A man has been arrested in connection with the disappearance of Northern California teenager Sierra LaMar, who vanished more than two months ago.
Antolin Garcia-Torres was arrested Monday and booked into the Santa Clara County Jail on suspicion of murder and kidnapping, according to the sheriff's department.
Garcia-Torres, 21, was responsible for the disappearance of the 15-year-old girl, say police, who declined to offer any additional details on the arrest, according to The Associated Press. More information will be provided at a news conference later this morning, according to police.
Garcia-Torres is from Morgan Hill -- the same area where Sierra lived with her family and where the teen disappeared – and is the owner of the red Volkswagen Jetta that is believed to be connected to the girl's disappearance, KGO reported.
Garcia-Torres was arrested around 6 p.m. at the Safeway store where he works, KGO reported.
"It was about 5:30, I was at work and we just saw a bunch of cops and guns drawn and I couldn't see anyone if they took him away. I just saw the cops, it was just cops and cop cars, it was all really fast," Bobby Fox, a witness at Safeway, told KGO.
The California cheerleader was last seen 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. Earlier this month the Santa Clara County Sheriff's Department impounded the red Volkswagen Jetta believed to be connected to Sierra's disappearance.
Authorities found the mid-'90s, four-door red sedan with a black hood after releasing pictures of a similar vehicle Monday, according to Santa Clara County Sheriff's Sgt. Jose Cardoza. But investigators did not disclose 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 girl's Morgan Hill home and the area where authorities recovered the teen's belongings.
Last week's episode of the TV program "America's Most Wanted" featured Sierra's case, and investigators have since been sorting through a series of tips and possible leads.
"He was arrested today because this is how we thought that the arrest should be done and public safety is our number one concern," Santa Clara County Sheriff Laurie Smith said Monday. "We don't want anyone else hurt. We don't want any more little girls taken."
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