FBI gets involved in search for Sierra LaMar

This is a photo of missing teen Sierra LaMar.
March 24, 2012 1:45:57 AM PDT
The FBI is now deeply involved in the search for the missing teen from Santa Clara County who disappeared one week ago Friday.

The FBI is retracing Sierra LaMar's every move before her disappearance. Agents set up a roadblock Friday morning at the exact intersection in Morgan Hill where the 15-year-old is believed to have vanished.

Agents also interviewed workers near where Sierra's purse and clothing were discovered Sunday, less than two miles from her rural Morgan Hill home.

Field worker Luis Gaytan never saw Sierra before her picture became a missing person's poster. He answered questions for about 10 minutes.

"We always start at 7 a.m., but that day we didn't work on that field. We were working on a field in Bailey," he said.

A FBI spokesperson said the evidence gathering is routine and that the FBI is assisting the Santa Clara County Sheriff's Office, which is still the lead agency on the case. The sheriff's office will be conducting an expanded search for evidence on Saturday. Search and rescue personnel will be searching a 12-mile radius from Palm Avenue and Dougherty Avenue in Morgan Hill.

Marc Klaas, whose daughter Polly was kidnapped and killed in 1994, said by phone that he and Sierra's mother, Marlene, are going to set up a search center in Morgan Hill.

Everyone wants to help and is doing everything they can. There are eight homes on the cul-de-sac where Sierra lives with her mom. Every neighbor has allowed the FBI to do a thorough search of their property.

Sidney Flores, a neighbor, said: "Another four, five, six guys walked in and they went through the house. I said, just help yourself. Go for it."

Some of Sierra's friends who are part of a cheerleading team with her are making ribbons out of Sierra's favorite color combination of hot pink and black. Hundreds of the ribbons will be passed out at a candelight vigil to be held in Morgan Hill on Sunday.

Maddie Miller, a cheer team member, said the idea came from the woman who helped with the Laci Peterson case. "She reached out to us and wanted to help us make ribbons for Sierra LaMar," Miller said.

Some of Sierra's high school classmates are coping with the painful wait by making T-shirts and setting up a reward fund.

Shanice Washington, Sierra's friend, said: "It's just hard. It's been so long, like every day we just wonder if she is OK and stuff. Every day it gets harder."

A vigil was held in Fremont Friday night. Many people there know Sierra since she attended Washington High School before moving to Morgan Hill last fall. More than 400 people crowded the entrance to Washington High and some former classmates and friends spoke to the group. Claire Normoyle has known Sierra since the 7th grade.

"It just hurts every day. It's just getting longer. We just want her home," said Normoyle.

Marlene was touched by the huge outpouring of support. Friends collected donations from the crowd in order to offer a reward to find Sierra.

ABC7's Tomas Roman contributed to this report.


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