Sierra LaMar Search Moves Off-Road - NBC Bay Area

Sierra LaMar Search Moves Off-Road

The sheriff's off-road unit used ATV's to search the South Coyote Creek Trail area Saturday for missing Morgan Hill teen Sierra LaMar.



    The search for Sierra Lamar continued today in Morgan Hill and dozens of people too young to join the search efforts, took to the streets to get their message heard. (Published Sunday, April 1, 2012)

    Investigators took the search for missing teen Sierra LaMar off road Saturday, Santa Clara County Sheriff's Office officials said.

    The sheriff's off-road unit, mounted on ATVs, search the South Coyote Creek Trail and the Cochrane Road to Bernal Road area Saturday, officials said.

    The continuing search for LaMar, 15, follows the discovery Thursday of suspicious items near her home, including an empty box labeled "stainless steel handcuffs" and a couple of used condoms.

    It is not clear whether the items, discovered by volunteer searchers with the KlaasKids Foundation at the end of Palm Avenue west of Santa Teresa Boulevard in Morgan Hill, are connected to the case, Santa Clara County sheriff's Sgt. Jose Cardoza said.

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    The items, found in an area where young people often congregate, are being analyzed.

    Hundreds of volunteers have been scouring the area surrounding LaMar's home this week after sheriff's officials reclassified the case as an abduction and announced they had all but ruled out the possibility that the sophomore had run away. LaMar was last seen the morning of March 16 before she left for school but never showed up for classes.

    Investigators later found Sierra's cellphone off of a roadway near her home around Dougherty and Palm avenues as well as her black, Juicy-brand purse, which contained a folded pair of pants and a T-shirt belonging to the teen.

    Sheriff's dive teams with specially trained rescue K-9s took to the area's waterways to search for human remains and hundreds of volunteers have been participating in search efforts organized by The KlaasKids Foundation.

    Founded by Mark Klaas, whose 12-year-old daughter Polly Klaas was kidnapped from her Petaluma home in 1993, the organization is managing the volunteers and deploying its own search-and-rescue resources to help find Sierra.

    About 700 people volunteered today alone, and the search radius has been extended more than 15 miles from LaMar's home, KlaasKids officials said.

    On Saturday, state Assemblyman Luis Alejo, D-Salinas, will join volunteers conducting the ground search.

    Detectives continue to investigate more than 720 tips related to the case sent to the sheriff's office via phone or email, Cardoza said.

    The teen's classmates at Ann Sobrato High School have established a reward fund for Sierra's safe return and placed a donation box in the school's front office.

    Checks can be made payable to Ann Sobrato High School ASB and mailed or dropped off at the school, located at 401 Burnett Ave.

    The KlaasKids Foundation has also established a fund to help in the search. To contribute to the fund a link is available at or contributions can be made directly to the Sierra LaMar Fund at any Chase bank.

    Donations of food, water bottles, office supplies or money are also welcome, according to KlaasKids.

    Those interested in volunteering in the search-and-rescue efforts are asked to register at Burnett Elementary School, located 85 Tilton Ave., between 8 a.m. and 1 p.m. through Sunday. Volunteers must be at least 18 years old and bring a photo ID.

    On Saturday, however, a Teen Brigade was organized starting at 8 a.m. A youth walk also took place at 11:30 a.m. at the Community Center at Dunn and Monterey streets.

    Anyone with information about the case is asked to call sheriff's investigators at (408) 808-4500 or the anonymous tip line at (408) 808-4431. Tips can also be emailed to