Sierra LaMar, a 15-year-old Northern California high school cheerleader who disappeared in March, is believed to have been murdered, and Antolin Garcia-Torres has been arrested in connection with the crime, police say.
LaMar, who was last seen on the way to the bus stop, is believed to have been kidnapped by Garcia-Torres, according to authorities who arrested him.
“We believe this is the worst kind of crime – a stranger abduction of a young girl,” Santa Clara County Sheriff Laurie Smith told reporters Tuesday.
Deepening the mystery is the fact that the body of Sierra LaMar has not been found and authorities have not said how or when she was killed.
Smith says only that police have “strong facts” LaMar was murdered.
In any case, Antolin Garcia-Torres, 21, was arrested Monday at a Safeway supermarket in Morgan Hill, Calif., 70 miles southeast of San Francisco.
He was booked for investigation of murder and kidnapping based on evidence that included DNA, says Smith, who did not elaborate any further.
At the news conference, Sierra’s mother begged Garcia-Torres to “come forward and say where she is, and end this nightmare for us as a family.”
Garcia-Torres’ sister says police have arrested the wrong man.
“It’s not him,” Lucero Garcia tells the San Jose Mercury News in response to the arrest. “It feels like we’re in a movie right now, an unfair movie.”