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Court Date Set For Morgan Hill Suspect In Murder Of Sierra LaMar

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Antolin Garcia-Torres. (Santa Clara County Sheriff)

Antolin Garcia-Torres. (Santa Clara County Sheriff)

MORGAN HILL (CBS SF) – A 21-year-old Morgan Hill man who is being charged with the murder of missing teenager Sierra LaMar will appear in court on Thursday afternoon, according to the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office.

Antolin Garcia-Torres, who was arrested Monday evening on suspicion of murder and kidnapping, is being held without bail at the Santa Clara County Main Jail. He was scheduled to be arraigned at 1:30 p.m. Thursday.

Sierra, a 15-year-old student at Sobrato High School in Morgan Hill, was last seen the morning of March 16.

Santa Clara County Sheriff Laurie Smith said at a news conference Tuesday morning that investigators believe Sierra was murdered by Garcia-Torres after being abducted by him. She said it does not appear the two knew each other.

A sheriff’s dive team resumed its search of local reservoirs and waterways Wednesday, and were focusing on the Uvas Reservoir. Volunteer searchers are scouring the area around the reservoir, Klaas Kids Foundation volunteer coordinator Teresa Casillas said.

KCBS’ Matt Bigler Reports:

Earlier this month, the sheriff’s office seized a red Volkswagen Jetta that investigators now say belongs to Garcia-Torres.

Garcia-Torres has been under 24-hour surveillance since March 28, when the sheriff’s office linked him to the Sierra LaMar case through DNA evidence left on articles of clothing in Sierra’s discarded purse, which was found about 2 miles from her house days after her disappearance.

Smith said no blood was found in the car or on her clothing, and investigators do not have a murder weapon or a motive.

Tom DiVittorio, the owner of Maple Leaf RV Park at 15200 Monterey Road in Morgan Hill, said this morning that Garcia-Torres lived there with his mother and sister.

DiVittorio said the mother had lived there about two years, but said she is now looking to move. He said he had never had any problems with the family.

A woman in the bakery department at a Safeway store at 100 Tennant Ave. in Morgan Hill said Garcia-Torres had worked at the grocery store, but not for some time.

An assistant manager at Famous Dave’s BBQ in Gilroy said Garcia-Torres’ sister Lucero Garcia works at the restaurant and also holds another job. He characterized her as a hard worker.

He said Lucero Garcia’s coworkers are all praying for her, adding, “She is the sweetest thing.”

The manager said he had never met her brother, Garcia-Torres.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco and Bay City News Service. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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