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Missing teen’s mom issues Mother’s Day statement

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POSTED May 14, 2012 1:07 a.m.

MORGAN HILL  (AP) — A Northern California mother is spending her Mother’s Day with worries that most mothers will never have to face.

Marlene LaMar, the mother of missing 15-year-old Sierra LaMar, hasn’t seen her daughter since the teen left for school nearly two months ago.

The worried mother, who continues to express hope for the safe return of her daughter, issued a Mother’s Day statement describing the day as a “time of reflection” and referring to Sierra as a “miracle baby.”

“Being a mom has been the greatest joy of my life,” she wrote in her statement.

“From the moment I knew that a little life was growing inside me, there was an overwhelming need to protect and nurture my child,” she wrote of her daughter.

Sierra hasn’t been seen or heard from since she left her home in Morgan Hill to go to school on the morning of March 16. Authorities believe she was kidnapped while walking to a school bus stop.

Meanwhile, volunteers and sheriff’s officials continue searches of the fields and open spaces near and around Morgan Hill, as well as reservoirs in the area.

About 130 volunteers braved hot temperatures and even the threat of rattlesnakes as they went over some of the same ground previously searched in nearby Gilroy on Saturday, said volunteer Celia Rodriguez.

One group of volunteers had to give up searching one area when they came upon three rattlesnakes. Another volunteer suffered from dehydration as temperatures reached into the 80s, Rodriguez said.

Nothing of significance was found during Saturday’s search, according to Rodriguez.

The KlaasKids Foundation, founded by Marc Klaas, whose 12-year-old daughter Polly was kidnapped from her Petaluma home and murdered in 1993, has been organizing volunteer searches on Wednesdays and Saturdays.

Authorities have also conducted a series of searches in the area, including looking through open fields and construction sites on Friday.

Dive teams equipped with sonar equipment also searched two nearby reservoirs.

Santa Clara County sheriff’s officials have released few details about leads in the case, including what, if any, evidence they found in a red sedan they believe is connected the case.

Sherriff’s officials did not return calls Sunday seeking more information on the case.

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