UPDATE: Volunteers Find Suspicious Items Near Missing Teen's Home

Used condoms and a stainless steel box reading "stainless steel handcuffs" were found about a mile from the LaMar home.

Updated at 3 p.m., Friday: The used condoms and handcuffs box found by KlaasKids volunteers on Wednesday are still being examined by investigators, Sgt. Jose Cardoza of the Santa Clara County Sheriff's Office wrote in a prepared statement.

Sheriff’s detectives will be conducting further investigative efforts in Morgan Hill through the weekend. They will be conducting canvass searches that extend further than prior canvassing searches, and investigators will continue to follow-up on any and all leads and tips that continue to come in on the Sierra LaMar case, Cardoza wrote.

Sheriff's detectives collected suspicious items this afternoon found near the home of 15-year-old Sierra LaMar of Morgan Hill, who has been missing for nearly two weeks.

Volunteers who were searching the area near Sierra's home found an empty box with a label that read "stainless steel handcuffs" and a couple of used condoms a couple of feet away, Santa Clara County sheriff's Sgt. Jose Cardoza said.

The items were found at the end of Palm Avenue, about a mile from LaMar's home, in an area that is known to deputies as a place where young people often congregate, Cardoza said.

Cardoza said it was not known if the items were connected to LaMar's disappearance and that volunteers and deputies have searched that area multiple times since her disappearance and the box and condoms were not spotted. The items were collected and taken to a crime lab for further testing, Cardoza said.

Hundreds of surrounding LaMar's home this week after sheriff's officials and announced that authorities had all but ruled out the possibility that the Ann Sobrato High School sophomore had run away.

to search for human remains and hundreds of volunteers have been participating in search efforts organized by The KlaasKids Foundation.

Founded by Mark Klaas, whose 12-year-old daughter Polly Klaas was kidnapped from her Petaluma home in 1993, the organization is managing the volunteers and deploying its own search and rescue resources to help find Sierra.

Personnel from the sheriff's office, the Federal Bureau of Investigations and other agencies have dedicated more than 3,000 hours to the case, according to Cardoza. Detectives continue to investigate more than 500 tips related to the case sent to the sheriff's office via phone or email, he said.

Sierra left home for school the morning of March 16 but never showed up for classes, police said. Investigators later found Sierra's cellphone off of a roadway near her home around Dougherty and Palm avenues as well as her black, Juicy brand purse, which contained a folded pair of pants and a T-shirt belonging to the teen.

The teen's classmates at Ann Sobrato High School have established a reward fund for Sierra's safe return and placed a donation box in the school's front office. Checks can be made payable to Ann Sobrato High School ASB and mailed or dropped off at the school, located at 401 Burnett Avenue.

The KlaasKids Foundation has also established a to help in the search. To contribute to the fund a link is available at Facebook.com/find.sierra.lamar or contributions can be made directly to the Sierra LaMar Fund at any Chase bank.

Donations of food, water bottles, office supplies or money are also welcome, according to KlaasKids.

located at 85 Tilton Ave. between 8 a.m. and 1 p.m. through April 1. Volunteers must be over 18 years old and bring a photo ID.

Anyone with information about the case is asked to call sheriff's investigators at (408) 808-4500 or the anonymous tip line at (408) 808-4431. Tips can also be emailed to tips@sheriff.sccgov.org.

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—Bay City News


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