Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Trailer Park Children: Sandra Cantu

*Update: This morning two dairy farmers were draining an irrigation pond North of Tracy, CA where little Sandra Cantu went missing last week.  A piece of travel luggage emerged from the water.  I watched live as the Tracy police and FBI arrived at the scene, they spent hours collecting evidence leading up to this piece of luggage, before even knowing if there was anything in it connected to the missing 8 - year old girl.  I have to say the Tracy police are very impressive in their devotion to finding this child.  After hours on the scene the piece of luggage was taken to an undisclosed location, where it was opened, and to the horror of many, Sandra Cantu was indeed inside.

I have complete faith that the Tracy police will find this monster and he will be brought to justice.  Rest In Peace little Sandra.

Sandra Cantu is the latest little vulnerable girl missing from a trailer park.  I am sure in addition to Haleigh Cummings and Sandra there are many more that we are unaware of.

I don't have a lot of statistical information about trailer parks, or life in one.  But I feel like when you are a poor family and the only choice you have is to live in one of these communities, that you are also exposed to other individuals who are forced to take up a residence there. People like convicts who after being released from prison do not have many options, as well as sex offenders, drug addicts etc.

I also understand that you can be a totally legit and honest family living at a trailer park because you have no other choice.

In the case of Haleigh, we have a 5 year old girl at home with her father's 17 year old girlfriend, who to me is a child as well.  Dad comes home at around 2AM and Haleigh is missing.  Dad's girlfriend states she was asleep right next to Haleigh and has no idea who took her.  

There are an overwhelming amount of sex offenders in the immediate area.  There are also some conflicting reports about sightings of dad's girlfriend hanging out that night.  So did she leave Haleigh alone to get her drink on and then returned to find her missing?  Or did Haleigh fall victim to an accident to which her family decided to cover up?

The question still remains, where is Haleigh? Every trace of her has vanished.  Is this family really smart enough to get rid of evidence and a body so well in a matter of hours?

Sandra Cantu is 8 years old and has been missing for a week.  Her mother says Sandra told her she was going to visit a friend and was to return by dinner time as usual, however dinner time came and went and no Sandra.

The search began at the Orchard Estates Mobile Home Park in Tracy, CA.  Video surveillance show Sandra leaving her trailer home, but then later show her leaving the trailer park altogether.  It was discovered that the friend she was going to visit was not home.  

Where did Sandra go?

I don't know if I am an overly protective parent, but I think 8 years old is a little too young to be let out on her own to go from house to house and visit with friends.  It seems to me that a child that age should be taken to her friend's home and retrieved later, or at least followed up with a call to said friend's house to check if the friend is home and all is well.  

Can there be a law to which parent's are held responsible for really bad judgement?  Will that save more children? Can we hand out guidelines in hospitals to new parents, explaining the rules of keeping your child safe? 

The manager of the park and it's residents claim the trailer park is safe and a family place, with kids spending time alone at the pool and basketball courts.  I am curious to know how many residents are ex-cons and sexual predators.  Did Sandra really just leave the park on her own?Or was she lured out of the park to avoid the surveillance cameras by a resident?

In 2007 there was a report made about one of Sandra's neighbors, a 60 year old man, apparently he marched over to Sandra and kissed her on the lips after brushing her hair from her face.  This man was questioned by police along with all of the other residents of the park. 

As with Haleigh Cummings, it is now a waiting game.  Wait for evidence of foul play?  Wait for the rescue of Sandra?  Wait for a body?  Wait for nothing to come of anything?  

A parent's worse nightmare.  

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