Divers Search Reservoirs Again for Sierra LaMar

Sheriff's divers will use high-tech equipment again this week.


Dive teams plan a follow-up search on Chesbro Reservoir located in the foothills west of Morgan Hill in an effort to locate evidence tied to the disappearance of 15-year-old teen Sierra LaMar.

Members of the Santa Clara County Sheriff's Office dive team used high-resolution sonar for the first time last Friday, but nothing had been found of evidentiary value by day's end, Sgt. Jose Cardoza of the Sheriff's Office said. Divers intend to return sometime this week after images gathered using new sonar equipment are analyzed.

The reservoir had been scanned during previous searches with outdated equipment, . 

The new sonar scanners, , provide better quality images, allowing divers to distinguish areas and objects more clearly than before.

Investigators believe Sierra was linking him to the teen’s disappearance. The girl has been missing since March 16.

Cardoza said that divers also scanned San Felipe Lake June 22, which he described as a "small body of water located on state route 152, just east of Bloomfield."

Divers had not previously searched the lake and nothing of value to the case turned up during this initial search, he said.

With more water searches expected throughout this week, Cardoza said he didn't know exactly how many divers would be participating. Though there are 12 members of the Sheriff's dive team, the number that actually jump in the water varies daily, he explained.

"This is not a full-time unit so not everyone is able to go out everyday," he said. "They might be called on patrol or may have other duties. It could be as little as three or four divers one day and more than 10 the next."

Detectives have turned their attention to Chesbro and Uvas reservoirs as of late, re-scanning the latter with the new sonar equipment a few weeks ago. Focus has shifted to these two sites because of the several days after her March 16 disappearance.

Nothing significant to the case was turned up during the most recent Uvas search, Cardoza said.

While detectives hope subsequent water searches do reveal new clues to LaMar's location, Cardoza mentioned that a bone was found by a volunteer during an organization-led search several weeks ago at Anderson Reservoir. That bone was sent to the Santa Clara County Medical Examiner/Coroner's Office, where forensic testing determined it belonged to a deer.

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

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angel mae vann June 25, 2012 at 08:42 PM
I hope the find her soon!! I have followed this case for the longest time and kills me that she is still out there desd or alive. the family needs that closure.
Heather June 26, 2012 at 04:20 AM
I am not familiar with this area of CA, but looking at Mapquest I see that Morgan Hill is only 58 min's, or 47 miles away on CA-17 S from Santa Cruz and the Pacific Ocean. The abductor could have connections with people that own boats, rented one, or found a way to place her out there. Reservoirs seem like risky spots, and there are so many near Morgan Hill, those areas would be the first logical place searchers would look allowing more time for her to be lost at sea.. Another idea, the abductor would have known how many hours they had before Sierra would be reported missing: 8-12 hours max. Have any areas within an 8-12 hour radius of MH been searched? I doubt if she was driven far away (alive and held against her will) the abductor would have continued driving her (in plain sight) after this time. Another thought.. What if she was taken to Reno NV or Las Vegas? Reno is 4 hours away, and Vegas is 8 hours. I hope she is found safe soon, and I will continue to believe she will be coming home to her family, unless I hear otherwise.
Heather June 26, 2012 at 04:22 AM
I also wonder like some if she could have somehow been taken across the border to Mexico.. hidden in a car. Is anyone searching for her there?
Gino July 04, 2012 at 12:05 AM
These desktop detectives slay me. "has anybody considered he may have taken her to Vegas?" News flash. California is a very big place. You can live your entire life in the bay area and never see it all. Maybe he put her on a boat in SF and shipped her to china!! Keep your day job Heather.


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