Although authorities are currently treating the disappearance of Sierra LaMar as a kidnapping and murder, KlassKids Founder Marc Klaas said he isn't sure the public should be searching for a body.
Klaas said several factors lead him to believe Sierra could be alive: The suspect, Antolin Garcia-Torres, does not have a history of violence against women or children aside from one case that was eventually dropped, a weapon hasn’t been found and a cause of death hasn’t been reported.
Morgan Hill police officers have evidence positively linking Garcia-Torres to a , although official charges have yet to be filed. Morgan Hill Police Sgt. Troy Hoefling said officers are in the process of preparing a report for the District Attorney's Office and that they'll complete it very soon.
Perhaps the most important reason Klaas can't confidently say Sierra's dead is because her body hasn't been found. The was uncovered, Thursday, in a trash can in Pleasanton but detectives haven't confirmed whether it's Sierra.
“Let’s say you have children, and you’ve gone through some hideous situation and the police call and say this is the guy who did it. You ask, ‘does he have a murder conviction, or a history of crime against women and children?' They say, ‘well there was one incident, but it was dropped.’ You ask, ‘do you have a weapon or a body?’ They say ‘no.’ Then what you're doing is giving me an opinion based on circumstantial evidence that's found,” he said.
However, makes some doubt that Sierra's alive. Plus, the popular cheerleader’s background disqualifies her as a runaway candidate, and why would the Sheriff’s Office say Sierra’s a murder victim unless they’re 100 percent positive?
Then again, the and hope that she's alive prevents many from positively reaching a decision on Sierra’s condition.
“They’ve been vague with telling us what they have. They say they have his DNA on her bag, that they can place her in his car,” Klaas said. “Based on what I’ve heard, they haven’t made the case that this girl is 100 percent dead.”
Although , authorities can't release many details because the investigation is ongoing. Sheriff's personnel are investigating the LaMar case as a homicide based on information that hasn't been released to the public, Sheriff Sgt. Jose Cardoza said.
Klaas can positively say that Garcia-Torres is responsible for Sierra's disappearance, though, and says the
For previous coverage of the Sierra LaMar case, refer to the Sierra LaMar Disappearance: Comprehensive Updates and Information page on Gilroy Patch.