The Santa Clara County Sheriff's Office said Tuesday investigators were proceeding on the assumption Sierra LaMar, 15, of Morgan Hill was kidnapped, the San Jose Mercury News reported. Sgt. Jose Cardoza said detectives came to that conclusion after talking to 100 family members and friends.
"There's nothing indicating she would have run away from the house," Cardoza told the newspaper. "She had no issues at home and never mentioned she was going to run away. She's possibly out there as an 'involuntary taking.'"
Sierra was last seen March 16. Her cellphone and purse were discovered near her home within days.
Danielle LaMar told the newspaper she knew after those finds that her younger sister did not run away.
"It hit me then it was a lot more serious," she said.
About 600 people turned out Tuesday to help search for evidence. Brad Dennis of KlaasKids Foundation, named in honor of Polly Klaas, who was kidnapped and killed in 1994, told them to look for women's clothing and for anything that could be used to tie someone up or to hide a body.
"If you see something, back away," he said. "If you find Sierra, you back away. It's a crime scene."
Morgan Hill is in a formerly rural area 21 miles south of San Jose that has now become a Silicon Valley dormitory community.