Nearly everybody in Morgan Hill knows the name Sierra LaMar, even though they didn't personally know her. She became known as everyone's daughter, which is why Tuesday's verdict hit home.
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As people filed out of the main courthouse in San Jose, there were many hugs. Search volunteer Doug Tollis, in particular, was overcome with emotion after he heard Antolin Garcia-Torres was found guilty of murdering Sierra.
"We were all holding our hands inside there and God answered the questions, answered our wishes, our prayers," Tollis said.
Tollis and many other volunteers spent countless weekends searching for Sierra's remains in the last five years. Many of them didn't know the LaMar family, but felt they had to do something.
More than 1,100 searches were conducted, all while Garcia-Torres kept quiet behind bars.
To finally have a guilty verdict "was a combination of thrill and relief," said volunteer Roger Nelson.
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"Just hearing the stories from day one, being a dad myself, and having a daughter. All of those emotions come out in you, and you just hope the jury comes to the right conclusion, which I believe they did," San Jose resident Todd Courtney said.
Sierra's disappearance shook Morgan Hill. Her photograph was plastered all over the small city.
While those are gone now, no one here has forgotten. "I'm just glad that they brought him to justice. I'm glad that they found him. I was worried they weren't going to and that the family wouldn't have any closure," Morgan Hill resident Noelle Davis said.
Volunteers say they won't stop searching. They plan on using the information they learned from the trial to go back out and look for Sierra's remains.
VIDEO: Sierra LaMar's family speaks after verdict announced
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