It was exactly one year ago today when 15-year old Sierra LaMar of Morgan Hill set off to school early Friday morning on March 16, 2012. Sierra never made to school that fateful morning.http://www.mercurynews.com/bay-area-news/ci_22790823/sierra-lamar-disappearance-year-later-mothers-anguish-still
Normalcy continued for the LaMar family until late in the day when Sierra’s mother Marlene arrived home from work to find the house dark and empty. Something was wrong.
After checking with nearby homes, Marlene anxiously contacted Sierra’s school to check for her daughter. It was only then Sierra’s mom was informed that she never made it to school.
What followed in the subsequent days was the largest search in the history of Morgan Hill as hundreds of volunteers, city authorities and countless resources put forth a herculean effort to find the missing teen. Days after Sierra’s disappearance, her purse, clothes and cell phone were found in nearby fields. It was a sad display of all that could be found of Sierra .
Speculation to what actually happened to Sierra and a possible suspect was methodically put together as a vehicle was able to be identified in the area rather quickly due to some masterful police work. Authorities had a person of interest and kept him under surveillance with the hope he would lead them to Sierra. Upon arrest of the suspect, forensic evidence linking the suspect’s DNA to Sierra’s found clothes and Sierra’s DNA discovered in the trunk of the car provided an iron clad connection.http://www.ksbw.com/news/central-california/hollister-gilroy/Sheriff-Sierra-LaMar-s-kidnapper-was-under-24-hour-surveillance/-/5738758/13572648/-/d5511lz/-/index.html
Not too much else has developed in the case since the arrest of the suspect. For nearly ten months 21-year old suspect Antonin Garcia-Torres has been segregated from the general population of incarcerated criminals for his protection. Even murderers, thieves and other suspected felons have a disdain for child abductors and molesters. Sadly, many jailed individuals have a personal history of being abused themselves and would exercise retribution on anyone that displayed the same attributes as their tormentors.
The abduction of Sierra involved a stranger, a rare circumstance in this age of familiarity. The vast majority of sexually abused victims know their attacker. It is unknown if the suspect crossed paths with Sierra since the suspect had worked at a Morgan Hill Safeway, however what is known of the perpetrator is he attempted kidnappings in the past. He also grew up in an environment that practically guaranteed personal issues would evolve.
Antonin’s father was later arrested for child abuse himself and being a brutal example of a husband to the mother of Antonin. The cycle of violence was magnified with the kidnapping and apparent murder of Sierra. Evidence collected from the truck of Antonin’s car trunk does not hold well for a successful reconciliation of the vibrant teen.http://abclocal.go.com/kgo/story?section=news/local/south_bay&id=8826550
Not a word of disclosure has been shared by Antonin, perhaps knowing that any revealed information would incriminate him and probably earn him a death sentence. Sharing the knowledge Antonin has regarding Sierra will not be due to remorse or mercy, but for self-preservation from a death penalty. Those believing a death penalty does not motivate action should watch this case.
Meanwhile the mental toll on the LeMar family continues. There is just no recovery sufficient to manage the heartache generated from the ordeal of Sierra LaMar being missing. The entire La Mar family has psychological impact from dealing with such a stressful and emotional roller coaster. The personal costs have been devastating.
Sierra’s mother remains vigilant and optimistic, however even for her the year has been a trial most parents cannot even understand. It’s difficult dealing with the loss of a child, even more so not even knowing where or what became of a loved one. You never really get over it, you learn to live with it.
Marlene LaMar is clinging to a miracle, and it will take one from God.