A dozen or so volunteers searched Anderson Lake County Park and several other park areas Wednesday looking for signs of the missing girl. You might not expect to find a live human being in some of the areas they looked, but the work is still critically important to Sierra's family.
On an overcast day, with rain-soaked earth, the foul weather made search efforts a bit more challenging. "Being out in these rural areas we're going to be in, we don't want any of them to get stuck, but it really doesn't impact the search, the ground search itself. What it's going to impact, I think, is probably just the number of volunteers," said KlaasKids Search Director Brad Dennis.
The 100 or so volunteers that turned out Wednesday were searching for anything that could bring Sierra home, or at least, closure for her family. "I'm sure the family today, is going through knowing it's cold at night, knowing it's raining. Is she laying out there somewhere? Is she maybe still alive? Is she suffering?" Gilroy resident Pat Boyd said.
Boyd knows all about closure. His 28-year-old daughter Christy Wilson vanished from a Sacramento-area casino in October of 2005. Her kidnapper and killer is serving time for the crime based on DNA evidence, but her body, even the remains, still held incredible importance for the family. "Every time a body part, a skeleton, anything's ever been found, my wife's emotions go sky high, the pain and agony eats at her. Can we finally say goodbye to her? We've never had that opportunity to actually bury her and say goodbye," he said.
Wednesday's volunteers were hoping for a happier conclusion. Some were working in the field while others were back at headquarters at the old Burnett School. One woman used her print shop in Gilroy to make fliers and sign-in forms for the volunteer operation. "Everything that we printed, we donated," she said admitting that she was losing money. "That's OK. It's for a good cause."
Police concentrated their efforts on the Calero Reservoir, an artificial lake, south of San Jose in the Santa Teresa Hills. They did so with the help of a K-9 that can detect human remains in water. It was built in 1935 and is extremely popular with neighborhood teens. Investigators made it clear that there was no evidence that led them there, but they were just trying to cover their bases.
Police are confident that Sierra did not run away from home. Detectives believe she was taken against her will and the person responsible for the teen's disappearance is either from Morgan Hill or is familiar with the area. There are 500 leads that have come into the sheriff's office but so far, there are no solid leads.
ABC7's Nick Smith contributed to this report.