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Man to get $20,000 reward in Cantu case

May 5, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
The farmworker who found the remains of a missing eight year-old girl from Tracy, California, will receive a $20,000 reward. Jose Franco was working on a dairy farm near Tracy on April 6 when he spotted a suitcase in an irrigation pond.

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  • "When I saw a suitcase sitting there so exposed, I knew this wasn't normal," Franco said through a translator. He notified police. When they opened the suitcase, they found Sandra Cantu's body.

    The 8-year old girl had vanished 10 days earlier. Five days after Franco discovered the suitcase, police arrested Melissa Huckaby, a Sunday school teacher and an acquaintance of the Cantu family. Huckaby has been charged with kidnapping, rape, and murder.

    Shortly after Cantu's disappearance, the Carole Sund/Carrington Foundation, a non-profit group that works to find missing persons, put up a $5,000 reward. It later grew to more than $20,000 through private donations.

    Franco is expected to receive a check later this month, and says he will use the reward money to help put his kids through college.

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