Volunteers, police persist in search for Sierra - The Gilroy Dispatch: Search For Sierra

Volunteers, police persist in search for Sierra

Commuter trains will display missing posters; more canvassing of area scheduled for this week

Font Size:
Default font size
Larger font size

Posted: Monday, April 23, 2012 5:15 pm | Updated: 2:45 pm, Mon Dec 10, 2012.

Volunteers and investigators refuse to give up searching for north Morgan Hill resident Sierra LaMar.

Nearly 100 law enforcement personnel from San Mateo, Monterey, Santa Cruz and Marin counties spent the day Saturday conducting another intensive search-and-rescue effort, Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Sgt. Jose Cardoza said.

The search included “special high-angle rough terrain” checks, which included personnel rappelling or rock climbing into remote areas to look for any sign of Sierra, 15, or her whereabouts.

Some of these areas searched were in the western foothills of Morgan Hill, San Martin and Gilroy, Cardoza said.

“They covered a lot of ground,” but the search didn’t turn up any items “of any evidence value,” Cardoza said.

Authorities are evaluating how the latest search went, and will subsequently determine when and where to schedule the next law enforcement search for the Sobrato High School sophomore who police think was kidnapped while walking to her school bus stop March 16.

Meanwhile, volunteers continue to help searching for Sierra through efforts organized by the nonprofit KlaasKids Foundation. Nearly 300 volunteers showed up at the foundation’s “Sierra LaMar Search Center” at Burnett Elementary both Saturday and Sunday, according to volunteer Dori Prado.

The foundation, which was founded by Marc Klaas whose 12-year-old daughter Polly was abducted from the family’s home in Petaluma and murdered in 1993, provides search services to the families of missing children nationwide.

Through KlaasKids’ efforts, the Bay Area Rapid Transit system will display posters depicting Sierra’s disappearance in 200 of its commuter train cars. The posters will advise riders of Sierra’s disappearance, and will include Sierra’s name, photo and description, as well as contact information for law enforcement.

The posters will also include a QR code, courtesy of ChildQuest International, giving smartphone users the ability to scan for more information, according to a press release from the KlaasKids Foundation.

Sierra’s family has also offered a reward of $10,000 to anyone who provides information leading to her safe return.

More volunteer searches are scheduled for this week. One will take place Wednesday and another search is scheduled for Saturday. Those interested can volunteer to search by showing up to Burnett Elementary School, 85 Tilton Ave., from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. both days.

Both the foundation and sheriff’s office have progressively expanded their search efforts since Sierra disappeared.

Law enforcement started searching the areas surrounding Sierra’s home near Palm and Dougherty avenues, and have expanded outward since March 16. They have now reached as far south as Gilroy, as far west as Mount Madonna, as far north as San Jose, and as far east as the eastern foothils.

Last week, divers from the sheriff’s office used boats and side-scan sonar equipment to check South County waterways such as groundwater percolation ponds at Monterey Road and Ogier Avenue, Calero, Chesbro and Uvas reservoirs.

The only physical evidence found so far in the case is Sierra’s cell phone, found March 17; and her purse which contained some of her clothing, found March 18. Those items were found just off the side of the road within two miles of her home.

Sierra’s family has been ruled out as suspects, according to police.

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 e-mail tips@sheriff.sccgov.org. 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.

  • Discuss

Rules of Conduct

  • 1 Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
  • 2 Don't Threaten or Abuse. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated. AND PLEASE TURN OFF CAPS LOCK.
  • 3 Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
  • 4 Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
  • 5 Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
  • 6 Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.

Welcome to the discussion.