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Charges shock Tracy murder suspect's ex-husband

He recalls Melissa Huckaby, accused of killing Sandra Cantu, as a carefree, nonviolent person.

April 18, 2009|Associated Press

The ex-husband of the Northern California woman charged with murdering and raping an 8-year-old girl said Friday he was in "shock and complete disbelief" when his ex-wife was arrested.

John Huckaby told ABC's "Good Morning America" that he knew Melissa Huckaby as a carefree, nonviolent person he "could not see doing something like this."

The two married in 2003, separated a year later and divorced in 2005.

John Huckaby said he hasn't talked to his former wife for more than three years.

Melissa Huckaby, 28, of Tracy was charged Tuesday with murdering Sandra Cantu, whose body was found in a suitcase pulled from an irrigation pond 10 days after she went missing. Prosecutors added to the charge the special circumstances of rape with a foreign object, lewd or lascivious conduct with a child under 14 and murder in the course of a kidnapping.

Authorities have not discussed a possible motive for the killing.

"My initial reaction was shock and complete disbelief," John Huckaby said on the ABC program. "It's not something you want to think anyone possibly [is capable] of doing, let alone somebody that you knew and that's a mother of your child."

John Huckaby said their 5-year-old daughter, Madison, who was a playmate of Sandra's, is in a "safe place" and doesn't know anything about the case.

Melissa Huckaby was awarded sole custody of Madison after the couple's divorce.

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