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UPDATE: Missing Youth Found with Captor in San Jose

Suspect was arrested Tuesday at a VTA station.

Updated at 3:59 p.m.

A young woman who has been listed as a missing person was found with her captor at a Valley Transportation Authority station in San Jose Tuesday, according to a press release sent out by the Santa Clara County Sheriff's Office.

Sgt. Jose Cardoza of the Sheriff's Office said that the youth is a 16-year-old female reported missing out of San Jose. While he would not release her name, he said she is Caucasian, 5'9" and 130 pounds.

He did not know how long she had been missing for and said that "at this time" thre is no connection between this incident and missing Morgan Hill teen Sierra LaMar.

According to the release, members of the Santa Clara County Sheriff's Transit Patrol arrested Merced Pacheco, 23, of Santa Clara at the Orchard Light Rail Station for suspicion of unlawful intercourse with a minor and false imprisonment.

While checking proof of payment on a light rail train, two fare inspectors found the young woman had an expired VTA youth pass and no identification.

Pacheco, who was with the young woman, also failed to produce proof of payment and both were asked to disembark from the train.

As a fare inspector asked more questions of the young woman, she told the inspector that she was being held against her will by Pacheco.

Cardoza said that the young woman had been living with Pacheco for a "couple of months," but it is unclear whether she was willingly staying with him.

"Regardless if she was being forced to stay there or not, at some point she was being held against her will," he said. "It's still a crime and we're glad this didn't escalate further."

Pacheco is being held at the county jail and the youth, initially taken into protective custody, will reunite with her family soon if she hasn't already, Cardoza said.

In March,  near the 2100 block of Coastland Avenue in San Jose's Willow Glen neighborhood. The man, described as a Hispanic male, was carrying some kind of electronic device, possibly a stun gun.

Police found no connection between that incident and LaMar's disappearance during the course of their investigation.

Gilroy Patch will update this story if and when information becomes available.

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

Katherine O'Neil May 03, 2012 at 11:11 PM
I'm crossing my fingers that they've found Sierra! Either way, I'm glad this scum was arrested.
Katherine O'Neil May 03, 2012 at 11:11 PM
I'm crossing my fingers that they've found Sierra! Either way, I'm glad this scum was arrested.
Mr. Wayne May 06, 2012 at 05:10 AM
One found, but thousands more to go.

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