Sheriff’s search and rescue personnel will be conducting a search effort in the area of south Morgan Hill this afternoon, according to Santa Clara County Sheriff spokesman Sgt. Jose Cardoza. The ground search operation will focus on open fields and construction sites and zones in south Morgan Hill.
Meanwhile, the Sheriff’s underwater search teams will resume water searches today at two reservoirs in unincorporated south San Jose. Almaden reservoir will be checked with the assistance of a water borne detection K9. Side scan sonar checks will be conducted at Guadalupe reservoir.
Sierra, a 15-year-old sophomore at Sobrato High School, 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.
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.
Investigators still think there’s a “possibility” that Sierra is still alive. “We don’t have anything that proves she’s not alive,” Cardoza said.
This belief is not necessarily based on the discovery of the red Volkswagen, but has been the detectives’ view from “day one,” Cardoza added.
Police are asking anyone who saw a red Volkswagen Jetta with a black hood in north Morgan Hill or south San Jose on or around March 16 is asked to contact the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office, because investigators have linked the vehicle to the disappearance and kidnapping of Sierra LaMar.
The sheriff’s office reported earlier this week they have recovered the 90s-model, red four-door Volkswagen Jetta with a black hood, and it’s part of the investigation into the missing teen’s kidnapping, according to Cardoza.
Several photographs of the vehicle, snapped by video surveillance cameras monitoring public and residential areas were released by the sheriff’s office this week as well.
But investigators are keeping quiet on the details of the vehicle, and Cardoza declined to say whether or not they have found evidence in or on the car that places Sierra inside it after she was kidnapped March 16.
Other information including where the car was found and when, who it is registered to, where it was photographed, and whether or not investigators have been able to gather any useful evidence from the vehicle.
Tonight at 9 p.m. on the Lifetime network, the television show “America’s Most Wanted” will air a segment on Sierra. A producer and crew from the show were in Morgan Hill in late April shooting interviews with Sierra’s parents, as well as other footage for the show.
Sierra’s father, Steve LaMar, flew to Los Angeles that week for an interview with the show’s founder and host, John Walsh.
Producer Jocelyn Sigue said while she was in Morgan Hill that the purpose of the segment is to keep Sierra’s story alive and to spread it to a wider audience. She noted that AMW has a strong track record of helping the public and law enforcement find fugitives and missing persons.
Anyone with information on the Volkswagen Jetta identified by investigators, or on Sierra’s possible whereabouts, 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.
More than 2,000 tips have come in via phone calls and emails. All tips continue to be evaluated and followed-up on by Investigators.