Sierra LaMar – Experiences From A Volunteer Member Of The Search Team
The following is part two of six that I have written regarding my experiences in the last several months as a volunteer member of the search team looking for Sierra LaMar. My goal is to keep the keep this story alive, motivate the current volunteers and new volunteers to continue the search efforts to bring Sierra LaMar home to her family and friends.
PART 2 of 6 - Marc Klaas – The Man With A Mission/Laguna Avenue /The BAM’s – No Stone Unturned
Marc Klaas – The Man With A Mission
The LaMar family contacted KlaasKids Foundation in mid-March to help organize a community volunteer search effort for Sierra LaMar. Marc Klaas is the founder of the foundation who is well known for his efforts in supporting children against crimes. Marc has made the ultimate sacrifice from the loss of his 12-year-old daughter Polly who was murdered in 1993.
KlaasKids Foundation was established in 1994 to give meaning to Polly Klaas. Marc is normally at the search center on Wednesday and Saturday mornings when all the volunteers arrive. He meets with the family members and volunteers and gives his words of wisdom and motivation prior to the volunteers departing on the searches. In person, Marc Klaas is a very mellow man, much different than how the public sees him when he is interviewed on television. When he has the opportunity to be interviewed. he seems to be very deliberate and he makes ever word count in getting his message out to the community regarding crimes against children and stricter laws against individuals to commit such crimes.
One Saturday in May our team completed a search in the foothills at the end of Laguna Avenue. When we arrived back to our cars I saw several buzzards flying over the area that we just searched which was about a ½ mile way. I am a hunter and I know why buzzards fly over certain areas and I know what buzzards do.
That evening I went to bed wishing I would have gone back to that area before we departed. Laguna Avenue has always been a suspected area since Sierra’s bag was found near by.
I drove down Laguna Ave the next day on Sunday morning only to find a police officer parked in his patrol car at the dead end of the road. I told him who I was and what I planned on doing. I thought he would appreciate the fact that I was coming there to do a search. He was not very excited that I was going on private property by my self on an unofficial search. He tried to encourage me to not go out there since most of the farmers were not thrilled about people trampling on their farmlands even for a good cause. I kindly informed him that my presence on the farmer’s property for a short length of time was insignificant considering the situation at hand and proceeded to cross over the fence that had a "No Trespassing" sign posted on it. When I reached the area of question I determined it was dead fish in a pond that the buzzards were after.
Warning: Never approach a police officer that is on a dead end country road if your hands are lower than the top of the steering wheel unless you want a 9-mil Glock pulled out in your presence.
The BAM’s – No Stone Unturned
The LaMar Search Center is very fortunate be supported by Bay Area Missing (BAM) Search & Rescue organization founded in memory of Michelle Hoang Thi Le, who was murdered in 2011. The BAMs are the missing people seekers and I am normally invited to go along with them on their searches, which are in the more difficult areas of Morgan Hill.
You can always recognize one of the BAMs since they always wear florescent orange long sleeve shirts with a black circle patch on each arm. The general community has no idea how hard these people work when they go out on the searches. Most people don’t work this hard even when they are paid for it and these people do it for free. The BAMs are unrelenting in their efforts to let no stone be unturned.
I remember we were on a search one hot Saturday afternoon and one of the new volunteers came with us. The area to be searched was very dense and as we started out the new volunteer asked one of the BAMs, “How thorough do we need to search this area” the BAM replied back, “if it was your daughter that was abducted how thorough would you look?” Everyone on the team just looked away and said nothing.
The BAMs are not a team of males like most people might assume. There are also females BAMs on the team and they get into the trenches no less than the male BAMs. If one of my daughters were lost, the BAMs would be the second phone call that I would make right after 911.