m sure of that. The truth will come out someday. In the meantime we should all stop pointing fingers and take some more accountability for our own kids. Most of us grew up in a different world. We could go out and play at night and the only rule was get home when the street lights come on. Those days are gone.

  26. Callit says:

    Of course race, gender, and class are major, sometimes dominant factors in LE. Sometimes it’s overt, most of the times it isn’t. Usually it’s after the fact when you really understand how race/gender/class plays into a crime or prosecution. Many people of color know what to expect from cases that involve one or more of these factors, and it ain’t justice, and that’s tragic. The Cantus will hopefully sue the TPD and expose how they NEVER would have responded this way in an affluent neighborhood, because that’s all you can really do.

    Don’t forget, the perps know know of these factors too.

  27. dddeerma says:

    Andre: when the human institutions we all have to live with, do not function properly, we need to work on fixing them. LE in Tracy came under scrutiny early on, in this case, for several reasons. What happened to Sandra Cantu cannot be changed, but both the individual police department and maybe the whole system itself can and should be improved. You seem to want to hide your head in the sand. Your beloved child can be abducted in less time than it takes to say the word: the MHs of this world must be dealt with as soon as they show up on our radar. This is a valid question: if LE had taken MH seriously on the first kidnapping, would Sandra be alive today? If there is a racial component here, so much worse for the lack of response to a drugging and a kidnapping.

  28. Tams says:

    Re: Post #22 from Scoop:

    “Everybody knows that certain police officers can be judgmental and/or too lazy to even make a report. And… in some cases, they should be held responsible for their actions”.
    . . . In ALL CASES, LE should be held responsible for their actions!

    Re: Post #25 from sweetpea:
    Where have you gotten the information that the child drugged in January is of Mexican descent? The mother does not appear to be . . .

  29. introspect says:

    The real scary thing about this whole affair is the fact that MH does not fit any known profiles for this type of act. It would not suprise anyone to learn that MH was abused in her past. But whatever was brewing inside MH, took along time to come out. At 28, all of a sudden she began to act out her phychosis; a ticking time bomb if you will. So how do you see these type of person coming? You cannot. So you have to watch your kids like a hawk and act in an almost paranoid fashion to protect them from these hidden bear traps in todays world.

  30. coolio says:

    sweetpea, I don’t think anyone has commented on race, b/c in reality it probably wasn’t a factor. Someone can correct me if I’m wrong but my experience is racism with regard to Hispanics and Caucasians just really isn’t that prevalent in California. Due to sheer numbers and length of time co-existing.

    I do agree tho treatment of Jan incident had everything to do with class and gender. They were trailer park and agree with Brenda, even within that community, they took into consideration MH’s family was involved with the church.

    Also if January child had been with a man and all that went down, hell yes, the investigation probably would have been different.

    They didn’t issue an Amber Alert b/c what we know right now is Sandra’s case did not fit the criteria necessary for an alert. They must have some information a non-custodial person took child before alert is issued.

    System is designed so public can help look for particular person or vehicle. LE didn’t want it applied every time a child was reported “missing” as many missing kids are runaways or just staying out later than expected. Many come home. Public would start to ignore them if they were essentially unnecessary “children who cried wolf” alerts.

    A missing child, by itself, is not enough for Amber Alert.

    And yes Andre, many people here have LE experience and have gone to law school.

  31. Bob says:

    Blink: Has there been any developments or info on Lane Lawless and the janitor’s (at the church) involvement in this case? At the beginning, they were shown and nothing but silence since then……….

  32. sweetpea says:

    I am wondering who made the determination that Sandra’s case did not meet the criteria for a Amber Alert?

    I just looked up Amber Alert and under Guidelines it states;

    Amber plans require LE to confirm an abduction prior to issuing an alert. This is essential when determining the level of risk to the child. Clearly, stranger abductions are the most dangerous for children and thus are primary to the mission of an Amber Alert. To allow activation in the absence of significant information that an abduction occurred could lead to the abuse of the system and ultimately weaken its effectiveness.


    Sandra was missing for how many days before her poor little body was discovered? No disrespect, but I am sure you will agree that it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to determine that the “Best Judgement” would have been to make the call.

    With the information we now possess, maybe it wouldn’t have mattered.
    But up to the point that the body was found and MH was arrested it mattered greatly.

  33. Brenda in Virginia says:

    Sweat pea…with all due respect, by the time anyone realized Sandra was missing, LE believes she was already dead…so Amber Alert wouldn’t have helped anything. the National attention this story received is thousands of times more coverage than any local or state-wide Amber alert by getting her face out there.

    Also, you answered you own question (while typing in caps) as so why the alert couldn’t be issued…


    EXACTLY! LE had no evidence of anything other than the fact the child was gone and not of her own will, so they made the correct judgement call as there was no adult or vehicle description for anyone to look for! How would an Amber alert have helped find Sandra’s body? It wouldn’t have. It would have caused hundreds of more phone calls and waste of resources (in hind sight…yes it would have)…so let’s stop 2nd guessing LE and play armchair detective which is MUCH more fun :>)

    Also, there has to be a reason other than speculation LE feels Sandra was killed at the church. My guess is the dogs hit on the scent of death….but we won’t know until a while from now.

    Respectfully Brenda, I am siding with sweetpea on this one. Your opinion is valid, but it is in restrospect and we do not know for CERTAIN when she was killed, although I do believe you and LE are correct.
    The issue for me is that it sets a precedent of procedure and we have 2 incidents, both involving missing children that were NOT taken seriously, imo. You may recall Sgt. Sheneman saying early on, they expected to bring Sandra home alive and well to her family. I can tell you for a fact he feels terrible for saying that and won’t ever say it again with a missing “anyone”. To his credit, he has never had a case like this, and he erred and learned, as we all do at at times. Lastly, had their been an Amber Alert, how do we know Huckaby might not have been stopped in her car B E F O R E she dumped Sunny Sandra into the Dairy toilet. I am done trying to examine the psychy of a psycho, I want her, and the scumbag freaks associated with whatever else is involved found and brought to justice. rant over for now.

  34. sweetpea says:

    Brenda in Virginia,
    I also disagree, firstly for the same reasons as stated by B, Secondly, lets not forget what the goal of the Amber Alert is based upon and I quote; ” To instantly galvanize the entire community to assist in the search and safe recovery of the child”. The LE had a discription of Sandra and if someone had had the opportunity to see that beautiful little girl, I am sure they would have recognized her. I truly believe it was a bad call, whether it would have done any good at this point is beside the point. I am sure that if you check with the Amber Alert Organization they would never say that Sandra Cantu was not entitled or did not meet the criteria for an Amber Alert.

  35. coolio says:

    sweetpea, Amber Alert is to be utilized after a “confirmed abduction” and as you stated their guidelines provide: To allow activation in the absence of significant information that an abduction occurred could lead to the abuse of the system and ultimately weaken its effectiveness.

    I will respectfully disagree with you, I believe AAO will affirmatively state she did NOT meet the criteria.

    I’m not basing anything on hindsight on whether it would have helped. They have to go on what they know at that time and, as far as we know, they had nothing to support she was abducted. For all they knew, she could be held captive in a neighbor’s house or fallen in a well.

    Simply put, a “missing child” case by itself, is just not the type of case for Amber. It just isn’t.

  36. sweetpea says:

    The thing I love most about this site is the fact that
    we are both entitled to our own opinion and I totally respect yours.

    Blog on my friend!

  37. coolio says:

    Yup and agree friend!

    Just to add one further bit to my end. Reason for Amber is to have millions of other eyes looking for same thing with a sense of urgency attached to it. If you think about it, hwy signs would have read what? 8 year-old 45 lb dark haired Hispanic girl is missing.

    Without more (who she is with or what type of vehicle) public is supposed to do what? Call in with every siting of what appears to be an 8 year-old 45 lb dark haired Hispanic girl in California? Trust me, AAO thought thru the scenarios and unfortunately, Sandra’s case was exactly the kind they ruled out as it would only cause havoc and discredit the system. They want and need the system to work for urgent real cases where they have idea who the child is with or vehicle.

    Yes, fact Sandra was missing is urgent and she did get all types of media attn as a missing person which is great, but she just wasn’t an Amber alert.

    Blog on friend! :)

  38. R.L. Haley says:

    wait a min. wait a min im lost and Im trying here.So is this woman i.e. Huck…. could be part of a big child porn ring with a relative in Texas already in the clink on F-cked up charges,is that why theres a gag order? To prevent a lynch mob.The corporate owned media is not saying much….I have been thinkin scaredmonkeys and blinkoncrime two sites I fav. Due you guys get threats because you get the story first,then in 2 days CNN confirms it.

    OMFG do we ever. You have no idea.
    It’s really astounding. At some point we are going to do a report of google analytics that will blow you away of what happens when we break something. I was.

    However, the highest concentration generally turns out to be a member of the family or someone close to the case.

  39. R.L.Haley says:

    thanks Blink,you know I love yah … like ,in a normal way your devoted Reader R.L.

  40. Anna says:

    This case: From Day 1 I called that park “Pedo Park”. From Day 1 she was found, I believed Sadra was “ordered up”. The signature of this uber-crime is such that I believe it involves generational “satanism” for lack of a better word, hidden AS USUAL, behind a bogus church, LONG “allowed” to thrive. In full light of day. Crimes against kids commtted by church members that went unchallenged by the police. The sexual predatory acts on children followed this Lalwless clan from Washington State. You can put money on it there was video involved, and Sandra was long targeted. If you are a good PI you can semll the connections. The APril 15th arrest, SDURE everyone is battening down the hatches becuase it would be a bigger slam on any PD what all fell through the cracks here. PDs all around NORTHERN AND SOUTHERN CA are going to have a hard time keeping a lid on this one, cuz it goes up to people who have “juice”. It always DID. There it’s been said, out loud. Human traficking always was a bigger $$$ for racketeers than drugs, and you bet they are always co-located.

    But given ALL that in my umm, “unique” belief system, one thing that ticks me off is Sandra’s dad, who said in April the Pastor was not involved. Well, “FMWAB” , how the heck would HE or ANYONE know unless they were there. WHO the heck is ANYONE to say who was involved or not involved at that murdered child’s crime scene? He has admitted to “past connections” who will take care of the perp. Something about Mexican border connections give me the chills since SOME of them have a lot of despicable answering to do in their border town of Cuidad ~ Juarez and the torture and slaughter of little girls down there too. Again, that was much covered up by the powers that be. A US journalist is under death threat for uncovering those sick elite connections.

    My “unique” view is leavened by countless inside facts in Calfiornia, e.g., how in Petaluma/Santa Rosa the son of esteemed author Isaac Asimov was let off with a slap on the wrist after running the largest video pedophile porn factory in the State? And I mean tens of thousands of pedo porn videos.

  41. Steve says:

    And where is the Huckaby story now?

    Buried. Buried by crime stories where a MAN is the criminal.

    Once again our feminist society with it’s liberal feminist media is sweeping it under the rug so they can instead focus on male pedophiles and make excuses for women

    When…when…will we stop excusing FEMALE pedophiles? criminals? child abusers? child murderers?

    When? Will EVERY case involving a female ALWAYS turn into “oh poor mother…she was so overwhelmed and obviously mentally’s not her fault she chopped up her children with an axe”?

    It’s time to hold women accountable. Not just in the courts, but on the television. On the news networks.

    Every time we excuse a woman, just because she’s a woman, we in turn encourage other like-women to rape/murder/abuse children…because there’s no accountability

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