As the disappearance of Sierra LaMar, 15, approaches the six-month mark, the KlaasKids Foundation announced it will reduce volunteer search efforts to Saturdays only.
"The search assignment planners need the extra day to come up with viable search selections," KlaasKids Foundation founder Marc Klaas said. "It’s all about maintaining the intetgrity of the searches and ensuring we’re not wasting anybody’s time."
The nonprofit foundation that offers search services for missing children nationwide has conducted at least twice-weekly searches since March 27, just days after the Morgan Hill teen was reported missing. In the early efforts hundreds of volunteers showed up for daily search efforts.
Starting next week, KlaasKids will host volunteer searches on Saturdays only, according to volunteers.
Volunteers can still show up at the Sierra search center at Burnett Elementary School, 85 Tilton Ave., between 8 a.m. and 9 a.m. Saturdays.
Sierra was reported missing from her north Morgan Hill home March 16. Authorities think she was kidnapped while walking to her school bus stop near the intersection of Palm and Dougherty avenues early in the morning.
On May 21, sheriff’s deputies arrested Antolin Garcia Torres, 21 of Morgan Hill, on suspicion of kidnapping and killing Sierra. He is charged with murder with a special circumstance of kidnapping. He remains in Santa Clara County custody, and has not yet entered a plea to the charge.
The missing teen’s remains have not yet been recovered, and volunteers remain hopeful that she will be found.
Sierra’s father, Steve LaMar, said Wednesday that a widely publicized candle light vigil for the teen last Wednesday helped energize the search efforts by putting another spotlight on the case. The vigil was attended by Sheriff Laurie Smith and more than 100 friends and family of Sierra.
“Sierra is the victim, and she should be the one getting the exposure,” Steve LaMar said. “Our focus is still on Sierra, and finding her and keeping (the search efforts) in the media.”
Sierra was a sophomore at Sobrato High School at the time of her disappearance.
Anyone with information on the case can call the sheriff’s tip line at (408) 299-2311 or (408) 808-4431. Tips can also be sent by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org, and via the sheriff’s office website at sccgov.org/portal/site/sheriff.