Police interviewed Huckaby, she told news station KPIX, and she described the incident as an innocent trip to the park. Huckaby claimed she had permission from the grandmother to take the girl to the park, but that the mom didn't know that.
The girl's 18-year-old sister today told KPIX that Huckaby did not have permission to take the girl. The television station did not name the sister as a condition for her interview.
Tracy police Sgt. Tony Sheneman told CNN’s Larry King on Monday that police had no probable cause to arrest Huckaby at the time.
The girl was reported missing on January 17 by a family in the Orchard Estates Mobile Home Park. Huckaby lived in the same complex, also where 8-year-old Sandra Cantu lived before police found her dead body on April 10. Police arrested Huckaby four days later on suspicion on kidnapping, raping and killing Sandra.
The January report alleges that someone took a 45-pound blue-eyed dark-haired girl to a park. The woman and the child were gone for four hours, from about 1:30 to after 5 p.m., according to the police log. The woman who took the girl drove a purple Kia Sportage, according to the report.
Police towed a purple Kia Sportage registered to Huckaby the day after farmworkers found Sandra’s body inside a suitcase dumped in a dairy lagoon.
The police log also noted an officer said the girl might be with a mobile home park resident's “granddaughter.” Huckaby until her arrest lived with her grandparents, Clifford Lane and Connie Lawless.
When the woman Huckaby returned the girl, the family took her to the hospital. A doctor found benzodiazepines — a muscle relaxant — in the girl’s bloodstream, the police log noted.
The girl's 18-year-old sister told the TV station that the girl "couldn’t stand up. Couldn’t walk. She could barely stand."
Police logs say the girl’s mother had alcohol on her breath and carried around some type of drug when she went to the emergency room. Police dismissed the incident because of the mother’s drug and alcohol problem, said a friend of the family’s who asked not to be identified because the FBI asked the family not to talk about the case, a point disputed by police.
Sheneman said whether a parent had alcohol on their breath would have no bearing in an investigation of a missing child.
• Contact Tracy Press reporter Jennifer Wadsworth at 830-4225 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Editor's note: New information was added to this story on April 21.