Missing 15 Year Old Sierra Lamar ~ Her Cell Phone & A Bag With Her Clothes Found~ Suspect Antolin Garcia-Torres Arrested & Charged With Kidnapping & Murder~ Her Remains Have Not Been Found

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Normal Sierra LaMar's disappearance raises questions about how schools notify parents when students don't show up for class

Post by Wrapitup on Thu Mar 29, 2012 12:12 am

Julia Prodis Sulek
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Posted: 03/28/2012 04:38:12 PM PDT
Updated: 03/28/2012 08:50:11 PM PDT

The day Sierra LaMar failed to get on the school bus at 7:15 a.m., teachers logged her into their computers as absent, hour by hour, throughout the day.

But not until 6 p.m. -- nearly 11 hours later -- did Sobrato High School in Morgan Hill send an automated email and phone call to the mother of the teen who vanished almost two weeks ago.

The time lag cost critical search hours and frustrated Marlene LaMar, who drove to the high school that March 16 afternoon hoping her 15-year-old daughter missed the bus home. After more frantic calls to friends and family, she called police 27 minutes after receiving the 6 p.m. email that her daughter never showed up for school.

"They had no idea of the situation before they got that email," Sierra's older sister, Danielle LaMar, 21, said of her parents. "Especially in this case, time definitely matters."

Yet, in an age of instant communication and constant connections, Morgan Hill's delay in alerting parents about unreported absences is typical among Bay Area high schools -- a practice some parents and child-safety advocates said is behind the times and needs to change.

In an informal survey of nine school districts around the Bay Area, from Oakland and Concord to San Jose and Morgan Hill, most wait to notify parents of a child's absence until the end of the day, especially at high schools.

"There's nothing illustrating the flaw in that system more than Sierra's disappearance," said Marc Klaas, whose daughter, Polly, was kidnapped from their home in Petaluma and killed in 1994. His KlaasKids Foundation is organizing volunteer searchers for Sierra through Sunday. "Maybe they need to re-evaluate that."

For years, schools have used these systems to improve attendance and curb truancy -- not as safety alerts. Even Berkeley School District, one of the few districts that automatically notifies parents about unexpected absences, says its system is primarily a tool to "give parents a chance to correct behavior," said Berkeley spokesman Mark Coplan.

No one knows at this point whether an earlier alert would have made a difference in finding Sierra. But kidnap experts point to one sobering fact: Most kidnappers with murderous intentions kill their victims within three hours. On Wednesday, nearly two weeks after Sierra disappeared, investigators began searching waterways in the Morgan Hill area, and about 100 volunteers -- 500 fewer than Tuesday -- fanned out across the Coyote Valley searching for clues.

Claudia Rossi, an elected trustee for the Morgan Hill Unified School District, said Wednesday evening that the district should definitely look into the issue, including the possibility of connecting alerts with parents' cellphones and alerting earlier in the day.

"Obviously with this missing case, we're all wondering what can we do better?" Rossi said. Still, "can everything we do safeguard and keep a tragedy like this from happening? Sadly, no."

Morgan Hill parents say that from grade school through high school, automated attendance alerts don't go out until the end of the day. However, parents who want to check for themselves can log into the school's Blackboard Connect system at any time to see whether their child has missed a class.

Despite the variety of ways to reach parents instantly, many high schools wait to contact them in the evening.

"A lot go out at 6 p.m. because that's when parents are home," Karen Fuqua, spokeswoman for San Jose Unified School District, said of the district's high school alerts. "If the message goes home to the child, they can be easily deleted before the parent even hears it."

At San Jose's elementary schools, Fuqua said, staff members make calls beginning in the morning and throughout the day.

Berkeley School District appears to be one of the few in the Bay Area that takes advantage of the latest technology: Parents of Berkeley middle and high school students instantly receive a phone call, a text message or an email, based on each parent's preference, when a teacher logs in the absence.

In Fremont and New Haven school districts in the East Bay, parents of elementary and middle school students receive morning calls if a child is absent without an excuse. Like Morgan Hill and San Jose, parents of high schoolers in those districts, plus Oakland and Mt. Diablo in Concord, receive automated calls at the end of the day.

At many public elementary and private Catholic schools across the Bay Area, however, parents are alerted much sooner. Archbishop Mitty High School in San Jose calls as many as six phone numbers -- mobile, work and home of each parent -- to reach someone whose child doesn't show up for first period.
Traditionally, elementary schools are more likely to call parents earlier than high schools, because of less complicated schedules and smaller enrollment.

But companies that run parent-notification systems say they are easily modified for instant notification -- no matter how big the school or unwieldy the schedule -- but they leave it up to schools to choose when to send alerts.

"We've come out with mobile apps, but not all districts have seen this as important enough to deploy those to their parents," said Mark Child of Parentlink, one of numerous companies, including PowerSchool and Blackboard Connect, that operate similar systems. Those services also can provide parents grade reports and emergency notifications in case of a disaster or school lockdown.

"Until there is an emergency, most schools assume parents are getting the messages the way they should," he said.

At Burnett Elementary in Morgan Hill, headquarters for the volunteer search for Sierra, Lisa Silva, a parent of a Sobrato High School senior, said she wishes the calls to parents went out sooner.

"If a parent had gotten a call, they would have been on it immediately," she said. "Precious time went by, and you can't get that time back."

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What happened to the good old days when schools picked up the phone in the morning to let the parent know their child is not at school? Seriously, everything is so automated now that it's becoming scary. If a parent doesn't call the school to let them know their child won't be attending that day, it's up to the school to place an immediate call that said child is NOT in school. This is not rocket science. I do believe there is a good chance if the school had notified the LaMar's that morning, they could have saved Sierra, but sadly, I think she is either dead or was trafficked out. MOO.

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Normal Re: Missing 15 Year Old Sierra Lamar ~ Her Cell Phone & A Bag With Her Clothes Found~ Suspect Antolin Garcia-Torres Arrested & Charged With Kidnapping & Murder~ Her Remains Have Not Been Found

Post by Guest on Thu Mar 29, 2012 6:48 am

We have the same system here in Iowa. It pisses me off. I tested our elementary school system. They don't call until the end of the work day. It is BS and it needs to change.
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Normal Re: Missing 15 Year Old Sierra Lamar ~ Her Cell Phone & A Bag With Her Clothes Found~ Suspect Antolin Garcia-Torres Arrested & Charged With Kidnapping & Murder~ Her Remains Have Not Been Found

Post by RileysMom on Thu Mar 29, 2012 1:09 pm

I was going to the bus stop to get my niece ones and she was not on the bus she was 9 years old at the time. I ran in the bus looking around nobody new where she was and the lady who drove the bus did not even know who the hell I was talking about . So I drove to the school ( burning rubber ) where thank god she was sitting the the office waiting for me. I asked the lady in there why nobody called me when she came in to say she missed the bus ? And I got told they wanted to call me when ever she was going to take the next one (which makes absolutely no sense what so ever) and that would have make it almost 90 min for me waiting at the bust stop wondering where she is 90 min to long ..oh and I got told there is no need to make such a fuss !! umno Wrong thing to say to me when I don't know where she is and what's going on all I can say is she looked like a fool after I was done with with her . People piss me off !
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Normal Re: Missing 15 Year Old Sierra Lamar ~ Her Cell Phone & A Bag With Her Clothes Found~ Suspect Antolin Garcia-Torres Arrested & Charged With Kidnapping & Murder~ Her Remains Have Not Been Found

Post by raine1953 on Thu Mar 29, 2012 3:51 pm

I wonder that with all the technology that we have now, if there is a computer software program (or one needs to be written!) that automatically triggers something to immediately send an email to the parent or generate a phone call when each teacher marks that child absent in the morning? I think that would be an answer to all of this, then it puts it right back on the parent to make sure that they check their email or phone for notification. I'm probably not explaining this right but I hope you all are getting what I am saying. The old way is NOT working and I bet our technology would allow for a system like this??
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Normal Re: Missing 15 Year Old Sierra Lamar ~ Her Cell Phone & A Bag With Her Clothes Found~ Suspect Antolin Garcia-Torres Arrested & Charged With Kidnapping & Murder~ Her Remains Have Not Been Found

Post by Wrapitup on Thu Mar 29, 2012 10:29 pm

Investigators Find New Clues in LaMar Case/Volunteers discovered handcuff box and used condoms.
By Marianne Favro | Thursday, Mar 29, 2012 | Updated 6:57 PM PDT

If you have any information about Sierra LaMar please call 408-808-4500 after hours 408-299-2311 or the anonymous tip line at 408-808-4431. Text messages can be sent to 408-421-6760. Email tips to: [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

Volunteers searching for missing teen Sierra LaMar may have stumbled on new clues in the case.

Investigators have confirmed that today volunteers with the Klaas Kids organization found an empty handcuff box at the end of Palm Avenue.

The box did not have handcuffs inside, but they did find at least two used condoms in the box.

Officials are collecting evidence and are sending it off to a crime lab to be analyzed.

The Santa Clara County Sheriff's office sent dive teams to Uvas Reservoir, Parkway Lake and Ogier perk pounds on Wednesday.

The Klaaskids Foundation is coordinating this search with guidance from the sheriff's office.

Sierra left home for school the morning of March 16 but never showed up to class.

Investigators later found her phone and her Juicy-brand bag containing neatly folded clothing, which included a change of underwear, belonging to the teen.

The phone and purse were found about two miles for Sierra's house on the first weekend after she disappeared and two blocks apart.

Marc Klaas said after reviewing the evidence, he believes Sierra was likely abducted on the street where she lives.

"Whatever happened to Sierra happened on that block," he told Bay City News.

The family has set up a Facebook page.

Anyone with information about Sierra or her whereabouts is asked to call the sheriff's office at (408) 808-4500 or the anonymous tip line at (408) 808-4431.

Tips can also be emailed to [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.].

If you want to help in the actual search, you can go to Burnett Elementary school in Morgan Hill any day between now and Sunday. The search center opens at 8 a.m. Volunteers are given instructions and then go out in a group. They finish their effort by early afternoon each day.

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Normal Re: Missing 15 Year Old Sierra Lamar ~ Her Cell Phone & A Bag With Her Clothes Found~ Suspect Antolin Garcia-Torres Arrested & Charged With Kidnapping & Murder~ Her Remains Have Not Been Found

Post by Wrapitup on Thu Mar 29, 2012 11:09 pm

Sierra LaMar: Police Believe Missing Teen Knew Her Kidnapper

By Erin Sherbert Thu., Mar. 29 2012 at 12:23 PM

​Investigators are now saying they believe whoever abducted 15-year-old Sierra LaMar mostly likely knew her or, at the very least, was acquainted with her.

What's more, they said her kidnapper was probably familiar with the area near her Morgan Hill home where LaMar was last seen on March 16.

Investigators, who have searched all nearby bodies of water, said they do not believe her kidnapper planned this in advance; this seems to have been a crime of opportunity, NBC reports.

Police have searched both LaMar's cellphone, which was found on the side of the road, and her laptop, but there was no indication that the Sobrato High School cheerleader had been engaged in any kind of online relationship with someone she did not know.

Meanwhile, hundreds of volunteers lined up again this morning to comb the rural area near LaMar's home. She was last seen by her mother on March 16 at about 6 a.m. She was supposed to catch the school bus that morning, but LaMar never made it to class. Her cellphone and purse with her clothing inside were found a few days later, on the side of the road in the opposite direction of the bus stop.

If you have any information about Sierra LaMar please call (408) 808-4500 during business hours, (408) 299-2311 after hours, or the anonymous tip line at (408) 808-4431. Text messages can be sent to (408) 421-6760. E-mail tips to [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.].

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Normal Sierra LaMar searchers find used condoms, handcuff box

Post by raine1953 on Thu Mar 29, 2012 11:42 pm

Cardoza said the sheriff's dive team searched the Calero, Chesbro and Uvas reservoirs, as well as the percolation ponds in the Morgan Hill and southern Santa Clara County areas. Earlier, crews had searched the pastures and gullies of Coyote Valley, with the same fruitless results.
Sheriff's deputies, FBI agents and other law enforcement officials have spent 3,500 hours on the search. More than 600 tips have poured in.
Her case has sparked a public frenzy, with hundreds of people coming out to help search for the girl, who investigators think didn't run away.
Anyone with information can contact sheriff's investigators at 408-808-4500, the anonymous tip line at 408-808-4431 or email [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.].
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Normal Missing teen Sierra LaMar possibly abducted, police say

Post by raine1953 on Fri Mar 30, 2012 12:36 pm

The search for missing 15-year-old Sierra LaMar in Santa Clara County is now being investigated as a possible abduction, officials said.

Sgt. Jose Cardoza of the Santa Clara County Sheriff's Department said authorities believe LaMar may have been the victim of an acquaintance abduction, KTLA-TV reported. The high school cheerleader was last seen by her mother at 6 a.m. March 16 before she left for classes at Sobrato High School.

LaMar's mother learned her daughter was missing when she got a message from the school's automated attendance system at 6 p.m., police said. Her school bus driver later told police she never got on the bus that morning.

Searchers found the teenager's cellphone a day after her disappearance. The phone was found on the side of the road about a mile from her home in the opposite direction of the bus stop. Police said the phone looked as if it had been tossed.

A forensic investigation of the phone yielded no leads; neither did a search of her computer. A bag belonging to the teen was found two days later about mile from where the phone was recovered.
Santa Clara County Sheriff's Sgt. Jose Cardoza said the bag contained a neatly folded pair of pants and a T-shirt. Investigators have also interviewed area sex offenders, including Sierra LaMar's own father, Steve LaMar, who was convicted in 2009 of one count of lewd or lascivious conduct with a child under 14, according to the Associated Press.

The victim was not Sierra LaMar or her older sister. Police say Steve LaMar has been cooperative and is not considered a suspect in his daughter's disappearance.

Sierra LaMar is 5-foot-2 with a thin build. She has brown eyes and long black hair.
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Normal Re: Missing 15 Year Old Sierra Lamar ~ Her Cell Phone & A Bag With Her Clothes Found~ Suspect Antolin Garcia-Torres Arrested & Charged With Kidnapping & Murder~ Her Remains Have Not Been Found

Post by Wrapitup on Fri Mar 30, 2012 1:19 pm

Marc Klaas Has Doubts About Disturbing Find in Sierra LaMar Case
Marc Klaas, "I do have doubts."

By Bob Redell and Lori Preuitt | Friday, Mar 30, 2012 |

Police in Morgan Hill have found new evidence in the disappearance of 15-year-old Sierra LaMar. NBC Bay Area GeorgeKiriyama has the latest.

Volunteers searching for missing teen Sierra LaMar may have stumbled on a new and disturbing clue in the case.

A group working with the KlaasKids Foundation found an empty handcuff box at the end of Palm Avenue on Thursday.

The box was empty. Nearby the same volunteers found at least two used condoms.

The items were found about a mile from the LaMar home, in a dirt area that is known to deputies as a place where young people often congregate.

Investigators collected the evidence and are sending it off to a crime lab for DNA analysis. They said they had searched that exact area two times before leaving the question whether the items were missed or they were placed there afterwards.

Santa Clara County Sheriff's investigators say it doesn't appear that the handcuff box had been there very long because there was no deterioration and the label is still readable.

The president of KlaasKids Marc Klaas says he has his doubts the find is connected to Sierra.

“I do have doubts sure. I think you have to be skeptical. We've been in this business an awful long time and you find things that seem hopeful all the time and they just prove not to be so," Klaas said.

"We don't want this to be an emotional roller coaster for anybody," he added.

There is an emotional "high" from the discovery because it gives hope to the hundreds of volunteers who have spent hours this week searching for clues to the teenager's disappearance.

Klaas said Friday he has not seen a response like this since his daughter Polly was kidnapped and murdered 19 years ago.


The discovery of the box and the used condoms is disturbing to people who live along Palm Avenue.

"It does bother us. It's very close to home," Gary Bettcher, who lives right down the road where the items were found.

"At times you see cars parked down there at night, especially now that open space has it, they frequent the road quite a bit," Bettcher added.

The items were found about a mile down the intersection of Dougherty Avenue and Palm, which is where Sierra was supposed to be headed to catch her school bus. The bus stop is very close to the LaMar home on Paquita Espana Court. Sierra left home for school the morning of March 16 but never showed up to class.

The Klaaskids Foundation is coordinating this search with guidance from the sheriff's office.

Hundreds of volunteers have been scouring the area surrounding LaMar's home this week after sheriff's officials re-classified the case as an abduction and announced that authorities had all but ruled out the possibility that the Ann Sobrato High School sophomore had run away.

Investigators later found her phone and her Juicy-brand bag containing neatly folded clothing, which included a change of underwear, belonging to the teen. All of the items

The phone and purse were found about two miles for Sierra's house on the first weekend after she disappeared and two blocks apart.

Anyone with information about Sierra or her whereabouts is asked to call the sheriff's office at (408) 808-4500 or the anonymous tip line at (408) 808-4431.

Tips can also be emailed to [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.].

If you want to help in the actual search, you can go to Burnett Elementary school in Morgan Hill any day between now and Sunday. The search center opens at 8 a.m. Volunteers are given instructions and then go out in a group. They finish their effort by early afternoon each day.

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video at above link that is very hard to hear.


Last edited by Wrapitup on Fri Mar 30, 2012 7:12 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Normal Re: Missing 15 Year Old Sierra Lamar ~ Her Cell Phone & A Bag With Her Clothes Found~ Suspect Antolin Garcia-Torres Arrested & Charged With Kidnapping & Murder~ Her Remains Have Not Been Found

Post by Wrapitup on Fri Mar 30, 2012 7:11 pm

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Normal Re: Missing 15 Year Old Sierra Lamar ~ Her Cell Phone & A Bag With Her Clothes Found~ Suspect Antolin Garcia-Torres Arrested & Charged With Kidnapping & Murder~ Her Remains Have Not Been Found

Post by Wrapitup on Sat Mar 31, 2012 1:11 pm








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Normal Re: Missing 15 Year Old Sierra Lamar ~ Her Cell Phone & A Bag With Her Clothes Found~ Suspect Antolin Garcia-Torres Arrested & Charged With Kidnapping & Murder~ Her Remains Have Not Been Found

Post by Wrapitup on Sun Apr 01, 2012 11:14 pm

Alex Smith joins search for missing Bay Area teen
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By Maggie Hendricks | Shutdown Corner – Sat, Mar 31, 2012 9:54 PM EDT

The search for Sierra LaMar, a teen from the San Francisco area who has been missing since March 16, picked up a volunteer well-known to football fans. San Francisco 49ers quarterback Alex Smith joined in the search for LaMar on Saturday.

He joined a group of nearly 700 volunteers who scoured the area near Morgan Hill. The search for LaMar has been ongoing since she did not show up for school.

Though Smith did not comment on his participation in the search, an organizer confirmed his presence.

Smith led the 49ers to the NFC championship game last season. After San Francisco considered Peyton Manning and Smith visited with the Miami Dolphins, he signed a three-year deal.

Kudos to Smith and all the volunteers who spent Saturday looking for LaMar. Anyone with information on her disappearance are encouraged to call (408) 808-4500 or the anonymous tip line at (408) 808-4431. Tips can also be emailed to [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.].

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Normal Re: Missing 15 Year Old Sierra Lamar ~ Her Cell Phone & A Bag With Her Clothes Found~ Suspect Antolin Garcia-Torres Arrested & Charged With Kidnapping & Murder~ Her Remains Have Not Been Found

Post by Wrapitup on Mon Apr 02, 2012 1:01 pm

Gotta love the 9'rs!!! Sure wish Peyton had gone w/them instead of the Bronco's!! My son said this makes him sad and depressed.
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Normal Re: Missing 15 Year Old Sierra Lamar ~ Her Cell Phone & A Bag With Her Clothes Found~ Suspect Antolin Garcia-Torres Arrested & Charged With Kidnapping & Murder~ Her Remains Have Not Been Found

Post by Wrapitup on Wed Apr 04, 2012 12:40 am

Do authorities think Sierra LaMar is alive or dead? It seems that while the searches for her are dwindling in the immediate area, police are asking ranch owners and owners of large land parcels to "report suspicious activity." This case appears to be going in a sad and negative direction like so many other missing persons investigations throughout the country. Hopefully the missing 15-year-old is being kept alive somewhere, as there is always hope of a rescue. However, it's a grim thought to imagine that someone is holding a young female hostage for whatever reasons he, she or they may have. It's more likely that this young woman is deceased, and that is what statistics show in cases of abduction such as these.

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Post by raine1953 on Wed Apr 04, 2012 2:19 am

If she's alive and being held hostage I have a feeling she's been trafficked. I sure hope I'm wrong but that she's alive.
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Normal Re: Missing 15 Year Old Sierra Lamar ~ Her Cell Phone & A Bag With Her Clothes Found~ Suspect Antolin Garcia-Torres Arrested & Charged With Kidnapping & Murder~ Her Remains Have Not Been Found

Post by Wrapitup on Wed Apr 04, 2012 11:27 am

Sierra LaMar Update: Did She Know Her Alleged Abductor?

April 04, 2012 06:35 AM EDT

Fifteen-year-old Sierra LaMar has been missing for nearly a month and there haven't been any recent breaks in her case leading to a positive conclusion.
Unfortunately, it's becoming more and more apparent that this young girl could be the victim of an abduction, and what's worse is profiler analyses of the case indicate that whomever is responsible has likely abducted and harmed someone before. With that being highly likely, maybe it's time for investigators to begin cross-referencing other cases in the area and surrounding regions and requesting the assistance of necessary experts. Perhaps if they do, they may find connections close to home, so to speak.

The last physical evidence found regarding the search for Sierra LaMar included a couple of used condoms and a handcuff box discovered not far from where her cellphone was discovered. It's unknown if these items are connected and officials haven't acknowledged whether forensic results have come back on the items. It's a high possibility that these items are indeed pieces of evidence connected to the girl's disappearance, and with at least two criminal profilers acknowledging similar analyses on the case it's probably safe to say that the evidence being found was purposefully organized by the perp.

In fact, it seems so organized that it's possible that whomever has the missing young woman may have met her or communicated with her in some way prior to her disappearance -- or he at least may have been aware of who she was and where she lived. The reason for this is because scent dogs lost track of her scent at her driveway. This usually doesn't happen unless a person magically flies or is transported in a vehicle. So, given this particular evidence, it's apparent that Sierra walked to the end of her driveway and then vanished without a trace.

Did Sierra LaMar know her abductor, if she was actually abducted? Is the person responsible for her disappearance someone who could have been present in her neighborhood without raising red flags? It seems like it with just the scent dog evidence alone.

The locations in which the other evidence was found almost seems as though it was planted. In fact, the neat manner in which her clothing was folded and discarded also raises red flags. If she was abducted in a traumatic and surprise attack, would her abductor have time and ample opportunity to transport her from in front of her house while undressing her and neatly folding her clothes before discarding them? Would the suspect have time to discard of evidence in this manner with a living 15-year-old captive fighting him? It seems like a stretch, honestly.

It seems likely that this young woman met foul play before her items were placed about almost strategically as a means to throw investigators into a confusing spiral. Or, the person who abducted the young woman had her fully compliant in some fashion. Can this be explained by the criminal profilers whom have already weighed in on the case?

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Normal Re: Missing 15 Year Old Sierra Lamar ~ Her Cell Phone & A Bag With Her Clothes Found~ Suspect Antolin Garcia-Torres Arrested & Charged With Kidnapping & Murder~ Her Remains Have Not Been Found

Post by Wrapitup on Thu Apr 05, 2012 2:51 am

Sierra LaMar's DNA Obtained by Detectives
April 04, 2012 07:30 PM EDT

The mother of Sierra LaMar spoke with Nancy Grace this evening regarding the disappearance of her daughter along with other details surrounding this case. The short interview segment made mention of DNA samples belonging to the missing 15-year-old cheerleader that were collected by detectives. This DNA will be compared to the used condoms found with the handcuff box last week to determine whether or not the items are tied to the girl's presumed abduction.

Nancy Grace asked very specific questions, which are begging for answers. Unfortunately, the mother of Sierra LaMar couldn't divulge too much detail concerning the neatly folded clothes that were found several days ago in the search for the missing Morgan Hill teen. It was mentioned that LaMar had taken a photo of herself and had either tweeted it or sent it with her cellphone in some manner. Nancy asked her mother what shirt was found, neatly folded with her "Juicy" brand purse.

The mother of the missing girl said she was aware of which shirt was found in particular, but couldn't clarify for not wanting to compromise the investigation. Could this mean that the clothing found was the same clothing worn by the girl the morning she was allegedly abducted?

Hopefully with the DNA obtained from the girl's toothbrush and hairbrush forensic experts will be able to determine whether or not the most recent evidence is even connected to Sierra's disappearance. Meanwhile, the search for the young woman is continuing.

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Normal 4 letters: Message to the kidnapper of Sierra LaMar

Post by Wrapitup on Fri Apr 06, 2012 4:08 pm

Posted: Friday, April 6, 2012 9:18 am

An open letter aimed at the person who has kidnapped 15-year-old Sierra LaMar
Dear Editor,

This Message Goes Out To The Person Who Has Taken Sierra Lamar:
I strongly feel that you are watching from a distance, and that you have heard Sierra’s family, friends and the community plea for answers. Only God and you know what has happened, and where she is. We have faith in our God, and know in our hearts that He will one day bring her home.

If you have hurt Sierra, God holds her in his loving arms, and any pain you may have caused is no more. If you have taken her from this earth and her precious life, God has taken her home. If you have held her against her will, and she is okay, please let her go. I feel that you are out there completely alone, and wondering what to do next. I can guarantee that you have closely watched the news, and even been online reading the thousands of posts via Facebook, Twitter, etc. Did you happen to watch the video that Sierra’s friend made? Now that you have gotten a glimpse into her life, you truly know how beautiful, young and full of life she is, or was.

We have so many questions. Did you plan this? Was it random? What exactly happened that morning? Do you have family? I know that you must, and I’m wondering how you would feel if this were your daughter, sister, mother, niece, or wife? Please take a moment and put yourself in Sierra’s shoes, and that of her mothers. Surely you would want your loved one safe, and never put in the position in which you have placed Sierra.

If your loved one were out there alone in some unknown location, possibly alive, possibly not, wouldn’t you want her found? Would you be able to sleep at night, eat, or even find the strength to breath? Did you see the pain in her mother’s eyes? She has lost her precious baby. Only you can give her the answers that she so desperately needs. I know that you don’t want to be caught, or spend your life in prison. I know that you don’t want to live eternally in hell.

Let me ask you this. When you are caught, let’s say that you had a choice, and there are two people standing in front of you. One being God, and the other a judge. The judge tells you that you must go to prison for, let’s just say 20 years, and God tells you that He will give you two options. He offers you the choice of eternal hell, or forgiveness by repenting and paying your dues ordered by the judge, allowing you to one day be with him eternally. Which would you choose? Because, you see, you do have that choice. No matter what, whether it is sooner or later, you will have to answer, be judged and face the consequences of what you have done.

Your choice is not in which of the two shall judge you, but in how you shall be judged. Do you understand? Please do the right thing. Bring Sierra home. Yes, many people will be angry at you, and some will never forgive you. But true forgiveness only comes from God, and it is HE that you should fear, no one else.

If you regret your actions, and wish you could bring her back, do so. You know deep in your heart that you will not get away with this. Law enforcement is looking for you, and God is watching you. If you do not regret your actions, believe in God, or care about your own future, we still beg that you do the right thing. Please, please do not let Sierra’s parents struggle one more day to simply breath and push forward, not knowing where their baby girl is. Sierra is their child. There are no words to explain the bond between a mother and her child.

When you took Sierra, you took a huge part of her parents. You took from all of us. I do not even know Sierra, yet my heart is breaking over this. So you can imagine the pain her parents must feel. Go online, and watch the video of her mom pleading for her return. Look into her eyes and feel her pain. Only you can prevent her from having to wait one more day. If you continue to stand aside, and attempt to hide, it will only be that much worse on you when you ARE caught.

If you come forward, or at least let her location be known, it may help your case. Trust me sir, judgment IS coming your way. You’re not stupid; you know perfectly well that forensics will eventually expose you. You know that it is coming and that there is no place on earth that you can hide.

We beg you, please, please come forward, or make Sierra’s location be known. Please.

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Normal $10,000 reward offered for Sierra LaMar’s safe return/Hundreds more volunteers, including 49ers, show up to help search.

Post by Wrapitup on Sun Apr 08, 2012 9:07 pm

Posted on April 7, 2012
by Michael Moore Staff Writer

The family of Sierra LaMar offered a $10,000 reward for information leading to her safe return Saturday.
Sierra, 15, a north Morgan Hill resident has been missing since March 16. Her family made the announcement of the reward at Burnett Elementary School, where nearly 500 volunteers showed up to participate in another volunteer search effort Saturday, according to KlaasKids Foundation founder Marc Klaas.

“The Sierra LaMar Fund is offering this reward to the first person who offers information leading to Sierra LaMar being returned alive and safe to her family,” read a statement from Sierra’s family.

The missing Sobrato High School sophomore lives with her mother Marlene LaMar and mother’s boyfriend Rick Gardiner near the intersection of Palm and Dougherty avenues. Sierra’s father, Steve LaMar, lives in Fremont, where Sierra moved to Morgan Hill from in October 2011.

Sierra's older sister, Danielle LaMar was present at the search center when the reward was offered Saturday morning.

Rewards have been effective in locating missing children in the past, Klaas said.

When Brianna Denison of Santa Barbara went missing from a friend’s home in Reno, Nev. in 2008, the case was solved when someone came forth with information in response to a $2,000 reward that was offered, Klaas said. Investigators found the body of the murdered 19-year-old due to the information prompted by the reward.

The KaasKids Foundation is a nonprofit devoted to conducting volunteer search efforts and other services to find missing children nationwide. Saturday was the latest of several days the foundation has been in Morgan Hill soliciting volunteers to help with the search, which entails combing mostly public open areas looking for any evidence of what happened to Sierra.

Thousands of people have participated in the search efforts so far. The Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office and other law enforcement investigators have also dedicated about 6,000 personnel hours to the search, and investigated more than 1,000 tips since March 16.

Among the 495 volunteers who helped look for Sierra Saturday were San Francisco 49ers Alex Smith, Delanie Walker, Joe Staley and Scott Tolzien, Klaas said.

The next volunteer search effort is scheduled for Wednesday, April 11. Those interested in helping can show up at Burnett Elementary School, 85 Tilton Ave., from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Volunteers must be at least 18 years old and bring photo identification. Searchers are advised to wear clothing appropriate for walking or hiking through hilly, grassy or muddy terrain.

Sierra LaMar is about 5-feet, 2-inches tall with a thin build and dark hair.

For more information on the Sierra LaMar Search Center, call 201-6364.

Anyone with information on the case can contact Santa Clara County Communications at 299-2311, or send an e-mail to [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.].

During normal business hours callers can call Sheriff’s Investigators at 808-4500 or the anonymous tip line at 808-4431. Information or tips can also be sent via the Sheriff’s Office website at sccgov.org/portal/site/sheriff. Information can also be submitted by text at 421-6760

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Normal Investigators in Sierra LaMar case study underwater sonar images for clues to help find missing Morgan Hill teen

Post by raine1953 on Thu Apr 12, 2012 1:14 am

Posted: 04/11/2012 12:40:43 PM PDT
Updated: 04/11/2012 09:59:51 PM PDT

In the continuing search for missing Morgan Hill teenager Sierra LaMar, investigators on Wednesday checked sonar images taken by underwater divers at two South Bay reservoirs while more than 120 volunteers turned out to look for her.
After taking sonar readings from Chesbro and Uvas reservoirs Tuesday, the Santa Clara County Sheriff's Department underwater search and rescue team poured over them on Wednesday for any sign of the 15-year-old girl, said Sgt. Jose Cardoza. If nothing turns up in the images, he added, the team may search other reservoirs, including Anderson and Calero.
The decision to conduct the underwater checks was done after investigators had no luck scanning the surface of Uvas, Chesbro and some nearby ponds on March 18, using a boat and a trained search dog, Cardoza said. Authorities fear the girl, who disappeared March 16, probably was kidnapped while walking to a bus near her high school.
He noted that the Sheriff's Department, which has logged more than 7,500 hours on the case, also plans this week to scour remote areas around Morgan Hill on motorized bikes looking for "clothing or other items that may be related to the case."
During the course of the investigation, the department has received more than 1,200 tips from the public, some reporting possible sightings of Sierra and others urging them to check various areas.
Authorities need all the help they can get, Cardoza said.
"We're depending a lot on tips and information from the public, because we do not have a person of interest and we have not yet confirmed the circumstances regarding her disappearance," he said.
Cardoza asked that anyone with possible leads can call 408-808-4500 or the anonymous tip line at 408-808-4431, or email [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.].
More help came Wednesday from scores of volunteers who braved the soggy weather to help search for Sierra. By 10:30 a.m., more than 123 people had turned out, according to Marc Klaas, whose daughter Polly was killed in 1993 after being kidnapped and whose KlaasKids Foundation organized the search.
"It's kind of amazing given that it's a weekday and wet," Klaas said. "Beyond that, out of nowhere, somebody called in and said they were going to bring in 200 sandwiches so everybody can get fed."
If needed, more searches will be done from 8. a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Volunteers who are at least 18 and have a photo identification can report to Burnett Elementary School, 85 Tilton Road in Morgan Hill. They are urged to wear appropriate clothing for trudging through densely vegetated areas.
Also on Wednesday, Sierra's family launched an official website, [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] sierralamar.com, designed to solicit donations, update the community on the search and provide people a chance to share their thoughts on the case.
Among those at the school Wednesday was Sierra's mother, Marlene LaMar.
"I have the hope that I may find a necklace or something that belongs to her," she said. "I feel I have to get out."
But as the days go by with her daughter still missing, she added, "it's definitely agonizing."
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Normal Re: Missing 15 Year Old Sierra Lamar ~ Her Cell Phone & A Bag With Her Clothes Found~ Suspect Antolin Garcia-Torres Arrested & Charged With Kidnapping & Murder~ Her Remains Have Not Been Found

Post by Wrapitup on Thu Apr 12, 2012 12:36 pm

I really think she was sexually trafficked. crying

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Normal Re: Missing 15 Year Old Sierra Lamar ~ Her Cell Phone & A Bag With Her Clothes Found~ Suspect Antolin Garcia-Torres Arrested & Charged With Kidnapping & Murder~ Her Remains Have Not Been Found

Post by raine1953 on Thu Apr 12, 2012 12:52 pm

I think so too Wrap! Thinking of what that poor girl is/has been/is going to go thru just breaks my heart!!!
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Normal Police: Evidence gives new leads in Sierra LaMar abduction

Post by raine1953 on Tue Apr 17, 2012 12:42 pm

Crime lab results have given investigators new leads to chase down in the month-old disappearance of Morgan Hill teenager Sierra LaMar, police said Monday.

Investigators from the Santa Clara County Sheriff's Office, however, declined to say what sort of new information sprang from the lab results, except to say they were drawn from evidence collected so far in the case.

In the days after her abduction police found the 15-year-old's bag and clothing sitting not far from the spot where she vanished. They have also turned up her cellphone and laptop computer.

But there has been no sign of the bubbly cheerleader last seen headed on foot to catch her school bus March 16. Since then there has been a massive outpouring of people looking for her, including celebrities, scouring many parts of Santa Clara County.
The hunt will continue with the Sheriff's Office dive team doing an expanded search of southern Santa Clara County reservoirs and small bodies of water, spokesman Jose Cardoza said Monday. The search teams will first scan the water with sonar devices in order to identify spots of particular interest.
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Must see video at the link, cannot embed
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Normal Missing teen Sierra LaMar: Authorities inspect new reservoirs

Post by Guest on Tue Apr 17, 2012 2:39 pm

Missing teen Sierra LaMar: Authorities inspect new reservoirs



The search for missing teen Sierra LaMar in Santa Clara County continues as authorities inspect two more reservoirs and likely take solar images of the waterways in further attempts to rake up clues about her disappearance.

Police believe the 15-year-old was abducted outside her Morgan Hill home the morning of March 16 as she was going to school. Santa Clara County sheriff’s spokesman Jose Cardoza told The Times that authorities had received more than 1,400 tips and logged about 8,900 personnel hours on the case, but they remain without a person of interest.

Cardoza said dives into the Chesbro and Uvas reservoirs last week, both within a few miles of Sierra’s home, turned up “nothing related to the case.”

Authorities are now moving onto the Calero and Anderson reservoirs, located five to 10 miles from the home. They are the only two reservoirs remaining in the county, and authorities will likely send out divers late in the week, Cardoza said.

“It’s just to be as thorough as possible,” he said. “The investigators just want to be sure.”

The search to find Sierra — a competitive cheerleader whom friends and family describe as happy and outgoing — has brought together thousands of community volunteers.

Sheriff's officials have searched with special off-road vehicles and used volunteers to scour hillsides, vacant lots and residential streets. Sierra's family has posted a $10,000 reward for information leading to her safe return.

The day after she disappeared, deputies found Sierra's cellphone lying near a road less than a mile from her home. The next day, her black-and-pink Juicy Couture purse turned up with her clothes folded neatly inside.

ALSO:

L.A. Now Live: Chat with Times columnist Steve Lopez

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— Matt Stevens

Twitter.com/mattstevenslat

Photo: Sierra LaMar posters. Credit: Ben Margot / Associated Press

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2012/04/missing-teen-sierra-lamar-authorities-inspect-new-reservoirs.html
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Normal Parents Can Do More to Track Student Absences

Post by Guest on Tue Apr 17, 2012 4:31 pm

Sierra LaMar's disappearance has put the spotlight on the 'robo-calls' school districts make when kids don't make it to class.

As the search for missing Morgan Hill teenager Sierra LaMar stretches into its second month, Pajaro Valley parents may hug their children a little bit closer.

The 15-year-old high school cheerleader disappeared on her way to school on March 16. Despite a massive police response and dozens of searches conducted by hundreds of volunteers, Sierra has not been found.

One of the many questions raised during the investigation was why Sierra wasn't reported missing sooner. She didn't show up for school and attendance was taken, but her parents weren't notified until 6 p.m., nearly 11 hours after Sierra failed to board her school bus.

Could that happen in Watsonville? Might parents not know their kids didn't make it to school, whether due to foul play or just becausae the ditched class?

Well, honestly, it does every day.

Brett McFadden, the chief business officer for the Pajaro Valley School District, said PVUSD's attendance-tracking system is similar to that at Sobrato High School, where Sierra is a student.

“It’s a different computer system but basically the same thing as 90 percent of all the school districts," McFadden explained recently.

PVUSD uses two student-monitoring programs: E-School and the attendance program. Together, these student information systems handle grades, students' personal information, data tracking, attendance and the school district can even use them to make enrollment projections.

McFadden explained how it works:

“Once a teacher takes roll in the morning that roll is registered into E-Student Plus," he said, which instantly registers the information. “A parent can, on their own, go into E-School Plus or what’s called 'School Loop' … can go online during the day and see if their kid was in school.”

School Loop is an online program in the high schools and most middle schools that teachers and school administrators use to provide online information to families.

Parents of middle and high school students can access School Loop from home or work during the day to see if their kids are in class, but McFadden said he didn't know how many families actually utilize that service.

At the elementary school level, teachers take attendance in the morning, then do visual roll counts in the afternoon to make sure kids are there.

But any unexcused absences aren't notified to parents via robo-call until the late afternoon or early evening. That practice started years ago, McFadden said, to make sure parents got the message.

“Traditionally you did that because the message would go home and the kid would delete it," he said.

The call is made and, after two or three unexcused absence, a letter is sent home automatically. There’s about a week delay in the letter.

“Theoretically, if a parent didn’t check on their student’s enrollment than theoretically, yes, they may not find out that the child didn’t make it to school until sometime into the late afternoon or early evening," McFadden said.

Like what happened in Sierra's case.

There is an option for parents who want more instantaneous information about their children's attendance, McFadden said.

PVUSD offers text and email attendance alerts, which parents had the option of registering for at the start of the school year. If parents want to start that service now, they should contact their school administrators, who can give the parents' contact information to the PVUSD Student Services Department.

“To my knowledge we’re not getting a big influx of people signing up on this thing,” McFadden said.

McFadden, who has two sons in the school district, said good communication within a family can help parents stay informed also. His boys text or call him when they get out of school and keep him up-to-date on their afternoon activities.

http://watsonville.patch.com/articles/absence-policy
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Normal Re: Missing 15 Year Old Sierra Lamar ~ Her Cell Phone & A Bag With Her Clothes Found~ Suspect Antolin Garcia-Torres Arrested & Charged With Kidnapping & Murder~ Her Remains Have Not Been Found

Post by Guest on Tue Apr 17, 2012 5:01 pm

All school systems should have the on line option. But if a kid has never given a Parent a reason to worry about them being in class would they just check it anyway? I doubt it.
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Normal Re: Missing 15 Year Old Sierra Lamar ~ Her Cell Phone & A Bag With Her Clothes Found~ Suspect Antolin Garcia-Torres Arrested & Charged With Kidnapping & Murder~ Her Remains Have Not Been Found

Post by Guest on Tue Apr 17, 2012 5:03 pm

Well...if your kid doesn't come home it can help you to build a time line. :)
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Normal Re: Missing 15 Year Old Sierra Lamar ~ Her Cell Phone & A Bag With Her Clothes Found~ Suspect Antolin Garcia-Torres Arrested & Charged With Kidnapping & Murder~ Her Remains Have Not Been Found

Post by Guest on Tue Apr 17, 2012 5:21 pm

Yes but a kidnapper/perpetrator can be clear across the State line by the time a Parent is notified. I love the idea of email notifications. That could save a child. I need to be talking to my local school board as they to wait until the end of the business day to notify parents. I don't think we have on line options for notification.
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Normal ‘America’s Most Wanted’ joins search for Sierra/Television show will bring national attention to Sierra LaMar’s case and may help, Sheriff says

Post by Wrapitup on Fri Apr 27, 2012 12:25 pm

Posted on April 26, 2012 by Michael Moore

One of the country’s best-known crime fighters and victims’ advocates hopes to find Sierra LaMar by bringing prolonged national attention to the teen who remains missing after six weeks.

And while television crews from John Walsh’s “America’s Most Wanted” were in Morgan Hill this week shooting for the upcoming episode that will feature the missing 15-year-old, local residents remain steadfast in their efforts to find her and raise money for the Sierra LaMar Fund.

The AMW episode featuring Sierra is scheduled to air 9 p.m. May 11 on Lifetime, according to producer Jocelyn Sigue. The subject of missing children is one that’s “dear” to Walsh, the show’s host and creator whose own son Adam Walsh was abducted and murdered in 1981.

“He has stood in the shoes of the parents,” Sigue said while her crew shot scenes of the field near Sierra’s north Morgan Hill where her cell phone was found by investigators the day after she was reported missing.

Sierra’s father, Steve LaMar, flew to Los Angeles to shoot an interview with Walsh earlier this week. On Wednesday, Sigue and her crew filmed an interview with Sierra’s mother, Marlene LaMar, at her home near Palm and Dougherty avenues.

Steve LaMar, 49, said Walsh asked “good questions” during their interview. Naturally, he shares Walsh’s desire to get Sierra’s story heard by as many ears across country as possible.

“They have a pretty good success rate finding missing persons,” LaMar said. “One example is Elizabeth Smart. A tip was called in after someone saw her story on the show.”

Smart was kidnapped at the age of 14 in 2002 in Utah, and found nine months later still being held captive by her kidnappers.

“We’re trying to keep Sierra’s story out there, and visible to people so they know she’s still missing and we’re still trying to find her,” LaMar said.

The AMW crew also spent part of the week covering the KlaasKids volunteer-staffed search center at Burnett Elementary School. And on Thursday, the crew had an interview scheduled with Santa Clara County Sheriff Laurie Smith.

“The fact that we can give this national attention, that may help find her,” Sigue said. “Whether or not the person (who kidnapped Sierra) stayed in this area, there still may be clues that could help find her” in unexpected places outside the Bay Area.

Sierra has been missing since March 16, when she didn’t show up at her usual school bus stop near Palm and Dougherty avenues, just down the street from her home. Sierra typically walks to the bus stop, but police think she was abducted just outside her home.
The only evidence reportedly found so far is Sierra’s cell phone, which was located by investigators near Scheller Avenue and Santa Teresa Boulevard; and her purse with some of her clothing which were found a couple miles north near Santa Teresa and Laguna Avenue.

While AMW is mostly known for spotlighting and hunting down fugitives from the law and claims to have helped find more than 1,000 such criminals, it has also helped find dozens of missing people, Sigue explained.

“We keep the story alive. If it’s not solved, we’ll come back and remind the public that Sierra is out there,” Sigue said.

Local residents, most of whom don’t even know Sierra, seem unlikely to forget any time soon as well. Returning volunteers still crowd the KlaasKids search center at Burnett Elementary.

Before lunchtime Wednesday, about 135 people volunteered to participate in searches through remote areas throughout South County, according to volunteer Isela Sabala of Morgan Hill.

The search center has transformed considerably since the KlaasKids Foundation conducted its first search March 27, from the bleak-looking cafeteria of a closed school, to a hive of fundraising, donation drop-offs and search instruction, decorated with hundreds of hand-made posters in honor of Sierra and bustling with news crews and volunteers.

A table near the front door displays piles of T-shirts with Sierra’s picture printed on the front, selling for $10 each; and jewelry for sale made by hand by volunteer Lisa Silva of Morgan Hill, whose daughter is a classmate of Sierra’s at Sobrato High School and a cheer teammate of hers.

Proceeds of those sales go the Sierra LaMar Fund, which contributes to the nonprofit search efforts and could eventually augment the existing reward of $10,000 for Sierra’s safe return.

And a portion of the proceeds of a May 5 fundraiser for orphans’ services at Guglielmo Winery will go to the fund as well. That event will feature a silent auction, raffle, music, food and wine.

Some of the volunteers who have been involved in the effort since day one, drawn to the search for Sierra by the empathy gained from tragedies they have suffered in their pasts, have already become “lifetime friends,” according to Mary Kamakani of Gilroy.

Kamakani lost her husband to a fatal shooting by police in Los Angeles in 1997. Shortly after she started volunteering for the search for Sierra about three weeks ago, she met fellow volunteer Emma Spencer of San Jose, whose husband was shot and killed by a guard at Salinas Valley State Prison in 1998.

The two sat with fellow returning volunteers Kathy Turturici of Morgan Hill and Irma Mireles of San Jose. The four of them were tasked with filing volunteers’ information to be easily retrievable when they return.

“We all just met by sitting here and sharing the love,” Spencer said. “I’m here to give the love and get some back.”

Another volunteer search is scheduled for Saturday, and volunteers can show up from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the school, 85 Tilton Ave.
For more information on the Sierra LaMar Search Center, call 201-6364.

Anyone with information on the case can contact Santa Clara County Communications at 299-2311, or e-mail [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]. Callers can call Sheriff’s Investigators at 808-4500 or the anonymous tip line at 808-4431. Information or tips can also be sent via sccgov.org/portal/site/sheriff or by text at 421-6760.

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Prayers for our little HaLeigh Cummings, wherever she may be!!

Nine-tenths of wisdom is appreciation. Go find somebody’s hand and squeeze it, while there’s time.
-- Dale Dauten--

Thank you RAINE for all you ARE!! I will ALWAYS hold you in my Heart!!
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Normal Re: Missing 15 Year Old Sierra Lamar ~ Her Cell Phone & A Bag With Her Clothes Found~ Suspect Antolin Garcia-Torres Arrested & Charged With Kidnapping & Murder~ Her Remains Have Not Been Found

Post by Wrapitup on Sun Apr 29, 2012 6:16 pm

Reward for Sierra LaMar's safe return increased to $25,000

By Chris De Benedetti
San Jose Mercury News
Posted: 04/28/2012 02:22:02 PM PDT
Updated: 04/28/2012 03:54:03 PM PDT

MORGAN HILL -- The family of Sierra LaMar have increased the reward offered for the missing teen's safe return.

Steve LaMar, Sierra's father, announced Saturday that the reward now is $25,000, more than double the sum of $10,000 first offered April 7, said Marc Klaas, founder of the KlaasKids Foundation.

The money is being funded by fundraisers and community donations that poured in after Sierra, 15, went missing six weeks ago.

"Rewards really can make a difference," Klaas said when reached by phone after the announcement. "There have been cases where they've led authorities to catch abductors."

Steve LaMar was joined for the announcement by Klaas and Sierra's mother Marlene LaMar at Burnett Elementary School in Morgan Hill.

The KlaasKids Foundation recently has made the school its weekend headquarters, organizing hundreds of volunteers there for frequent search efforts.

The foundation, which is not affiliated with police, dispatched about 150 volunteers on 23 different assignments Saturday in search of the missing teen, Klaas said.

Police believe Sierra was abducted the morning of March 16 while walking to a school bus stop near her Morgan Hill home.

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Normal Re: Missing 15 Year Old Sierra Lamar ~ Her Cell Phone & A Bag With Her Clothes Found~ Suspect Antolin Garcia-Torres Arrested & Charged With Kidnapping & Murder~ Her Remains Have Not Been Found

Post by Wrapitup on Wed May 02, 2012 11:10 pm













Sierra LaMar Missing: 5 Sex Offenders Arrested During Sierra Lamar Investigation

First Posted: 05/ 2/2012 8:58 am
Updated: 05/ 2/2012 11:41 am

Authorities investigating the case of missing California teenager Sierra LaMar have arrested five sex offenders.

The arrests come after authorities interviewed nearly 300 sex offenders in regard to the teen's unsolved disappearance.

"As a result of contacting ... sex offender registrants, for information in the Sierra LaMar case, the Sheriff's Office Sexual Assault Felony Enforcement Task Force has arrested five separate persons, and is investigating several others," said Sgt. Jose Cardoza, a spokesman for the Santa Clara County Office of the Sheriff.

According to Cardoza, the men were arrested for violating sex offender registration requirements.

LaMar was last seen around 6 a.m. March 16, when she left her Morgan Hill home in Santa Clara County to attend classes at Sobrato High School. The sophomore never made it to the bus or school. Her mother learned LaMar was missing when she got a message from the school's automated attendance system at 6 p.m., police said.

On March 17, authorities found Lamar's cellphone discarded along a road roughly three-quarters of a mile northwest of her mother's home. The condition of the phone indicates it may have been tossed from a vehicle.

The following day, the sheriff's office found a purse and a backpack containing LaMar's clothing in a location about 2 miles in the opposite direction of her bus stop -- and a mile from where investigators recovered her cellphone.

Forensic examinations of the items have not revealed any new leads.

Because LaMar does not have a history of running away and has a close relationship with her family, authorities suspect she might have been abducted. Still, police have no suspects and no persons of interest at this time.

So far authorities have investigated more than 1,600 tips.

The Sheriff's Dive Team plans to resume water searches this week in the southern Santa Clara County area. Investigators will use side scan sonar, which detects objects below the surface levels, to identify areas of interest and will then send divers in to investigate.

"Parkway Lakes in south San Jose will be checked early this week, followed by Anderson and Coyote reservoirs," Cardoza said. "Almaden and Guadalupe reservoirs also in south San Jose, will be checked later this week."

Sierra LaMar is 5 feet 2 inches tall with a thin build. She has brown eyes and long, black hair, and was last seen with a Juicy brand purse with a black and pink design.

Anyone with information on this case is asked to contact the sheriff's department at 408-808-4500 or the anonymous tip line at 408-808-4431. Email tips can be sent to [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.].

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Normal Re: Missing 15 Year Old Sierra Lamar ~ Her Cell Phone & A Bag With Her Clothes Found~ Suspect Antolin Garcia-Torres Arrested & Charged With Kidnapping & Murder~ Her Remains Have Not Been Found

Post by lisette on Mon May 07, 2012 9:29 pm

Police seek vehicle in connection with abduction of California girl Sierra LaMar
Published May 07, 2012

Authorities probing the disappearance of a 15-year-old California girl said Monday they're looking for a vehicle they believe is connected to the teenager's abduction.
The Santa Clara County Sheriff's Office released a photo of a 1990s red Volkswagen Jetta that's similar to a car linked to the kidnapping of Sierra LaMar, who has been missing for nearly two months.
Investigators said they believe the girl was snatched early March 16 while walking to a bus stop near her home in Morgan Hill, Calif.
Sheriff's Sgt. Jose Cardoza said the red sedan being sought has a black hood. Police said the vehicle was spotted at the time and place where LaMar disappeared, though it is not known if the girl was riding inside it, according to the San Jose Mercury News.
"It's more than a coincidence," Cardoza told the newspaper. Information on the vehicle was reportedly gathered from witness accounts and surveillance video.
Meanwhile, crime lab technicians continue to analyze possible evidence found during searches for Sierra.
Cardoza said they've determined a handcuff box and used condoms found within a mile-and-a-half of her home are not associated with the case.
Anyone with information on the girl's disappearance is being urged to contact sheriff's investigators at (408) 808-4500 or the anonymous tip line at (408) 808-4431.

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Normal Investigators Identify Vehicle Linked to Sierra LaMar Disappearance

Post by raine1953 on Tue May 08, 2012 12:13 am

A red Volkswagon Jetta has been linked to the disappearance of missing Morgan Hill teen Sierra LaMar.

The association was made based off of investigative review and video surveillance sources who identified the same make and model of the vehicle as being involved in the LaMar case, Sgt. Jose Cardoza of the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office wrote in a prepared statement Monday morning.

Personnel from the Sheriff’s Office and its detective division are collaborating with multiple local and federal agencies to conduct follow-up investigations on leads that developed over the course of the investigation.

Some leads came from the county crime lab's forensic report that was released in mid-April. Items of evidence, like personal items that were determined to belong to Sierra, were sent to the county crime lab in late March for DNA testing.

The state crime lab also examined the items, many of which were determined to not be associated with the LaMar case, such as the used condom and handcuff box found by search volunteers on March 29, Cardoza wrote. However, other leads derived from the crime lab's forensic testing have aided the investigation and investigators are currently awaiting additional lab results.

“Information developed by sheriff’s Investigators, supported by forensic examination and county crime lab reports, has assisted in furthering the investigation,” Cardoza wrote. “The Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office remains completely focused on locating Sierra LaMar and determining who is responsible for her disappearance.”

The Sheriff’s Office is asking the south county community to call the tip line with any information associated to the vehicle, which may assist detectives in their investigation. Tipsters can call 408-808-4500, the anonymous tip line at 408-808-4431 or shoot an email to [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

Patch is currently attempting to obtain more details about the vehicle’s involvement and will update this article with additional information if and when it becomes available.
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Normal Police find red car possibly linked to Calif. teen's disappearance

Post by raine1953 on Tue May 08, 2012 5:51 pm

(CBS/KPIX/AP) MORGAN HILL, Calif. - Authorities say they have found a vehicle that they believe is connected to the abduction of Northern California teenager Sierra LaMar, who vanished nearly two months ago.

Authorities say surveillance video led them to believe that a red car similar to a late 1990's model Volkswagon Jetta was linked to the disappearance of 15-year-old LaMar, CBS San Francisco reports. Investigators believe she was kidnapped March 16 while walking to a bus stop near her Morgan Hill home.

Sheriff's Sgt. Jose Cardoza says the red sedan being sought has a black hood.

According to CBS San Francisco, although investigators have the vehicle in custody, they are still asking for the public's help for anyone who might have seen the car or its occupants during the time surrounding the disappearance of LaMar.

Authorities are reportedly asking anyone who may have seen the vehicle or had contact with the occupants during the month of March within Santa Clara County or bordering counties to come forward.

Meanwhile, crime lab technicians continue to analyze possible evidence found during searches for the teen.
Cardoza says they've determined a handcuff box and used condoms found within a mile-and-a-half of her home are not associated with the case.
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A surveillance image of a red Volkswagen Jetta possibly tied to the disappearance of Morgan Hill teen Sierra LaMar. (Credit: Santa Clara County Sheriff)
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Normal Re: Missing 15 Year Old Sierra Lamar ~ Her Cell Phone & A Bag With Her Clothes Found~ Suspect Antolin Garcia-Torres Arrested & Charged With Kidnapping & Murder~ Her Remains Have Not Been Found

Post by lisette on Tue May 08, 2012 9:59 pm

although investigators have the vehicle in custody, they are still asking for the public's help for anyone who might have seen the car or its occupants during the time surrounding the disappearance of LaMar.

Authorities are reportedly asking anyone who may have seen the vehicle or had contact with the occupants during the month of March within Santa Clara County or bordering counties to come forward.

This is strange. Do they not know who the car belongs to? Had it been sold? abandoned? If it didn't have anything to do with her disappearance, it seems that they would have already announced that...so it sounds like this might be a really crucial lead. Fingers Crossed
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Normal Mother of missing teen Sierra LaMar issues Mother's Day letter

Post by Wrapitup on Sat May 12, 2012 3:46 pm

By Sharon Noguchi
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Posted: 05/11/2012 06:13:13 PM PDT
Updated: 05/11/2012 10:44:13 PM PDT

Two days before Mother's Day, the mother of missing Morgan Hill-area teen Sierra LaMar issued a poignant statement reflecting on the joys and difficulties of motherhood.

The brief, three-paragraph letter sent to media outlets said that Sierra was her "miracle baby," conceived when Marlene LaMar, now 51, had been told she might not get pregnant again.

"Mother's Day is a time of reflection on what being a mom has brought to your life. Being a mom has been the greatest joy of my life. From the moment I knew that a little life was growing inside me, there was an overwhelming need to protect and nurture my child," the letter began.

Marlene LaMar said she wrote the letter for her daughters Danielle, 21, and Sierra, 15, and also for other mothers.

The letter continues, "It's not always an easy job. A child develops ideas of their own. Sometimes a mom might disagree because of personal experiences and wisdom. We hover, discipline and teach them to be responsible. We do these things because of our unconditional love for our children! I hope as mothers, we guide them to make good choices."

LaMar said Friday that she was reflecting on difficulties with her own mother and not any she had with Sierra, when she wrote those words.

"I'll never forget my mother saying, 'You just wait until you have your own kids,' " LaMar said. "As teens, we sometimes don't appreciate our moms and later realize when we become mothers ourselves what a major influence they've had on us."

Meanwhile on Friday, searchers focused on open fields and construction sites in south Morgan Hill. Divers also inspected two reservoirs in the South San Jose area, according to Santa Clara County Sheriff's Sgt. Jose Cardoza.

Sierra disappeared March 16 on her way to catch a bus to Sobrato High in Morgan Hill. Investigators are studying a red Volkswagen Jetta sedan that they suspected might be connected with the case.

A search operation has been anchored at Burnett Elementary in Morgan Hill. Thousands of volunteers on searches organized every Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday have scoured areas for evidence of Sierra. The reward for information leading to her has increased to $25,000.

Marc Klaas, of the Klaas Kids Foundation, said he suggested LaMar write the letter. "It would be something that I thought would be good for her to do, to reach out to try to make contact with Sierra," he said. The Klaas foundation has organized the thrice-weekly searches for Sierra.

"I thought what a great idea, to demonstrate how I feel being Sierra and Danielle's mom, what they mean to me," LaMar said, "and sending that message to the mothers." In her letter Friday, LaMar wrote about her daughter, "I knew she was going to be strong-willed the moment the doctor saw on the ultrasound that she was doing somersaults in utero.

"Regardless of the work it takes to raise children, the overwhelming love far outweighs those moments that you wonder how you'll ever make it through."

The letter concludes, "The greatest gift that God has blessed me with is the joy of being a mom to two beautiful daughters. I love you Danielle and Sierra, and I'm so proud to be your mom."

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Normal Search for Sierra Lamar to Mark Two-Month Anniversary of Her Disappearance

Post by Wrapitup on Wed May 16, 2012 5:52 pm

By: Ja'Mein Beale - Wed, 16 May 2012 07:56:30 -0800

MORGAN HILL (KRON)--Friends and family of missing Morgan Hill teen Sierra LaMar are marking the two-month anniversary of her disappearance Wednesday with another search.

Police say Sierra, 15, disappeared after she left home to go to school the morning of March 16. Investigators believe her disappearance is an abduction and numerous searches by law enforcement and volunteers have been conducted during the weeks since her disappearance.

"This is not how I wanted to acknowledge this date, but I am deeply grateful that the community continues to support her cause," Sierra's father, Steve LaMar said in a statement Tuesday.

The latest volunteer search, led by the KlaasKids Foundation, comes as forensic experts continue to scour a red Volkswagon Jetta with a black hood that is considered an important clue into the missing teen.

"This red Jetta was known to investigators early on in the investigation at the end of March," Santa Clara County Sheriff's spokesman Sgt. Jose Cardoza tells KRON 4's Terisa Estacio. "There are other vehicles that we knew of at the time that were seen by a witness or the surveillance video that we obtained that were also in the area. It wasn't until recently, the last couple of weeks based on some re-interviews and some tips and leads that came in that really piqued the detectives' interest. They believed this red Jetta was associated."

Investigators say they do know know the registered owner of the red Jetta but aren't letting anyone know who he or she may be.

"We're just really not going to comment on in what capacity we believe it's associated, whether how big or how small, but we do believe it's connected in some way," Sgt. Cardoza adds.


Deputies have answered and checked out hundreds of leads in this case. Meanwhile, another volunteer search for Sierra is scheduled for Saturday.

Stay tuned to KRON 4 and KRON4.com for the latest on this developing story.

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Normal Re: Missing 15 Year Old Sierra Lamar ~ Her Cell Phone & A Bag With Her Clothes Found~ Suspect Antolin Garcia-Torres Arrested & Charged With Kidnapping & Murder~ Her Remains Have Not Been Found

Post by Wrapitup on Wed May 16, 2012 10:18 pm

Letter from Sierra Lamar's dad marks 2-month anniversary since teen went missing

By Mike Rosenberg
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Posted: 05/16/2012 06:33:54 PM PDT
Updated: 05/16/2012 06:46:19 PM PDT

Exactly two months after 15-year-old Sierra LaMar went missing, the father of the girl Wednesday told the community that "we will continue to do everything we can to find Sierra and bring her back safe to us."

"Although today marks the painful two-month milestone since my daughter Sierra went missing, my family and I remain positive and confident that she will be back home safe with us soon,"
Steve LaMar wrote in a brief memo posted on the website dedicated to finding Sierra.

It comes after the girl's mother, Marlene, posted a heartfelt Mother's Day message last week. Sierra's sister, Danielle, had written a letter a month ago.

The Santa Clara County Sheriff's Office said Wednesday it still had nothing new to report on the case of the Morgan Hill-area teen. They have searched local waterways this week but have not found any evidence.

Investigators over the past two months found the girl's bag and cellphone and impounded a Jetta "associated" with the case, but otherwise have disclosed no clues. Though detectives suspect she was kidnapped, they -- like the LaMar family and the community, which has submitted more than 2,000 tips to investigators -- remain hopeful Sierra is alive.

Volunteer searches will continue, as they have, every Saturday and Wednesday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., with volunteers asked to report to 85 Tilton Ave. in Morgan Hill.

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Normal Re: Missing 15 Year Old Sierra Lamar ~ Her Cell Phone & A Bag With Her Clothes Found~ Suspect Antolin Garcia-Torres Arrested & Charged With Kidnapping & Murder~ Her Remains Have Not Been Found

Post by samgoodwin on Tue May 22, 2012 1:00 am

Wow! They've made an arrest in Sierra's case! The guy who owned the red and black jetta. His pic and story here:
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Normal Re: Missing 15 Year Old Sierra Lamar ~ Her Cell Phone & A Bag With Her Clothes Found~ Suspect Antolin Garcia-Torres Arrested & Charged With Kidnapping & Murder~ Her Remains Have Not Been Found

Post by samgoodwin on Tue May 22, 2012 1:09 am

Here's another article on the arrest...

Authorities announce arrest in Sierra LaMar disappearance

By Eric Kurhi
San Jose Mercury News
Posted: 05/21/2012 10:12:11 PM PDT
Updated: 05/21/2012 11:04:01 PM PDT

Santa Clara investigators announced they are seeking murder and kidnapping charges against a 21-year-old Morgan Hill man arrested Monday evening in connection with the disappearance of 15-year-old Sierra LaMar, who was last seen on March 16.
"Detectives believe (Antolin) Garcia-Torres is responsible for Sierra LaMar's disappearance," states a news release.
It says Garcia-Torres was booked into Santa Clara County Jail on one count of murder and one count of kidnapping, and they
The Santa Clara County Sheriff's Office previously announced that a red Volkswagen Jetta may be connected to the case, and according to KTVU-2, Garcia-Torres is the owner of the car, which was seized on May 8.
KTVU reports that Garcia-Torres was arrested around 6 p.m. at a Safeway store on Tenant Avenue in Morgan Hill, where he worked.

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Normal Authorities announce arrest in Sierra LaMar disappearance

Post by raine1953 on Tue May 22, 2012 9:50 am

Updated: 05/22/2012 07:36:07 AM PDT

Complete coverage of the Sierra LaMar investigation
In a stunning breakthrough in a case that has captivated the country, authorities on Monday evening arrested a suspect on suspicion of murder and kidnapping in the disappearance of Sierra LaMar.
Antolin Garcia-Torres, 21, was booked into Santa Clara County Jail on one count of murder and one count of kidnapping.
"We believe we have probable cause that he committed the kidnapping and murder of Sierra LaMar," said Santa Clara County Sheriff Laurie Smith at a late evening news conference.
The sheriff's office previously announced that a red Volkswagen Jetta may be connected to the case, and according to authorities, Garcia-Torres is the owner of the car, which was seized on May 8.
"We have a lot of physical evidence" Smith said. She said the public's safety is the main concern of her office, and, "we don't want to see anyone else hurt or any other little girls taken."
She said Garcia-Torres had been under surveillance by her department, but declined to elaborate.
Smith urged people not to give up the search for LaMar. "We ask that the public continue to look, and find Sierra for us," she said.
She said the news is very difficult for the family and that they have been appraised of what is going on. She added that they will be at a news conference scheduled Tuesday morning.
DNA evidence may have connected Garcia-Torres to LaMar's items that were found in the days after her March 16 disappearance, KTVU-2 reported.
The day after her disappearance, investigators found her cellphone a few blocks east of her school bus stop. And, the next day, her pink Juicy-brand bag was found, containing a neatly folded T-shirt and pants.
KTVU-2 reported that Garcia-Torres was arrested around 6 p.m. at a Safeway store on Tennant Avenue in Morgan Hill, where he worked.
Witnesses to the arrest told the television station that sheriff's officers took Garcia-Torres into custody at gunpoint. A broadcast showed him, clad in shorts and a tank-top with a chain connecting his wrists to his waist, being escorted away from the sheriff's office after an interview said to have lasted three hours.
Marc Klaas, who has been organizing volunteer searches since Sierra's disappearance, says he was given the same incomplete news after his own 12-year-old daughter, Polly, was kidnapped from their Petaluma home in 1993.
"I would say they're very angry now," Klaas said of the LaMar family, although he hadn't talked to them late Monday night.
"They've been told somebody murdered their daughter, but they can't prove it. That's how I felt. They needed to prove to me one way or another before I would accept anything, until they proved to me my
daughter was dead."
After being dominated by fear and anger for the past two months, the LaMar family is now "possibly at the point where there won't be anything left to be afraid of," Klaas said.
Until Sierra's body is recovered, he said, his volunteers will continue with a scheduled search Wednesday "in hopes of still finding Sierra alive."
Monday's arrest marks a sad turn to a case that began after the teen from the Morgan Hill area vanished on the way to school, sparking countless volunteer searches as her family and authorities scoured fields, creeks, back roads and reservoirs in hopes of finding Sierra.
Over the past two months, critical developments in the case emerged but none was revealed to be a breakthrough -- until now.
Ten days after Sierra disappeared, the Sheriff's Office took her off the missing persons list and Monday's arrest suggested the worst.
"As difficult as it is, and as much as you want your child home and safe, you need a resolution. You need to know. There are far too many cases unsolved or cold that leave people in limbo from which they're unable to move forward," Klaas said.
"Imagine what it's like," he said, "to be told day after day that there's no real news? You get to the point you just need news. You need to know where is my child?"
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Antolin Garcia-Torres was arrested in connection with the disappearance of Morgan Hill-area teen Sierra LaMar. (Santa Clara County Sheriiff's De)

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Normal Sierra LaMar's mom asks suspect in her daughter's killing to locate the body

Post by raine1953 on Tue May 22, 2012 11:23 am

Sierra LaMar's mother issued a plea to the suspect in her daughter's killing: "Come forward and say where she is and end this nightmare for us as a family.''
Fighting back tears following a press conference where Santa Clara County Sheriff Laurie Smith discussed the arrest of suspect Antolin Garcia-Torres, Marlene LaMar said she hasn't given up hope that the 15-year-old Morgan Hill-area girl would be found alive.
"We continue to pray until she is found. Our search is not going to end. As a mother I'm hopeful. Her body has not been found and that gives me hope."
Authorities, though, said they're certain that Sierra is dead, and say both DNA and circumstantial evidence led them to Garcia-Torres, who was booked Monday night into Santa Clara County Jail on one count of murder and one count of kidnapping after being taken in custody hours earlier at a Safeway in Morgan Hill.
Marlene LaMar thanked the scores of volunteers and law enforcement officers who have searched for Sierra since she disappeared while on her way to school on March 16.
"I would like to thank the community outreaching to find Sierra and all their time and efforts that have gone into this and their prayers,'' she said.
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Normal Re: Missing 15 Year Old Sierra Lamar ~ Her Cell Phone & A Bag With Her Clothes Found~ Suspect Antolin Garcia-Torres Arrested & Charged With Kidnapping & Murder~ Her Remains Have Not Been Found

Post by Wrapitup on Tue May 22, 2012 11:39 am

This is bittersweet. I wonder if he has confessed?

Thanks for the text, Raine and the above video. And, thank you, Sam, for the news. OMG!

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Normal Re: Missing 15 Year Old Sierra Lamar ~ Her Cell Phone & A Bag With Her Clothes Found~ Suspect Antolin Garcia-Torres Arrested & Charged With Kidnapping & Murder~ Her Remains Have Not Been Found

Post by Wrapitup on Tue May 22, 2012 11:45 am

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Sierra LaMar Suspect Watched for Weeks Hoping He Would Lead Them To Teen

By ALYSSA NEWCOMB (@alyssanewcomb) , KEVIN DOLAK (@kdolak) and DEAN SCHABNER
May 22, 2012

Santa Clara County police said today they had been following the suspect in the kidnapping and murder of Sierra LaMar since March 28, hoping he would lead them to the missing teen.

Antolin Garcia Torres, 21, was arrested Monday and booked into the Santa Clara County Jail on suspicion of murder and kidnapping, according to the sheriff's department.

Police said he was not being cooperative and they are still looking for LaMar.

The girl's mother, Marlene LaMar, made an emotional plea to Garcia-Torres and anyone who may have information about the case at a news conference today.

"Please give the information that you have to lead us to Sierra to help end this nightmare. I would like you to come forward and say where she is and end this nightmare for us as a family." she said.

LaMar said she is holding out hope her daughter is still alive.

"Until she is found,our search is still not going to end," she said. "As a mother, still I am hopeful because her body has not been found and that gives me hope."

The cheerleader disappeared on March 16 on her way to a school bus. Two days later, authorities found her cellphone and Juicy brand bag containing a pair of folded jeans and a T-shirt two miles from her home.

DNA was found on several of the teen's belongings and was run through a state database, said Santa Clara County Sheriff Laurie Smith. That DNA was a match for Antolin Garcia Torres who had a submitted DNA during a felony arrest that had not been prosecuted, she said.

The discovery prompted police to follow him 24/7 starting March 28. "Public safety was our primary concern," she said.

Smith did not say today what prompted police to end their surveillance and arrest Garcia-Torres, but on Monday after the arrest she said, "He was arrested today because this is how we thought that the arrest should be done and public safety is our number one concern. We don't want anyone else hurt. We don't want any more little girls taken."

The suspect is from Morgan Hill, the same area where Sierra lived with her family and where the teen disappeared. He is the owner of the red Volkswagen Jetta that police seized on April 7.

"We have physical evidence linking Sierra to his vehicle," Smith said today.

Garcia-Torres was arrested around 6 p.m. at the Safeway store where he works.

Divers began searching reservoirs near her home last month, but have yet to come up with a trace of the teen.

Last week's episode of the TV program "America's Most Wanted" featured LaMar's case, and investigators have since been sorting through a series of tips and possible leads.

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