Sheriff: Sierra LaMar's Murder was 'Purely Random'

The man arrested in connection with her kidnapping and death also is suspected of assaulting a woman in Morgan Hill three years ago.

Nearly two and a half months after Sierra LaMar, a Morgan Hill teenager, disappeared, investigators said Tuesday the 15-year-old is dead.

"We have adequate facts, we have strong facts to believe she has been murdered," Santa Clara County Sheriff Laurie Smith said.

Antolin Garcia-Torres, 21, was arrested for the girl's kidnapping and murder Monday night in Morgan Hill.

"It's my belief this was purely random," Smith said. "It was an absolute stranger abduction ... We believe this is the worst kind of crime: a stranger abduction of a young girl."

Garcia-Torres was arrested Monday at the Morgan Hill Safeway, where he had worked. Although it was initially reported he lives in San Martin, Smith said that he is a Morgan Hill resident and has lived in the community much of his life. He is currently unemployed.

He has been under surveillance for nearly two months, Smith said.

"Public safety was our primary concern," the sheriff said. 

Lucero Garcia, the older sister of Garica-Torres, told a Mercury-News reporter Tuesday that investigators got the wrong guy. Read her interview here.

Sierra went missing on her way to school March 16.

"Early on when our deputy first responded to a missing child report he knew this was not a runaway," said Smith, adding the deputy immediately suspected the case was a serious report.

Investigators found DNA evidence off Sierra's bag and linked it to Garcia-Torres. They linked that to Garcia-Torres on March 28—when the sheriff's surveillance began. DNA evidence was also found in his vehicle,  detectives were searching for and impounded in April, according to Smith.

Garcia-Torres has a prior misdemeanor conviction for interfering with an officer and a felony assault arrest, which was not prosecuted. Garcia-Torres is not a registered sex offender, Smith noted.

However, investigators suspect Garcia-Torres attacked at least one woman in Morgan Hill in 2009.

"There were three assaults in Morgan Hill about three years ago ... We have linked one of those to our suspect through forensic evidence," Smith said.

Smith said they were physical assaults "that were not completed." One involved a Taser, another occurred at knife-point and during the third, the victim was able to get away by locking herself in her car. She did not say which one had been tied to Garcia-Torres.

Sierra's mother, Marlene LaMar, made an impassioned plea to Garcia-Torres: "Please give the information that you have to lead us to Sierra to help end this nightmare. I would like to you to come forward and say where she is."

The Sierra LaMar case has garnered national attention. Her story was  earlier this month and word that an arrest was made Monday flashed on news websites around the country. Tuesday morning, at least seven broadcast trucks were stationed in front of the Santa Clara County Sheriff's Office in San Jose for the press conference.

Sierra's family, as well as representatives from the Santa Clara County Search and Rescue Team, the state Department of Justice, the county Board of Supervisors attended the press conference Tuesday.

"As a mother, still, I'm hopeful because her body has not been found," Marlene LaMar said.

For previous coverage of the Sierra LaMar case, refer to the Sierra LaMar Disappearance: Comprehensive Updates and Information page on Gilroy Patch.

michelle B May 23, 2012 at 08:28 PM
J.D next time you speak please check to see which end your words are coming from..sounds like that came out your a**...You insensitive little waste of space.
Lilturtle510 May 23, 2012 at 08:29 PM
Prayer is the most powerful thing for those who have FAITH IN GOD .Lets all just pray that this monster that took Sierra will tell the police were she is at ! This whole story makes me sick . We need to change Laws in America to protect our children . I hope they fuck this monster up in jail !!!!!!!!!!
mike May 23, 2012 at 08:35 PM
J.D should have been a B.J cuz the best part of him was wiped away on a napkin on that note my heart and prayers go out to the family cuz i could not imagine what they are feeling right now
Erica Palin May 23, 2012 at 08:52 PM
Every body Just Don't Believe in This 6000 Thousand Year Old White Man Floating Around in a Severely Polluted Sky, with all these damn Powers! There is a Power In Existence, but it was Never any Human DUDE, it's Possibly "Omnipotence" - Infinate Power! My White Ancestry just did as they always did, and STOLE, They STOLE the Entire CREDIT for CREATION, and Even went as Far as to Make up a Lot of Bull iSh Lies & Stories to Support their CRAP! With Modern Technology, why Have'nt Any of You Christian People Went up to this So Called Heaven, or Down to This So Called Hell, and Brought Back Any FOOTAGE? That's Because It Does'nt EXIST!
Erica Palin May 23, 2012 at 09:11 PM
Well Said, And NOT Everybody Wants to believe in Your White Dude(My Ancestry) Not-Proven God CRAP! And STOP Coming to my Home with Those Stupid WATCH Tower Stupid Pamphlets! Hate Them Shits! There are Churches On Every Corner, Everywhere, So People Know About Your White Man GOD ish.., and all the Different Kinds of Churches, and Maybe they Don't Wish to Give These Man Made Churches- Buildings Tithes and Offering, Maybe they want to Support The Local Night Club, or "Something that Makes Them Happy!" Nobody has Any PROOF as to where we GO when we Die, and we all WILL Die Some Day!
Erica Palin May 23, 2012 at 09:23 PM
Lee Ann E. Don't you Think You NEED to get Permission & Authorization to do ALL this Praying for All these STRANGERS? We might Want to ADD a Little FOOT Note to your Illegal Prayers! Will You Pray that I Get That Final $2000.00 to pay off My 2 year Old $80,000.00 BEEMER by Next Month? I Would Really Appreciate That! Thank You in Advance! LOL, Erica Palin
m. a. podobinski May 23, 2012 at 09:48 PM
erica palin, why so bitter my love? what happened to make you like this? who taught you all this this, you couldnt have figured it out by youself,
Erica Palin May 23, 2012 at 10:21 PM
My EntireKKK Ku Klux Klan Family Taught me from the time I Was 2 years Old!
Erica Palin May 23, 2012 at 10:25 PM
Solely The White KKK - My Entire Klu Klux Klan Family, and My "Grand Dragon Father" & My "Super Grand Dragon Grandfather"
Erica Palin May 23, 2012 at 10:39 PM
Do you Honesly Think "Obama has Time of Ability to Save This World?" This Case About this Girl is NOT His Freekin Job! He Has his Own Kids and Wife to Care for, in Addition of the COUNTRY! Get Real, and Be SERIOUS!!!! This GIRL - Or ANY Other ABDUCTED KIDS Doe NOT Even Resemble "OBAMA" at ALL! Even if They Did, "STILL NOT OBAMA'S JOB To Babysit The WORLD'S Off Spring - Kids!! People Need to Pay Close ATTENTION to Their own Kids, and Their Own Teenagers, NOT "OBAMA" This Girl is NOT Even a Little Kid Anyway, She's Young Woman Teenager Capable of PROCREATING Herself!
Erica Palin May 23, 2012 at 10:46 PM
Commenting For WHAT Dude? He Has NO Reason To Comment about this young Lady! This and All Other Abductions are The FBI & Their Family's PROBLEMS! NOT President OBAMA'S. I Would'nt Comment about this Young Woman Either if I Were PRESIDENT! Comment For What? He has OSAMA BIN LADEN Stuff to Deal With!
Erica Palin May 23, 2012 at 10:52 PM
What? You Want Our President to Take on a Part Time Job of a FREEKIN FBI Agent? I Think NOT! This Young Lady and Many Others, white, black, latino etc., are Gone Forever, People Need to Have Better and Closer Relationships with Their Own Family! JUST NOT "OBAMA'S JOB" At ALL!
Erica Palin May 23, 2012 at 10:55 PM
You Should Consider Calling "MITT ROMNEY to ADD this Case to his Presidential Campagning JOKE! He Just Might Appear a Little Less of A Joke!
Erica Palin May 23, 2012 at 10:59 PM
I am White, and I Would'nt Comment on this Situation Either! Such is Life! This is NOT the First Nor the Last Abduction in The History of the World! Many More to Come Folks! Sad to say!
Erica Palin May 23, 2012 at 11:04 PM
My Long Ago Ancestors Made up That Cross Story Too! A Joke! Nobody died on No Cross, Then came back, Then died Again, Then Magically is Coming Back a Third Time! Just Think People! Darn!
Erica Palin May 23, 2012 at 11:19 PM
Violence Against The Young BLACK Kid, "Trayvon Martin Killed Walking Home" with Some "SKITTLES & TEA" is Equally Horrible! I Mean Skittles Dude! I Agree with "Obama" "Bill Cosby" "Morgan Freeman" and Many Others for Speaking on That One! That One Hit Home with me More than this Lady here!
Erica Palin May 23, 2012 at 11:23 PM
An Innocent Girl Murdered just Like Innocent Boy "Trayvon Martin" going home with SKITTLES & Tea!
Erica Palin May 23, 2012 at 11:29 PM
Jeffrey Dahmer was "Hispanic & White Mixed!"
Erica Palin May 23, 2012 at 11:32 PM
Random Murder of Any Human is "Worse." A Young Lady / Girl'S LIFE is NO More Important than Anybody Elses One Life!
Erica Palin May 23, 2012 at 11:47 PM
Yes, My Overly Religious Mother and the Entire Church Brain Washed Me, my 6 Other Syblings into Believing That We We're the Only Ones Going to "HELL" alone and we we're gonna Burn Alone Eternally! Our Entire Life Was Instilled with Fear to Force us to Believe in some GOD who was supposedly Good, but who would Also "fux" us up and Burn us Forever! Always Afraid of that Moment "Hell" would come in a Form of Freekin "RAPTURE" That was So Wrong, all they Created was Adult Anger, Resentment & Retaliation! That's Partly why None of us Believe that "CRAP" Anymore! We Never got to play as Kids Peacefuly! Religion Shoved down our Throats Daily from 3 year old! That was Evil!
Erica Palin May 23, 2012 at 11:52 PM
I'm NOT "OBAMA", but I Don't Give a Shit Either, this is Her Family's PROBLEM & THE FBI's PROBLEM Dude!
Erica Palin May 24, 2012 at 12:12 AM
Get it Already, This is NOT "Obama's" PROBLEM At ALL! GET IT ALREADY! This is her FAMILY's PROBLEM! Since the FBI Did their Job! Now, her family must Bury her, have their Family a Funeral, some people sing some songs, and there you have it! Just like all people do when their Love Ones Die! This Lady is NOT "PRESIDENT OBAMA'S" Family! At ALL! Probably an illegal Alien getting Your Tax Dollar's FOOD STAMPS! & Welfare!
Erica Palin May 24, 2012 at 12:40 AM
EVERYBODY, Just Calm Down, there are So Many Horrible Abductions to Come, like Right Around the Corner, Mainly, Namely White Blond Women, Girls Etc. So Very Scary, and Hell No, "OBAMA" Will Not STOP Running the Country to PLAY FBI Either! You'll See, so Save Some Prayers & Tears for the Next Terrible Abduction / Murder!
Marie Martin May 24, 2012 at 03:59 AM
What I don't understand, with Sierra LaMar's case, is that when they "reported" that they found the red car (over a month after finding it), the police were saying they still believe that there is a chance she is alive... "we've maintained the mindset since the beginning of this case that there is a possibility that she's still alive". (see link). At that point, they already had the car, DNA evidence, and were already following the suspect. By the time suspect is arrested, nothing else had changed, and suddenly they say "murder" but give no reason for making that statement (besides, "she is social, and hasn't used social media, so we think she is deceased). They reported, "no blood, no weapon, no motive, and obviously, no body" -- so, why the change from "think she is alive, to murder?" Such a confusing case! (Still praying, and hoping for a positive outcome... at this point, it seems the only reasonable thing to do). Anyone else feeling confused by conflicting info. told to us?
Erica Palin May 24, 2012 at 04:56 PM
LlAM321, Do you Even REALIZE that WHITES -You and I, are The Minorities Now? Blacks Are No Longer the Minority! Along with People who have COLOR Melanin in their DNA, ALL BLACKS ARE THE MAJORITY Now! So the writer was apparently on to the Truth of that REALITY! YOU are Lost and BEHIND Times! You Are The Minority NOW Dear! And I am too because I am Lily White!
yolanda May 27, 2012 at 01:19 PM
God help to Sierra LaMar¡
Erica Palin May 28, 2012 at 03:21 AM
You are So RIGHT! There will be a "NEXT," and Right around the Corner! Exercise "CAUTION" Women, Men, Boys, Girls & Teens & Babies!
Erica Palin May 28, 2012 at 04:00 AM
"Omnipotence" - Infinate POWER, (Not NO Damn Non - Existing 6000 Year Old Fake White MAN) , HELP This World!
Theresa Relos September 29, 2012 at 10:25 PM
J.D: You are sick, honestly... Excuse my language, but you are so fucking rude! There still is hope, and we still do not know weather she is dead or not. You posted that comment 5 months ago, and guess what? Her body is still not found. She could be alive, and those prayers from the people who actually have hearts could save her. Your comment sickens me. I wish you were in her position, or even her mom's. But I bet you still wouldn't feel one little bit of sympathy. You're heartless.
LL February 15, 2013 at 11:55 PM
Race and ethnicity are not the common denominators. Poverty has a much bigger impact.


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