Sierra LaMar 'dead': Antolin Garcia-Torres arrested 2 months after student, 15, went missing
A man was in custody Tuesday on suspicion of murder and kidnapping after his DNA was found in the bag of a missing girl whose abduction was believed to be a random act of violence, authorities said.
In addition, the DNA of 15-year-old Sierra LaMar was found in the red Volkswagen Jetta of suspect Antolin Garcia-Torres, Santa Clara County Sheriff Laurie Smith said.
The victim and suspect did not know each other, she said.
"We believe this is the worst type of crime, a stranger abduction of a young girl," the sheriff said at a news conference attended by Sierra's family.
Investigators found Sierra's pink, Juicy-brand handbag with clothing and a cell phone along the side of the road within two miles of her home shortly after her mother reported her missing in March.
Website: The 15-year-old's father Steve, mother Marlene and sister Danielle have also set up a website dedicated to finding the cheerleader
Garcia-Torres, 21, was linked to the case after his DNA - taken during a previous assault arrest - was linked to clothing found in the bag, authorities said. He was not charged in the previous case.
Garcia-Torres was arrested Monday - more than two months after Sierra's disappearance prompted hundreds of volunteers to turn out for searches and authorities to conduct more than 12,000 hours of investigation.
Sierra was last seen leaving her home in Morgan Hill to go to school on March 16. Authorities believe she was kidnapped while walking to a school bus stop.
Her mother, Marlene LaMar, said the family is holding out hope that the teen is still alive. She pleaded with Garcia-Torres to disclose her whereabouts.
"Please, please give the information that you have to lead us to Sierra to help end this nightmare," LaMar said.
Garcia-Torres, also of Morgan Hill, had been under 24-hour surveillance since March 28. His vehicle was seized on April 7. The DNA evidence used to arrest him also links him to at least one assault in March 2009, Smith said.
Authorities had other suspects under surveillance while investigating the disappearance of Sierra but focused on Garcia-Torres after authorities interviewed him several times prior to his arrest at a supermarket where he used to work, Smith said.
"Right now, we believe he is the only person responsible for the kidnapping and murder of Sierra," Smith said. "These are very difficult cases to prosecute a homicide when you have not found the victim, but it has been done and I think we have adequate facts, in fact, strong facts to believe that she has been murdered."
Marlene LaMar isn't convinced that was the fate of her daughter.
"I'm not giving up hope. Her body hasn't been found," she said. "I believe there's a reason why she wasn't found."
Early in the investigation, a Santa Clara County deputy quickly put together the pieces on the disappearance that helped shape the course of the probe that involved about 100 local, state and federal officers, assistant sheriff Pete Rode said.
"He said, `This is not a normal missing child, this is not a runaway, this is not she's over at the mall with her boyfriend, she's with a relative,'" Rode said. "Some instinctive thing just kicked in in him and we went from there."
Garcia-Torres wasn't arrested after his DNA first surfaced in March for numerous reasons, including the possibility that he might lead authorities to Sierra, Rode said.
"At some point, I'm sure he became aware that we were watching him," Rode said, noting that they monitored Garcia-Torres going to work, at home and hanging out with friends.
Garcia-Torres' arrest came after lab results determined Sierra's DNA was in his car, Rode said.
"You don't want to lose him, but at what point in time do you risk having him flee and leave the state and possibly the country?" Rode said. "We did not want to take that chance."
Garcia-Torres could be arraigned as soon as Thursday.
Since Sierra disappeared, volunteers and authorities have searched fields, open spaces and reservoirs near Morgan Hill and plan to so again.
Three students bravely subdued a classmate who went on a stabbing frenzy at a Houston community college today - and then promptly posted pictured of ... Full story
- Nancy Michelle Mendoza Moreno: Lured businessmen to honey trap so Mexican cartels could kidnap them and hold them to ransom'
- 425-pound man Victor Espinoza tried to kidnap 10-year-old
- Amanda Rowles: Choir teacher accused of having sex with two teen students
- Arizona mom Rozenna Luna arrested after trying to give away baby
- Married teacher Jennifer Vigil, 31, raped student and told him "You're not leaving until I get something from you"
- Cousins Caleb Matlock and Arthur Chavis charged with murder over brutal killing of women found dumped in woods
- Tara Mauney: Texas mom accused of leading kids in pranks that caused nearly $6,000 in damage
- 29-year-old Texas man Thomas Olivas 'killed ex-girlfriend, 26, and burned baby boy over child support payments'
- William Chris Pettry murder: Man 'slices throat of Bears fan in Florida bar and calmly walks away after seeing him talking to his wife'
- Ashleigh Davis: Woman claims in lawsuit that she was left topless and hogtied after 2011 arrest
- Maths teacher Ashley Nicole-Anderson arrested for 'having sex with four students and sending them naked photos'
- 'I just snapped': Clayton Whittemore 'beat his high school sweetheart to death with a curling iron'
- Restaurateur Joshua Woodward charged with attempted murder after 'slipping girlfriend abortion drug during foreplay'
- Details emerge on nanny Yoselyn Ortega, accused killer of 2 tots who tried to kill self
- Amber Seymor: Mother-of-three killed in murder-suicide horror after confronting husband about cheating
- Orville Redenbacher's granddaughter Jordan Jones arrested for assaulting police officers
- Kayla Peterson Murder: Teen thugs gun down young mother, 22, after she told them to 'get a job'
- Pregnant woman Stephanie Redus 'tried to give away her 3-year-old son online'
- Papa John's delivery man arrested for allegedly delivering more than $45k worth of coke
- Darin Haas: Head of Fort Campbell harassment program arrested
- Tennessee Man Timothy Story 'placed fake ad for receptionist on Craigslist and raped woman who answered it'
- California woman Amanda Sorensen, 22, 'killed her boyfriend's daughter by force-feeding her CHILLI POWDER as a punishment'
- New Mexico pastor Gregory Griego, woman, two girls and a boy shot dead during Saturday night shooting spree
- Teacher's aide and mother of two Clarice Lee 'had sex with three students while three others watched and videotaped
- Plastic surgeon Orlando Llorente 'waterboarded' his mistress and 'stuffed her head down a toilet over offensive Facebook post'
- Three bodies found on farm in east-central Kansas
- Schoolgirl Cherlie Lefleur, 19, arrested after giving birth in bathroom stall and attempting to 'flush the baby down the toilet'
- Porn star Jennifer Marchant 'stabbed father of her child to death with kitchen knife'
- Drunk driver Anthony Lewis Sanchez kills 3 women from the same family as they walk home from baby shower
- Manuel Guzman Jr: Teenager 'killed boxer for a thrill after luring him to his death with this Facebook picture of seductive model'
- 13 Correctional Officers, Gang Members Indicted on Federal Racketeering Charges
- Joliet murders: Teens 'had 3-way sex' on bodies of men they strangled
- DWI suspect Jamie Craft tries to flee accident scene in battery-powered toy truck
- Man and son don't get chicken wings, point AK-47 at cashier
- Kahtanna Culp: Teacher, 29, 'had sex with male student who then tried to blackmail her'
- Masked gunman jumps in car and shoots five people killing two including 18-yr-old driver Jewel Manire
- Bitter husband Anthony Taglianetti II 'drove for six hours to shoot wife's secret lover Keith Reed Jr dead
- Vida Golac denies trying to smuggle drugs into prison in her genitals and claims she was protecting her friends
- Handyman Joseph Getz arrested by police one month after he admitted he strangled Jane Bashara
- Pastor Samuel Chapman jailed on child sex charges 79
- Asst. Principal’s Son Chandler Brookins Accused Of Rape In School Bathroom 70
- McDonald's Manager Tiffany Allen Accused Of Punching Customer 68
- Mother Of 5 Wazineh Suleiman Missing After Going To Rent Movie 31
- Teacher Ashley Payne fired for posting picture of herself holding beer on Facebook 28
- 15-Year-Old Held In Girlfriend Angel Freeman's Killing; Gun Found In Creek 23
- Teen Alex Dahm charged with drug possession 21
- Marietta Teen James Glover to be Tried as Adult in beating of a 94-year-old man 20
- Joyriding teens Dustin Surrett, Tessa Upton nabbed in stolen Jaguar 19
- 17-year-old Quavante Combs drowns in Lake Lanier 18
- Dekalb County Teen Marquis Overstreet Found Shot, Killed, Stabbed 30 Times 18
- Husband James Felio Killed By Police After Fight With Wife 17
- Suspect In Double Homicide Michael Ntiamoah Is Federal Officer 15
- Police: Woman talking on cell caused crash killing 2 15
- Police: Ex-Substitute Rene Frank Pregnant With Student’s Twins 14
- Teacher Shannon Schmieder Sentenced to 40 Years for Affair with 14 Year Old 14
- Fleeing Driver Adam Sides Hits Officer Head-On During Chase 12
- 16-Year-Old Son Charged In Crash That Killed His Mother 12
- Gwinnett, Forsyth teens Brandon Hodges, Christian Walker, killed in wreck 12
- Teen Demarquis Elkins Arrested in Georgia Baby Shooting Death 12
- Smyrna Police Officer Curtis Clyde Cook Fired After Drug Bust 11
- Atlanta Woman Lashawna Threatt Dies after Fall from W Hotel Room 11
- 3 Pedestrians Hit, 2 Dead near Interstate 675 in Stockbridge 11
- Teen Cheyenne Sauls Killed In Crash; 17-Year-Old Driver Charged With DUI 10
- Florida Man Steven Cozzie Held In Slaying of Georgia Teen Courtney Wilkes in Florida 9
- Cops: Mableton Woman Chakaya Folborg stabs sister to death with steak knife 9
- Atlanta Woman Crystal Cross Alleges Beating From Ga. State Patrol 9
- UPDATE: Teen Terry Johnson, Charged In Murder of Shakira Hudson 8
- LA Fitness Manager Juhahn Belcher 's Death Ruled Suspicious 8
- Newnan officer Josh Keller shoots girlfriend in abdomen 8
- Off-Duty Officer Shoots Teen In Nightclub Parking Lot 8
- Female Driver Priscilla Johnson Charged After Hitting 3 Teens with Car 8
- Pedestrian Latara Worthy run over, killed in Union City 8
- Authorities arrest 2nd suspect Julius Thomas in Clayton Co. taxi driver death 8
- Man Shot by Police in Mableton Identified as Gary Huel Jones 7
- Atlanta Officer, Dean Jackson Injured After Fall Into Water-Filled Hole 7
- Police: Husband Matthew Leili a suspect in wife Nique Leili's death 7
- 20-Year-Old Jessika Ann Howell Arrested for Multiple Crimes 6
- Family of Slain Teen, Reuben Hand, Sues MARTA 6
- Girlfriend Killer Kevin Kosturi Got Gun From Neighbor 6
Rate this article
|PHOTOS: Plastic Surgery Celebrity||Awkward family photos|
|UPDATED: Faces of Meth||PHOTOS: Celebrities all a-Twitter|