Two high-profile Bay Area figures joined the ground search for missing 15-year-old Sierra LaMar Saturday, two weeks after she disappeared from her rural Morgan Hill neighborhood.
California state Assemblyman Luis Alejo and San Francisco 49er quarterback Alex Smith were among the teams of volunteers combing Morgan Hill for signs of the 15-year-old’s whereabouts Saturday, according to The KlaasKids Foundation, the organization managing the volunteer efforts.
Nearly 600 people turned out Saturday to take part in the search-and-rescue that has recently been extended to more than 19 miles from Sierra’s home, KlaasKids representatives said.
Sierra’s mother asked the non-profit group to conduct a search in addition to law enforcement efforts, according to the foundation’s founder, Mark Klaas, whose 12-year-old daughter Polly Klaas was abducted in 1993.
In recent days, since Sierra’s disappearance was re-classified as a kidnapping, police have sent out dive teams equipped with specially trained K9s to help detect any traces of human remains in the waterways around Sierra’s home.
The 15-year-old went missing March 16 after leaving her house near Palm and Dougherty avenues to catch a school bus, police said.
Police located Sierra’s cell phone and purse off of a roadway near her home, but have found no other trace of her.
“It’s like she literally vanished,” Sierra’s mother Marlene LaMar said in a statement.
Those interested in volunteering in the search may register at Burnett Elementary School located at 85 Tilton Ave. in Morgan Hill between 8 a.m. and 1 p.m. daily.
Volunteers must be at least 18 years old, are asked to bring photo identification and dress appropriately for the weather.
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 fund 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.
Laura Dixon, Bay City News