Relief, sadness and anger were a few of the emotions expressed Tuesday in Morgan Hill after those who knew Sierra LaMar and even those who didn't heard her accused killer was found guilty.
Five long years after the 15-year-old Sobrato High School student vanished on her way to a school bus stop, residents of the city connected to a case that made national headlines were able to see justice served.
"It shook our town; it still does," resident Sara Salinas said. "You still see the signs all around town."
A Santa Clara County jury on Tuesday morning found Antolin Garcia Torres guilty of first degree murder with a kidnapping enhancement in the death of Sierra, even though her body has never been found. He now faces the death penalty.
"Everything he gets coming to him he deserves," Salinas said.
At the Morgan Hill Safeway supermarket where Garcia Torres once worked and attempted to abduct other young women in 2009, neighbors said they remain angry.
"She was just a baby, just a baby, a beautiful girl," Elena Miranda, of San Martin, said. "Hanging him wouldn’t be enough because it’s not going to bring her back."
One neighbor who lived down the street from Sierra said he drives through the very intersection at Dougherty and Palm avenues where she was abducted. Each time, he said, he’s reminded of Sierra.
"Oh yeah. All the time," Matt Bonior said. "And if they would’ve given me 10 minutes in a cell with him, I would’ve found where the body was."
The penalty phase in the case, during which the jury will decide between the death penalty or life in prison without parole for Garcia Torres, begins next Tuesday.