WC Link to Morgan Hill Kidnapping Denied

At this time, investigators haven't found a connection between the kidnapping of Morgan Hill teen Sierra LaMar and the stranger-danger incident with a Walnut Creek teen.

After speaking with detectives from the Walnut Creek Police Department, investigators said there does not appear to be a connection between the disappearance of Morgan Hill teen Sierra LaMar and the stranger-danger incident involving a Walnut Creek teen, the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office announced in a statement Wednesday afternoon.

Posters suggesting a connection between Sierra’s disappearance and the potential attempted kidnapping in Walnut Creek began to spread via social media soon after authorities disclosed Monday that Sierra was possibly kidnapped in a red, mid-1990s Volkswagen Jetta.

In the Walnut Creek case, a man driving a faded red older-model compact sedan tried to lure a 13-year-old girl into his car March 14. The next day, she said the same man waved to her on a trail behind Walnut Creek Intermediate School; the girl went back to the school and called her parents.

Investigators also investigated the , but determined that the incident is not connected to the LaMar case.  

The VW Jetta believed to be associated with the missing Morgan Hill teen was observed around key areas in the LaMar case, including the LaMar home and the fields where Sierra's  after she disappeared on March 16. . 

Authorities announced during a press conference Tuesday afternoon that the vehicle will undergo forensic examinations, and also said they believe .

"We still do believe she's alive. We don't have any evidence leading us in the direction that she's no longer alive," Sheriff's spokesman Sgt. Jose Cardoza said.

The Sheriff’s dive team unit is continuing search efforts for Sierra today by examining small ponds and waterways on private properties west of Monterey and Bailey streets in unincorporated south San Jose.

An additional search, organized by KlaasKids Foundation volunteers, is taking place .

Investigators are still seeking tips of sightings of the Volkswagen Jetta in Morgan Hill and Santa Clara County. Anyone with information is asked to call sheriff's investigators at 408-808-4500 or the anonymous tip line at 408-808-4431.

Investigators are interested in hearing from individuals who saw the vehicle or had contact with its occupant(s) in Santa Clara County or bordering counties in March, and are asking individuals to contact them if they remember seeing the Jetta on March 16.

For previous coverage of the Sierra LaMar case, refer to the Sierra LaMar Disappearance: Comprehensive Updates and Information page.


WC Neighbor May 11, 2012 at 12:25 AM
While I love our community WC Patch, as an involved parent & volunteer in the WCSD & Acalanes school districts, & somewhat informed, it disturbs me to NO END that the incidents in Walnut Creek & San Jose are being called in your publication as "attempted kidnapping" cases instead of "suspicious incidents". The community upset & scare the media creates from the terms used (including amongst the children!) is beyond measure... and unjust! Honesty, instead of dramatization, is what I thought I could expect from The Patch. I do NOT dismiss and/or condemn in ANY way, shape or form, the feelings or reports that came from either incident. However, I urge you to call them what they are, incidents. With that, we can calmly talk to our friends, neighbors & especially, our children, of the potential ways/dangers of the world today while informing readers... but honestly so! I urge you to be thoughtful & not fall into the world of dirty laundry as so much of the current news media has!!!! With that, I send my heartfelt best to the family & friends of Sierra Lamar in her safe return!!!!
Lance Howland May 11, 2012 at 03:47 PM
Neighbor: Thanks for a close reading. I took your criticism to heart and revised the headline and text of the story. I think it's a little stronger than 'suspicious incident' when the same guy, apparently, tries to attract the attention of a teenage girl two days in a row, so I used the term "stranger-danger incident." With either term, it's more complicated than a summary of several words, and the reader is best served by following the link and reading more about the Walnut Creek incidents from March. -- Lance Howland, editor, Walnut Creek Patch


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