As the time spent searching for missing Morgan Hill teenager Sierra LaMar nears three months, her family today announced a reward increase and new fliers to aid the search.
A reward for any information about the March 16 disappearance of Sierra has increased from $25,000 to $35,000, Steve LaMar, Sierra's father, said on behalf of his family at a news conference this morning at the Find Sierra Search Center at Burnett Elementary School in Morgan Hill.
He said donations and fundraisers helped increase the reward.
The LaMar family announced June 8 that requirements for the reward have changed. The reward was initially offered to any person who provided information leading police to Sierra's safe return, but is now being offered to anyone who can provide information leading to the successful prosecution of the individual(s) responsible for the teen's disappearance.
Sierra LaMar Fund trustees will decided who would receive the reward and if it would be paid.
Fliers with Sierra's picture have also changed, Steve LaMar said. In bold, red capitalized letters at the top of notice is the word "Abducted," changed from "Endangered/Missing."
Pictures of a car driven by a suspect arrested in the case, 21-year-old Antolin Garcia-Torres' red 1998 Volkswagen Jetta, are also included on the flier.
Images of the read Volkswagen were released by the sheriff's office weeks before Garcia-Torres, a Morgan Hill resident, was arrested on May 21. DNA found in the car is a likely match to that of Sierra LaMar, according to Santa Clara County sheriff's Sgt. Jose Cardoza.
"Someone might know something now," Steve LaMar said this morning. "There might be other individuals involved."
Cardoza said investigators believe Garcia-Torres is the sole suspect in the case. Even with a suspect in custody, the changes to the flier are expected to increase the number of helpful tips, Sierra's father said.
"We are hoping that this will motivate someone who has been reluctant to come forward to come forward and give us information because we really want Sierra back home with us," he said.
The , Cardoza said, but if new information were to emerge that could change.
Volunteers with KlaasKids are continuing with their search efforts, backtracking old locations in hopes of spotting something new. Sandina Daly, a volunteer at the 85 Tilton Road search center in Morgan Hill this morning, said a core group of 40 volunteers have come to every search in the past three months.
For previous coverage of the Sierra LaMar case, refer to the Sierra LaMar Disappearance: Comprehensive Updates and Information page on Gilroy Patch.
—Bay City News