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Missing teen Sierra LaMar: Divers search reservoirs for clues

April 13, 2012 |  1:07 pm

Sierra LaMar posters

Four weeks after 15-year-old Sierra LaMar went missing in Santa Clara County, officials were analyzing sonar images from dives in nearby reservoirs in their search for clues, authorities said Friday.

Police believe the teen was abducted outside her Morgan Hill home the morning of March 16 as she was going to school. Santa Clara County sheriff’s spokesman Jose Cardoza told The Times that authorities had received more than 1,400 tips and logged about 8,900 personnel hours on the case, but they remain without a person of interest.

This week efforts involved an analysis of sonar images followed by dives into local reservoirs that might hold clues. Cardoza said experts saw “inconsistencies” in images from Chesbro Reservoir and sent divers Thursday to investigate.

“They came across some large trees,” Cardoza said. “Totally unrelated stuff.”

Cardoza said divers would search the nearby Uvas Reservoir on Friday.

“It’s a day-to-day operation,” he said. “Each thing they see they will send divers to double check.”

The search to find Sierra -- a competitive cheerleader who friends and family describe as happy and outgoing -- has brought together thousands of community volunteers.

Sheriff's officials have searched with special off-road vehicles and used volunteers to scour hillsides, vacant lots and residential streets. Sierra's family has posted a $10,000 reward for information leading to her safe return.

The day after she disappeared, deputies found Sierra's cellphone lying near a road less than a mile from her home. The next day, her black-and-pink Juicy Couture purse turned up — with her clothes folded neatly inside.  

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-- Matt Stevens

Twitter.com/mattstevenslat

Photo: Posters bearing images of missing teen Sierra LaMar, who disappeared as she headed for school last month. Credit: Ben Margot / Associated Press

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