The search for missing Morgan Hill teenager Sierra Lamar continued Saturday, with hundreds of volunteers joining the effort – some famous -- despite the rainy weather.
Volunteer organizers from the KlaasKids Foundation told KTVU they had search assignments for as many as 1,000 attendees Saturday after 750 people signed up to help the day before, making Saturday’s search party the biggest yet since the effort started two weeks ago.
The plan for Saturday was to focus on a section of the South Coyote Creek Trail that extends from Cochrane Rd in Morgan Hill to Bernal Rd in San Jose, according to organizers.
The search stretched through the fields, hills and neighborhoods within a 20 mile radius of LaMar’s home, which is where she was last seen on the morning of March 16.
The 15-year-old had left for school that morning but never showed up for classes.
Investigators later found Sierra's cellphone off of a roadway near her home around Dougherty and Palm avenues as well as her black, Juicy-brand purse, which contained a folded pair of pants and a T-shirt belonging to the teen.
Much of the search Saturday was concentrated on the area where an empty box labeled "handcuffs" and two used condoms were found just two days before.
Those items were sent to a crime lab for analysis.
“We're cautiously hopeful that it's going to help find Sierra,” said Steve LaMar, Sierra’s father. “It's kind of a bad discovery, but if it's going to help us find her… that would be good.”
Among the hundreds volunteers Saturday was San Francisco 49ers quarterback Alex Smith, who brought food and water for some of the volunteers, and later headed out with one of the first search parties that morning.
After Sunday the daily search parties will end.
“I think we'll probably move more towards a weekend search dynamic,” said Marc Klaas, the founder of KlaasKids Foundation. “There's a lot of factors that have to be taken into consideration, not the least of which is the burn out factor. We want people to stay fresh. We want people to stay enthusiastic.”
In the weeks ahead, Sierras friends and family will take the lead in organizing searches. They will still work closely with the KlaasKids Foundation.
“It's a little scary, overwhelming, but I feel pretty good we've got people in place and we're always looking for more,” LaMar added.
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