Tracy police combing impounded cars in case of missing girl

TRACY — Investigators on Tuesday were searching three impounded vehicles for clues in the case of an 8-year-old Tracy girl who has been missing for nearly five days.

The vehicles were taken to the Tracy Police Department on Monday night as six warrants were served. Four were on residences in the Orchard Estates Mobile Home Park, where all three vehicles were seized and where Sandra Cantu lives and was last seen. Another was served at a Tracy martial arts school, and the last at a home in Oakdale.

Tracy police Lt. Jeremy Watney said he could not reveal what was taken from any of the sites.

"At this point we haven't ruled anyone out," Watney said. "We haven't arrested or detained anyone directly related to the case."

Watney said two people were named in the search warrants and were deemed "persons of interest" by investigators. No arrests relating to Sandra's disappearance have been made.

He said video surveillance obtained from the family has been classified as evidence, but he could not elaborate about why video taken from nearby hotels resulted in no new leads.

One man was arrested for interfering with officers serving the warrants in Tracy. Watney said the man, who is not a suspect in the case, was taken to the Tracy Police Department, where he was cited and released.

The impounded vehicles included an Isuzu Trooper with Wyoming plates and a ladder strapped to its roof; a Ford Focus; and a Cadillac with a flier for the missing girl, a second-grader at Jacobsen Elementary School, in the window.

Tuesday, a team of investigators from the Tracy Police Department and the FBI moved the cars from the Police Department to a nearby warehouse for further examination.

Watney said everyone who lives in the mobile home park has been interviewed twice and police have searched every home.

Sandra has been missing since Friday afternoon, when she was last seen at the trailer park. She is 4 feet tall with brown hair and brown eyes and weighs 45 pounds. She was last seen wearing a Hello Kitty shirt and a striped dress.

Watney said Tracy police officers have been put on 12-hour shifts with all vacations canceled.

"The officers are tired, but in this particular case, you don't mind doing it," Watney said. "It's similar to the Oakland Police Department funeral last week, where a lot of guys did extra things. I can't think of a case people would work harder at. Everybody is holding up just fine."

While volunteers continue to scour the Tracy area, including a wildlife area north of the city, calls offering assistance are flooding the department.

Police said they have received more than 360 tips since Sandra was reported missing, with a handful of them deemed credible, and a psychic from Florida offered his services Tuesday afternoon, a police official said.

A news conference is scheduled for 10:30 a.m. today at the Microtel Inn & Suites, 861 W. Clover Road, Tracy.

A $7,000 reward, from Tracy Crime Stoppers and the Carole Sund/Carrington Foundation, is being offered for information leading to Sandra's safe return.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Tracy Police Department at 831-4550 or Tracy Crime Stoppers at 831-6847.

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