Police: Suspect car not linked to similar kidnap attempts

The Volkswagen Jetta linked to Sierra's disappearance

There is no likely connection between the red car associated with the kidnapping of Sierra LaMar and a vehicle reported in relation to similar attempts in other communities, authorities said. 

The Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office reported earlier this week they have recovered a 90s-model, red four-door Volkswagen Jetta with a black hood, and are asking witnesses who might have seen the car in the area before, during or after March 16 to come forward and tell investigators. 

The car is linked to Sierra’s disappearance by other witness statements and public video surveillance cameras, according to sheriff’s Sgt. Jose Cardoza. 

Witnesses and authorities investigating two other recent attempted kidnappings of female victims reported similar-looking vehicles driven by the suspects. Those incidents happened in San Jose and Walnut Creek, but Cardoza said “at this time” there is no apparent link with Sierra’s case or the car allegedly used in her kidnapping. 

Sierra, a 15-year-old sophomore at Sobrato High School and a cheerleader for the Black Diamond Elite club squad in San Jose, was reported missing March 16. Police think she was kidnapped as she was walking to her normal school bus stop near Palm and Dougherty avenues, about a quarter-mile from her north Morgan Hill home. 

Investigators are not releasing any other details about the recovered red Volkswagen, such as where they found it and when, who it is registered to, where it was photographed, and whether or not investigators have been able to gather any other evidence such as fingerprints or DNA from the vehicle.

The sheriff’s dive team continues to search South County and South San Jose waterways for evidence in the case. Today, they were searching small ponds and waterways on private properties west of Monterey Road in unincorporated South San Jose, Cardoza said. 

The only other physical evidence reported by investigators is Sierra’s cell phone and her purse containing some of her clothing, which were found off the side of the road within a couple miles of her home on March 17 and March 18. 

Detectives and officers from a number of agencies have also spent thousands of hours interviewing people who know Sierra from Morgan Hill and Fremont, her former home. 

Anyone with information on the Volkswagen Jetta identified by investigators can contact the sheriff’s tip line at 299-2311 or  [email protected] Callers can call Sheriff’s Investigators at 808-4500 or the anonymous tip line at 808-4431. Tips can also be sent via sccgov.org/portal/site/sheriff or by text at 421-6760.

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