March 27, 2009 was the last day Sandra Cantu, an 8-year-old from Tracy, CA, was seen alive by her family and friends. Sandra had gone to visit a friend and was headed back home. A video from a surveillance camera outside the family’s house in Orchard Estates Mobile Home Park showed Sandra skipping towards her home when something distracted her. She then started walking away from her home and also away from the only exit to the mobile home park. She was found 10 days later stuffed inside a garmet bag dumped in an irrigation pond less than a mile from her home.
Sandra was a very talkative girl who made friends wherever she’d go and was always eager to help. A second-grader at Jacobsen Elementary School, Sandra is described as “bright, bubbly and friendly” by her aunt, and loved Hannah Montana, Hello Kitty, and visiting her friends in the neighborhood.
On May 23, 2009, Kriste and Bob Hennick, Kriste’s Bird Houses in Orcutt, delivered a special cottage in memory of Sandra to Jacobsen Elementary. The couple want the cottage to be not only a remembrance of Sandra, but also a way for children to process their healing. They took into account that Sandra’s favorite colors were pink and purple and added those features to the exterior color and flowers of the playhouse. The cottage was placed in the kindergarten playground.