Man Convicted Of Murdering Missing High Schooler After His DNA Found On Her Discarded Pants
“I always am hoping that one day we'll find her … to be able to get that closure would be good,” the teenager’s father says.
Early in the morning on a school day over 10 years ago, a 15-year-old high school cheerleader in California left for the bus stop. She then disappeared without a trace.
On March 16, 2012, Sierra Mae LaMar never showed up for classes at Ann Sobrato High School. The next day, the teenager’s purse and cell phone were found discarded along roadways miles from her home.
KNTV reported that the purse contained LaMar’s shirt, bra, underwear and a pair of jeans. The jeans would provide detectives with vital evidence: trace DNA.
The forensic evidence led investigators to a suspect in the case, Antolin Garcia-Torres, a 21-year-old Safeway grocery store employee. According to authorities, Garcia-Torres’ DNA had been entered into a database after he was accused of felony battery resulting in serious bodily harm.
Police placed Garcia-Torres under around-the-clock surveillance and on May 21, 2012 — over two months after LaMar went missing — police arrested and charged him with the student’s murder.
Video obtained from security cameras showed that Garcia-Torres left the home he shared with his mother and pregnant girlfriend in a Volkswagen Jetta around 15 minutes before LaMar headed to her bus stop the day she disappeared, KRON reported.
Detectives processing Garcia-Torres’ vehicle reportedly found LaMar’s DNA on an inside door handle as well as a strand of LaMar’s hair in the trunk.
Though a massive monthslong search for LaMar’s body was unsuccessful, in May 2017, a jury still found Garcia-Torres guilty of her kidnapping and murder.
He was also convicted of attempting to assault and kidnap three women in Safeway parking lots around Morgan Hill beginning in 2009. A fingerprint reportedly linked the defendant to a stun gun found at one of the scenes.
Garcia-Torres was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. He is incarcerated at Corcoran State Prison in Central California.
In a recent letter to a reporter at KRON, Garcia-Torres maintained he was innocent of killing LaMar, but he refused to address specific details about the case.
The victim’s father told KNTV in March 2022 that the family now wants to concentrate on “the happy times” they had with her.
“I always am hoping that one day we'll find her, of course,” Steve LaMar said. “To be able to get that closure would be good.”
For more on this case, stream See No Evil: “Come Home Sierra” on Max.
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