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Saturday, March 31, 2012

Sierra Lamar Search continues

Search efforts for missing Morgan Hill teen Sierra LaMar continued Saturday, with sheriff's officials searching with special off-road vehicles and hundreds of volunteers scouring hillsides, vacant lots and residential streets.

Police believe the 15-year-old with the beaming smile and long dark hair was abducted outside her home the morning of March 16. Santa Clara County officers and FBI agents have interviewed dozens of Sierra's friends and family members.

The day after she disappeared, deputies found Sierra's cellphone lying near a road less than a mile from her home. The next day, her black-and-pink Juicy Couture purse turned up — with her underwear and San Jose Sharks jersey folded neatly inside.

The search to find Sierra -- a competitive cheerleader whom friends and family describe as happy and outgoing with a love of hip-hop artist Nicki Minaj -- has brought more than 2,000 volunteers to a makeshift command post in this close-knit community since Tuesday.

A Silicon Valley bedroom community still dotted with farms and framed by rolling hillsides, the town has come together in ways locals say they have never seen before.

The family is seeking help finding Sierra through their Facebook page. (The Times previously linked to the wrong Facebook page and included a flier not authorized by the family.)

Sierra's father, 47-year-old Steve LaMar of Fremont, where Sierra had lived before joining her mom in Morgan Hill in October, said the outpouring has provided some solace.

"The support we're getting from the entire Bay Area, it's been incredible," LaMar said."It helps us cope.... We love her. We're going to find her, and she's going to come home."

Anyone with information about Sierra or her whereabouts is asked to contact Santa Clara County Communications at (408) 299-2311. During business hours, tipsters can call sheriff's investigators at (408) 808-4500 or the anonymous tip line at (408) 808-4431.

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