Few Signs of Volunteer Fatigue Yet in the Search for Sierra Lamar

By: Brian Shields - Wed, 18 Apr 2012 20:32:47 -0800

MORGAN HILL (KRON) -- While organizers of the search for missing cheerleader Sierra Lamar worry about what they call "volunteer fatigue" many of the people who are helping in the search say they hope to provide answers for the girl's family.

"Sierra is Morgan Hill's little girl and she needs to be found," one volunteer said.  "I've got kids of my own and I like to help anyway I can and hope that maybe today we'll find something," another man added. "That if tragedy happened to my family that there would be volunteers out here trying to do the same for me so I felt like I needed to do something," another man said.

Volunteers on foot focused Wednesday on the area around Anderson Reservoir in Santa Clara County.  At the same time high winds and stiff currents slowed boat-based searches of several other nearby waterways.  Divers were able to go into the water to check out area pinpointed on side-scan sonar but with few positive results.

"In this case it was something round that was close to a rock pile," Sgt. Don Ray with the Santa Clara County Sheriff's department says.  "We wanted to take a second to look at it.  It turned out to just be a bucket but these are the things we're checking.  We want to make sure we're not missing anything in this case."

Sierra was last seen a little more than a month ago after leaving her Morgan Hill home presumably to walk to a nearby school bus stop.  Her purse and cell phone were found a short distance away.  Investigators still aren't saying much about the nature of that evidence.

"It's hopeful," Sierra's mother Marlene Lamar tells KRON 4 News about the possibility of a new lead from the crime lab.  "I can't elaborate on that because they haven't been able to elaborate much because they need to follow up on it.  It's ultimately about her safe recovery."

Experts coordinating the volunteer search are also hopeful about a possible break in the case.

"If they know whose DNA it is, that means they're dealing with a felon because those are the only people whose DNA is on record," Marc Klaas of the KlaasKids foundation tells KRON 4's Terisa Estacio.  "You would expect to find family members' DNA mixed in with her but certainly not a felon's.  The police are doing such a thorough investigation that here it is almost exactly a month later and they reveal that have new information.  We need to be encouraged by that.  They're not telling us what it is but it's something or they wouldn't have revealed it.  They need to continue that investigation.  They need to peel back layers of this stinking little onion until they get to the core and find out what really happened.  The only way they can do that is if we make them do that.  So we have to get out and we have to search and we have to cajole and we have to insist that they keep a full task force on this case until it's solved."

While the search continues, Marlene Lamar can just wait and hope for good news.  

"We miss her extremely," Sierra's mother Marlene Lamar tells KRON 4's Will Tran.  "The home seems really quiet now.  As time goes on, those familiar sounds you're used to hearing all the time, I never thought I would be saying this but we miss the rap music.  I really miss her."

Lamar says the community remains supportive of her and her family.

"It's unbelievable that something like this could ever happen," Marlene Lamar continues.  "You're not prepared for a situation like this.  I think nobody is.  It's an unfortunate reality.  We all like to believe that our child is going to be safe and you think it's going to be possible to keep them safe and that we're doing everything possible to keep them safe as a parent.  AS far as anybody who is a teen, who thinks that this is not possible, just to be aware of their surroundings of wherever they are, in front of their house or at the movie theatre."

Stay tuned to KRON 4 and KRON4.com for comprehensive coverage of the search for Sierra Lamar.

(Copyright 2012, KRON 4, All rights reserved.)
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