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Missing teen Sierra LaMar: 21-year-old man arrested in slaying

May 22, 2012 |  6:34 am

Garcia-torresMore than two months after Bay Area teenager Sierra LaMar disappeared on her way to school, investigators said they have “a lot of physical evidence” linking her to a man arrested on suspicion of murder and kidnapping.

Antolin Garcia-Torres, 21, was taken into custody Monday at a Safeway in Morgan Hill, Santa Clara Sheriff Laurie Smith told reporters.

“We believe we have probable cause that he committed the kidnapping and murder of Sierra LaMar,” Smith said.

Garcia-Torres owns the red Volkswagen Jetta previously sought by authorities in connection to the case, the San Jose Mercury News reported. The car was found May 8.

Smith said Garcia-Torres had been under surveillance but did not elaborate. More information about the case is expected to be revealed at a Tuesday morning news conference.

Sierra was last seen heading to school the morning of March 16. The next day, investigators found the high school cheerleader’s cellphone a few blocks away from her school. A day later, her pink Juicy-brand bag was found with a T-shirt and pants neatly folded inside.

The case drew significant attention as volunteers combed the area near Sierra’s home and school. Marc Klaas, whose 12-year-old daughter was kidnapped from their Petaluma home in 1993, helped organize some of those searches.

He told the Mercury News that until Sierra’s body was found, his volunteers would continue looking this week "in hopes of still finding Sierra alive."

ALSO:

Missing teen Sierra LaMar believed dead, sheriff says

Decomposing bodies found in South Los Angeles apartment

Body of man found bound and gagged inside liquor store refrigerator

— Kate Mather

twitter.com/katemather

Photo: Antolin Garcia-Torres, the 21-year-old man arrested Monday night in connection with the disappearance of 15-year-old Sierra LaMar, is seen in an undated photo provided by the Santa Clara County Sheriff's Office. Credit: Associated Press

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