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Morgan Hill
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May 22, 2022

Hundreds show up for Sierra LaMar vigil Monday

As the sun set Monday night, a sea of pink balloons flooded the sky attached with hundreds of messages of hope, and prayer. The vigil marked the one month anniversary of missing Morgan Hill teen Sierra LaMar, where about 300 people showed up at Burnett Elementary School, which has become the headquarters of the ‘Sierra Search Center,” lead by the KlaasKids Foundation.
Each person held a pink balloon, many of them some of the thousands of volunteers that helped search for Sierra in the past month.
“I just felt like I needed to get involved,” said Courtney Cranton of Morgan Hill.
Debbie Nunes, a self-proclaimed “Dougherty Mom” meaning her family lives near Sierra LaMar, has been volunteering since the day Sierra went missing.
“We pass by that bus stop every day when I take my kids to Charter School of Morgan Hill,” said Nunes, who has volunteered at three searches so far and attended many community vigils.
For Cassie Inman, who was wearing a “Bring Sierra Home” button while her mother Christie wore a Sierra T-shirt and pink ribbon, this case hits close to home.
“It’s hard knowing that she was someone so close to my age. Just knowing it could happen to anybody …” she said. “I hope she comes home soon. And once she comes home I look forward to meeting her.”
Pastor Greg Quirke of the South Valley Community Church in Gilroy, spoke on behalf of the family, leading the crowd in a moment of silence.
As the hundreds of balloons were released into the air, the crowd shouted “Bring Sierra home,” as many wiped away tears. Silent as the balloons ascended into the air, a cry of “I love you” was said by someone in the crowd. Both Sierra’s parents Marlene and Steve LaMar were present to thank the community for their dedication in the search and for keeping the story of their daughter alive.
“She’s everyone’s daughter,” said Marlene.
“I’m missing her every minute of every day,” said Steve.
Sandina Daly, 17 a Live Oak High School junior helped organize the balloon release vigil.
“Maybe it will encourage people to come to the searches, and maybe even Sierra will see the balloons somewhere and know that we’re still out here fighting for her,” she said.
The next search will be between 8 a.m. and 1 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at Burnett Elementary School, 85 Tilton Ave.

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