(SANTA CLARA, Calif.) — A red Volkswagen Jetta connected to the disappearance of 15-year-old Sierra LaMar is now in custody of the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Department.
Authorities found the mid-’90s four-door red sedan with a black hood after releasing pictures of a similar vehicle on Monday, according to Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Sgt. Jose Cardoza. However, investigators are not disclosing specifics of how they identified the car and its connection to the case.
The vehicle came to the attention of authorities after it was captured on multiple surveillance videos in the area of the missing cheerleader’s Morgan Hill, Calif., home and the area where authorities recovered the teen’s belongings. Sgt. Cardoza said investigators have been unable to recognize specific person(s) in the vehicle from the videos.
With the vehicle in custody, authorities are asking the public to report any sightings of the vehicle and/or possible occupants at the time of the girl’s disappearance. They are interested in speaking to anyone who may have come in contact with the car or occupants in the month of March.
The cheerleader was last seen on March 16 as she left to catch the school bus. The girl’s parents contacted authorities later that day after receiving an email from her high school informing them the teen did not show up for class.
Days later, Sierra’s cellphone and her Juicy brand bag containing a pair of folded jeans and a T-shirt were recovered on the side of the road in the opposite direction of her bus stop. Investigators searched her phone and computer, but did not find clues to her disappearance.
Divers began searching reservoirs near her home last month, but have yet to come up with a trace of the teen.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Ray Sanchez, CNN Newswire
Chuck Johnston, CNN Newswire