Two months have passed since Sierra LaMar, a 15-year-old high school cheerleader from Northern California, vanished during her morning walk to the school bus. Lamar’s parents reported her missing after she didn’t show up for school or work.
Hundreds of volunteer and police search parties were organized in the days following her disappearance. Police eventually found the teen’s purse and cell phone at an intersection a few miles from her home, but LaMar remains missing.
Today authorities say they have arrested the man they believe to be involved in LaMar’s disappearance. That man has been identified as 21-year-old Antolin Garcia-Torre,s who was taken into custody at gunpoint late Monday night while working a shift at Safeway.
Santa Clara County Sheriff Laurie Smith told reporters during a news conference last night, “We believe we have probable cause that he committed the kidnapping and murder of Sierra LaMar.” Police previously released a statement saying that a red Volkswagen Jetta might be involved in LaMar’s disappearance, as it was spotted in surveillance videos in the area around the time the teen went missing. Garcia-Torres owns a car with that description, which was seized by police earlier this month.
Smith also told San Jose Mercury News that police have gathered “a lot of physical evidence” that ties Garcia-Torres to the case. Garcia-Torres has been charged with one count of kidnapping and one count of murder.
Sierra LaMar was officially removed from the missing persons list 10 days after her disappearance, but authorities are urging the public to continue to assist in the search for the missing girl.