It's been 11 weeks since Sierra LaMar disappeared. Her friends and family have not lost hope of finding her alive. Friday night about 200 gathered at Washington High School for a "faith and hope" rally. It was called that because it seems no one, especially her father, has lost faith that Sierra is still alive and will someday be found.
"Still going to keep on doing what we're doing, our focus is to find Sierra. We're not giving up. We don't have anything to tell us otherwise," said Steve LaMar, Sierra's father.
The placards are still being waved and money is still being collected to fund the continuing volunteer search for Sierra, missing since leaving for school in Morgan Hill March 16th. Family friend Joanna Isom has organized this event. She says she's glad police arrested Antonin Garcia-Torres, 21, in connection with her kidnapping and possible murder. But says the search has to continue.
"It's great they found him, but we're still in the same space. She's out there. We don't have a body, there's no closure, we don't have anything. So we still believe she's out there," said Isom.
Many of those who attended the rally were teenagers with their parents.
"I see her pictures and it reminds me of my daughter," said parent Denise Garcia.
Denise Garicia's daughter Ileana is 16 and she says has a resemblance to Sierra. Ileana said Sierra's disappearance has changed her behavior.
"It definitely has made me think more about my actions and where I go and people I'm with," said Ileana.
Steve said this kind of outpouring helps him cope and said he tries not to think of suspect Garcia-Torres. He goes through "obvious emotions like anger, and [asks] questions [like] 'Why?'"
The rally started around 7:30 p.m. Friday and lasted less than an hour, but it was also a fundraiser to fund the volunteer search center in Morgan Hill. Organizers say another search party for Sierra will go out on Saturday morning.