South Bay News

Search outings for Sierra LaMar scaled back

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

This weekend marks six months since Morgan Hill teenager Sierra LaMar disappeared. On Wednesday, the search center conducted its last Wednesday search, although the Saturday searches will continue.

181 days after Sierra disappeared, the streets of Morgan Hill are still lined with pink ribbons, and a mother's heart aches for the little girl who was becoming a young woman.

"There were a few times she rushed to the bus stop because she didn't want to keep the bus driver waiting," said Sierra's mother, Marlene LaMar. "And that just shows me how just demonstrated respect for adults no matter who they were, you know, and that just gives me peace that she was like that."

Though, those moments of peace are hard to find. And the pain for Sierra's parents is hard to describe, "Crying harder than I've ever cried, you know, like where you can't catch your breath," said Sierra's father, Steve LaMar.

Despite the many tears, the LaMar's say the search center and outpouring of community support have given them incredible strength. Congressional leaders have visited, famous athletes have shown their support, and thousands of people have adopted a girl they never met.

"It's like she's become everybody's daughter," search center volunteer Emma Spencer said. "You lay down wondering where she is. You wake up driving, wondering where she is."

In May, authorities arrested Antolin Garcia-Torres for Sierra's murder. They found DNA evidence in his car and on her clothing, but Sierra has never been found.

"To me it's an honor, and we're not going to stop," search volunteer Cesar Guido said. "This is our last Wednesday, but we're going to continue on Saturdays."

The six month anniversary of Sierra's disappearance will be difficult, but Marlene says her daughter's 16th birthday next month will be even harder, "I am going to be thinking of how more she had to offer, you know. I still want her to come back and experience all the things that a normal teenager would experience, going to prom and helping with her school projects, how much I miss that."

The family says the search will not end until Sierra comes home.

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Tags:
sierra lamar, crime, murder, missing person, morgan hill, san jose, south bay news, karina rusk
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