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Sierra LaMar: Suspect indicted in missing teen's death

By Lee Romney

3:00 AM PST, February 13, 2014

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A 22-year-old man is scheduled to be arraigned Thursday on an indictment in connection with missing Morgan Hill teenager Sierra LaMar.

The Superior Court grand jury's murder indictment against Antolin Garcia-Torres was handed down Tuesday. It came nearly two years after Sierra, a vibrant cheerleader, disappeared near her home while on her way to school. She was 15 at the time.

Sierra is presumed dead, although her body has not been found. The day after her March 16, 2012, disappearance, deputies found her cellphone lying near a road less than a mile from her home.

The next day, her black and pink Juicy Couture purse turned up -- with her underwear and San Jose Sharks jersey folded neatly inside.

Physical evidence linked Garcia-Torres and his vehicle to the case and he was arrested in May 2012 and charged with her death. However, on the advice of his defense attorney, he has repeatedly declined to enter a plea.

He will now proceed directly to trial without a preliminary hearing and without having to enter a plea.

The grand jury also indicted Garcia-Torres in connection with violent attacks on South Bay women in 2009.

He is scheduled to be arraigned Thursday.

“The District Attorney’s Office took this case to the criminal grand jury to expedite the lengthy criminal process, which began almost two years ago," Santa Clara County District Attorney Jeff Rosen said in a news release. "Sierra’s family, the surviving victims, and our entire community, deserves justice.”

Sierra's disappearance triggered a massive community search and the families of a number of other high-profile victims who disappeared participated.

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Twitter: @leeromney

lee.romney@latimes.com