Morgan Hill teen remembered on one-year abduction anniversary

March 16, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
The one-year anniversary of the disappearance of Morgan Hill teen Sierra LaMar is a heartbreaking milestone her friends and family hoped they'd never reached. The Morgan Hill community came together Saturday for a special tribute for the girl they call "everyone's daughter."

"A year ago today, the most important person in my life went missing," said Sierra's sister, Danielle LaMar.

Danielle says she's been living a bad dream ever since her little sister Sierra vanished on her way to catch the school bus one year ago. And she's not alone.

Karissa Pugh can't stop thinking about March 16th, 2012, when she texted Sierra before school but never heard back.

"Like at school, walking around, just walking around school thinking about her and hanging out with her, I think about her every day," Pugh said.

Every Saturday, about 40 volunteers continue searching for the missing teen who would be 16 now.

Hundreds of family members, friends, and neighbors gathered to pay a special tribute on this heartbreaking anniversary. Balloons were launched into the air as the group yelled, "Find Sierra." And though they let the balloons go, the group is not letting go of hope that Sierra will be found.

"It's very hard, we think about her all the time," Morgan Hill resident Lynn Will said. "We live out in the country too, so it's just very difficult. We checked our property, constantly. It's just a horrible thing to think, I don't know how that mom does it."

And through the sorrow of 365 days without her daughter, Sierra's mom Marlene LaMar remains steadfast, maintaining focus, resolving not to stop until her daughter is found.

"I would also like to remind to the public that we still have the $35,000 reward and hopefully that will encourage tips to come forward, to give us some of the answers that we're looking for during this long waiting period," Marlene said.

Search groups will continue to meet at Burnett Elementary School, the "Sierra Search Center," every Saturday at 8 a.m. They do need more volunteers to help in their search.

In the meantime, 21-year-old Antolin Garcia-Torres, who is charged with kidnapping and murdering Sierra LaMar, is scheduled to enter a plea on April 4.


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