Volunteers still sought for Sierra search


Volunteers are still asked to help search for Sierra LaMar, 15, and some citizens from halfway across the country vow to travel to Morgan Hill just to help bring closure to the missing teen’s family. 

The KlaasKids Foundation, the Laura Recovery Center and Child Quest International as well as Sierra’s family and friends are coordinating search efforts Wednesday and Saturday, starting at 8 a.m. both days. 

Volunteers interested in searching can join by showing up at the search headquarters, at Burnett Elementary School, 85 Tilton Ave.

Jennifer Koziel plans to fly to the Bay Area from Chicago just to participate in the upcoming search efforts, according to the KlaasKids Foundation. 

“The desperation and sadness in her family’s voices called to me,” Koziel said. “My teenage goddaughter could have been Sierra.” 

Sierra’s father, Steve LaMar, added, “These are the kinds of opportunities that only social networks like Facebook are able to provide. It humbles me and reinforces my faith in mankind that (Koziel) is willing to take time out of her life, at her own expense to look for my daughter, who she never even met.” 

Sierra has been missing since March 16, when she was allegedly kidnapped by Antolin Garcia Torres, 21 of Morgan Hill, while she was walking to her school bus stop in north Morgan Hill. 

Garcia Torres was arrested by authorities from the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office May 21. He was charged by the district attorney with murder, with a special circumstance of kidnapping, and he remains in jail without bail. 

Authorities do not have any physical evidence that Sierra is dead, but investigators think she was murdered based on her lack of contact with the world since her disappearance, and her lack of independent means for financial support. Sierra was a sophomore at Sobrato High School at the time of her disappearance. 

DNA evidence found on some of Sierra’s discarded belongings – found about two miles from her house – and in Garcia Torres’ car place the two together, even though they did not know each other prior to her disappearance, authorities have said. 

Volunteers who want to help with the search efforts must be at least 18 years old, and should dress appropriately for the weather and the rugged terrain which could include steep hills, mud and long grass.

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