Teen Sierra LaMar's Kidnapping Becomes a Murder Case After Surprising Arrest

Sierra LaMarIt's hard to call it good news. Police say they know who kidnapped California teenager Sierra LaMar as she walked to her school bus in March. They've even gone so far as arresting Antolin Garcia-Torres this week.

But the charges they've levied against the 21-year-old Garcia-Torres are hard to swallow. One count of kidnapping. One count of murder. Good for the justice system? Maybe. Maybe not.


Sierra LaMar's family now has to face the fact that police officially consider their 15-year-old daughter dead. Up until this point, they've been clinging to the lack of a body as some sort of last hope. But now there's a man in custody, a man who the police in Santa Clara County say they have enough evidence against to prove he took their brown-eyed, black haired-daughter and brutally killed her. This isn't a missing child. It's a murdered child.

So what's their best hope now? Frankly, their best hope is that Garcia-Torres really is the guy responsible for such a reprehensible act, and he'll give up details that will lead cops to her body. It's the LaMars' best chance at closure on this horrific ordeal.

Just ruminate on that for a second, would you? Put yourself in the shoes of people whose "best" hope right now is that someone will tell them where their child is buried. Kind of puts all your whining that it's raining or that Friday can't come soon enough in perspective, doesn't it?

We spend a lot of time talking about justice being served in this country. But justice isn't perfect. It's not the same as undoing a crime.

Don't get me wrong; I'm glad the cops say they have taken a brutal killer off the streets in Santa Clara. That's good for the community at large. If Garcia-Torres killed Sierra LaMar, we can only imagine he'd strike again if he weren't stopped.

But this is only a piece of the puzzle for the LaMar family, a step in the road to recovery. Justice may be served in this case. But that won't bring their little girl back.

If you could, what would you say to the family of Sierra LaMar today?


Image via National Center for Missing & Exploited Children

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