He’s been to court twice now without entering a plea. The only words that he has spoken are, “Yes your honor”. There have been no developments in the case since Antolin Garcia-Torres was arrested for kidnapping and murdering Sierra LaMar on May 22. Sierra’s disappearance, which seemed on the verge of being solved 15-days ago, now seems as far from resolution as ever. Clearly, something needs to be done.
That’s why the terms of the $25,000 reward for the safe return of Sierra LaMar are being changed to include, “Information leading to the conviction of the person or persons responsible for the disappearance of Sierra LaMar”. Rewards aid law enforcement in arresting and successfully prosecuting crimes by providing financial consideration in exchange for information that will resolve a crime.
In theory, there are always people who know more about a given crime than they are initially willing to admit. They may be family, friends, acquaintances or simply somebody who saw or heard something that they were not supposed to see or hear. Often times these people require incentive before they are willing to come forward and divulge closely held secrets.
Rewards are clearly viable and have assisted in numerous cases over the years. One organization, Secret Witness, in Reno, Nevada has been providing rewards for more than 30-years. Secret Witness has grown from taking five or six calls a month to more than 200. Tips have helped solve more than 1,000 crimes, including 30 murders. That includes information leading to the arrest and conviction of the individual responsible for the 2008 kidnap and murder of 19-year-old college student Briana Denison.
Good people clearly want to do the right thing. Sometimes they just need motivation. First of all, providing valuable information that will result in a conviction is the right thing to do. Sierra and her family deserve nothing less. We all have, or love children. So we should put ourselves in Steve and Marlene LaMar’s shoes. If our daughter were missing we would want others to assist in bringing our child home. Finally, at the end of the night most of us are exhausted and ready for bed. The last thing that we need to ponder as we surrender to sleep is whether or not God knows what is in our hearts and minds.
If you are not the perp, but you know more than you are saying, providing information is not simply about good or evil. In the final analysis it’s simply about getting your priorities straight. Whether you are bound by humanity, spirituality or some other moral value, sometimes we simply need an extra incentive to do the right thing. That’s what rewards are about. Or at least we hope so, and after all, the reason that why we continue to show up to look for Sierra day after day is because hope reigns eternal.