Latino man arrested in case of missing California teen, Sierra La Mar

After months of searching, a suspect in the heartbreaking and sad case of the missing California teen, Sierra LaMar, has finally been arrested. Authorities took 21-year-old Antolin Garcia-Torres into custody on Monday after his DNA was found inside a bag belonging to LaMar. LaMar's DNA was also found on unnamed property belonging to Garcia-Torres, leading officials to believe her case was a random act of violence.

The whole thing is terrifying--I don't know whether to feel relieved that they caught someone and that the world finally has some answers or even more horrified knowing that this could be the man assaulted LaMar (who is only 15 years old) for no apparent reason except that he could.  I can't even imagine how her family must be dealing with the news.


Read more ¿Qué más?: Heartbroken California community continues search for missing teen, Sierra LaMar

Apparently though, the arrest has been a long time coming. Police say Garcia-Torres had been under 24-hour surveillance since March 28, 12 days after LaMar first disappeared.  Authorities also checked out other suspects before focusing on him.  A possible reason for the shift? Earlier this month, investigators found that the red Volkswagen Jetta that was seen near the scene of the crime belonged to Garcia-Torres. He is now being held under charges of suspicion of murder and kidnapping.

Despite that, Garcia Torres' family is disputing claims that he is guilty. His sister, Lucero Garcia, calls the arrest "unfair" and says authorities have the wrong person. ""It's not him," Garcia said. "I honestly feel they don't have enough evidence to convict him."

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In any case, I hope that for the sake of the family and their peace of mind, Garcia-Torres can, at least, provide information to LaMar's whereabouts. At this point in the case--after months of investigation and hundreds of people embarking on search parties--it must be excruciating for them to feel so helpless, with so many questions and little to no answers.

And if police find that Garcia-Torres is responsible for the crime, I hope that he gets the punishment he deserves for inflicting such pain and devastation on an innocent teenager and her family.

What do you think of the case? Tell us in the comments below!

Images via Sierra LaMar/facebook, Santa Clara County Sheriffs Office

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