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Dive Teams Scour Reservoirs for Sierra LaMar

Volunteers still are needed to search.

   As the search for missing Morgan Hill teenager Sierra LaMar continues into its second month, family members, volunteers and investigators remain determined to find out what happened to the 15-year-old high school sophomore.

Sheriff's officials believe Sierra, who has been missing since Friday, March 16, when she did not show up to school, was abducted.

A Santa Clara County Sheriff's Office dive team is out at Calero Reservoir today using boats equipped with sonar technology, which transmits underwater images.

If anything suspicious is discovered, a diver will enter the reservoir, sheriff's Sgt. Jose Cardoza said.

The dive team went out to the reservoir Wednesday afternoon, but windy conditions made it difficult to conduct the sonar searches.

"Today, conditions are a little bit better," Cardoza said.

Cardoza said investigators are being thorough by checking waterways after completing ground and hillside searches nearby.

Last week, divers scanned the Chesbro and Uvas reservoirs because they are closest to Sierra's mother's home, where she was last seen. Her mother, Marlene LaMar, is a graduate of Milpitas High School.

The water search was then expanded to some local ponds. If nothing is found at the Calero Reservoir in the next few days, the search may expanded even more, Cardoza said.

This morning, activity on Sierra's Twitter account sparked fleeting hope among those hoping for her safe return, but Cardoza said the post appears to have been a fraud.

"We know it's not from Sierra," Cardoza said.

Investigators have not determined who posted the Tweet but Cardoza said the person responsible could face misdemeanor charges for impersonating someone on social media.

"We have people who are not contributing in a positive way," Cardoza said.

Meanwhile, KlaasKids Foundation has stepped in to lead volunteer searches for Sierra, which have attracted hundreds of volunteers who have scoured Morgan Hill and the greater Santa Clara County area over the past few weeks.

Plans for this weekend's search efforts will be finalized by Friday, according to family friend and search director Brian Miller.

A search was carried out Wednesday and more searches are tentatively scheduled for future Wednesdays.

Miller said volunteer numbers have dropped since the initial searches, but that the effort is still helpful.

"We have been eliminating areas," he said.

Sierra's cousin and LaMar family spokesperson Keith LaMar also noted a lower turnout, but emphasized that foot searches will continue in the coming weeks.

"We wouldn't want the case to get cold," he said.

He said a fundraiser in Morgan Hill is in the works, possibly in connection with the 49ers football team.

This coming Monday, a Marina fitness center is offering hula classes with proceeds going toward the search for Sierra.

Hot Hula Fitness Monterey is working with the Christina Williams Foundation for Families to help find Sierra, with participants donating $10 for the hula class at the Fitness Zone West gym at 3074 Del Monte Blvd. in Marina.

Hot Hula has helped raise funds for other local families with missing children, including 13-year-old Christina Williams, who went missing in Seaside in 1998. Her body was found seven months later, according to Marci Bracco Cain, who is helping promote Monday's fundraiser.

The classes will be held at 6:05 p.m. and 7:15 p.m. Monday.

Those who want to help in the search for Sierra can register Saturday and Sunday between 8 a.m. and 1 p.m. at Burnettt Elementary School at 85 Tilton Road in Morgan Hill.

Volunteers must be at least 18 years old, with photo identification.

-Bay City News

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