Search for Missing Sierra LaMar Intensified Saturday

About 90 people and several search dogs combed a 12-mile radius of the Morgan Hill community where Sierra LaMar disappeared from more than a week ago.

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    NEWSLETTERS

    It has been an active night for the F.B.I. in Morgan Hill and a hopeful night for hundreds of people in Fremont. Two local communities, praying for the safe return, of Sierra Lamar. NBC Bay Area's Kimberly Tere reports from Morgan Hill. (Published Saturday, Mar 24, 2012)

    Update:: The Santa Clara County Sheriff's Office says they will not conduct a search for Sierra Lamar Sunday. Instead investigators say they are working on documenting the interviews they have conducted over that last several days. They will also evaluate the next steps in the investigation.
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    Dozens of law enforcement officials combed an area of Morgan Hill Saturday as the search for missing 15-year-old Sierra LaMar continues.

    Sierra's Purse, Clothing Found

    [BAY] Sierra LaMar's Purse, Neatly Folded Clothing Found
    Santa Clara County investigators have found a Juicy-brand bag belonging to Sierra Lamar, the 15-year-old Morgan Hill girl who went missing on Friday, a sheriff's spokesman announced this morning. The bag was found at about 1 p.m. Sunday in the area of Laguna Avenue and Santa Teresa Boulevard, about 2 miles from Sierra's mother's home, Santa Clara County sheriff's Sgt. Jose Cardoza said. (Published Thursday, Mar 22, 2012)

    Santa Clara County Sheriff's spokesman Sgt. Jose Cardoza said with deputies from nearby counties called in to help, about 90 personnel and several search dogs searched a 12-mile radius of the community.

    In the end they did not find anything significant.

    The Search For Sierra Lamar Continues

    [BAY] The Search For Sierra Lamar Continues
    15-year-old Sierra Lamar is still missing after six days. Her saga has become a national story. NBC Bay Area's George Kiriyama talks about to the people of Morgan Hill, where's she from, on how they feel about her disappearance. (Published Saturday, Mar 24, 2012)

    LaMar, a 15-year-old Sobrato High School student, was last seen the morning of Friday, March 16. She had school that day, but never got on the bus.

    The girl has been the subject of a major search over the last week, involving the FBI, helicopters, dogs, roadblocks and divers.

    Cardoza said Saturday's search was the biggest mounted since LaMar was reported missing.

    The day of LaMar's disappearance, her school's automated attendance system notified her mother, Marlene LaMar, that her daughter didn't show up for classes.

    The next day, searchers found her cell phone along the side of the road near Palm and Dougherty Avenue, near her home in unincorporated Morgan Hill.

    "The cellphone was intact, it wasn't broken," Sgt. Jose Cardoza said. "There's no evidence to lead to a crime after that."

    Then two days after LaMar's disappearance, searchers found her black and pink Juicy brand purse near the intersection of Laguna and Santa Teresa in Morgan Hill, about two miles from her home, Cardoza said.

    Inside the purse was a pair of pants, a shirt, a bra and a pair of underwear. The clothing was neatly folded inside the purse.

    Steve LaMar, the girl's father, is a registered sex offender. But the Santa Clara County Sheriff's office said he was not a suspect in her disappearence.

    "I understand the stigma associated with this in my background, and I assure everyone it is not connected in any way to my daughter’s disappearance," he said. "I ask that you please not shift the focus away from the investigation and from finding Sierra."

    Hundreds of people in Morgan Hill and Fremont gathered Friday night for a candlelight vigil for LaMar.

    View more videos at: http://nbcbayarea.com.

    Since the weekend LaMar went missing, the search team has been looking for clues that might point to a crime. But investigators haven't found any signs of foul play or clues indicating she ran away.

    Earlier this week, police conducted searches of neighbors' homes and a three-mile search radius was set up around LaMar's home, police said. Neighbors have been cooperative.

    The FBI eventually joined local authorities in the search. A roadblock was set up on Dougherty Avenue near the intersection of Palm Avenue. Agents stopped every driver to ask questions about LaMar's disappearance.

    "I'm hoping that you know, you think of her as your own child," Marlene LaMar said. "You know, she's, she was such a lovable young lady."

    Anyone with information about Sierra LaMar or her whereabouts is asked to contact Santa Clara County Communications at (408) 299-2311. During business hours, tipsters can call sheriff's investigators at (408) 808-4500 or the anonymous tip line at (408) 808-4431. They also set up an email address for tips at: tips@sheriff.sccgov.org.

    The Associated Press and Bay City News contributed to this report.