Missing Morgan Hill teenager Sierra LaMar is still missing, presumed dead by investigators. Meanwhile the only suspect in her disappearance and death appears to be playing games with the legal system. Antolin Garcia-Torres appeared in court yesterday for the second time, but he again refused to enter a plea. That's not surprising, as his tactic is as transparent as his demeanor. He's going to play the complete silence defense until Sierra's body is found or until investigators release any other evidence they have found.
Is this going to be a capital murder case? Without a body it will be extremely difficult to convict Antolin Garcia-Torres with hopes of doling out a death sentence. However, it won't be impossible. There are certainly past cases of murder convictions being successful without the discovery of a body, or a weapon. However, there are also failuresÂ—the Casey Anthony trial being among the most angering in recent years.
That is why it is absolutely important that the search for 15-year-old Sierra LaMar continues. Antolin Garcia-Torres is refusing to speak in courtÂ—which is not surprising considering the allegations against himÂ—and now his next court date isn't until July 12, 2012.
That leaves a little over a month for investigators to find, compile and review all of the evidence that is available in this case. That also means that the time is ticking away before it is too late to find Sierra's body. Mark Klaas of KlaasKids believes that she may be aliveÂ—but in all honesty this seems like nothing more than wishful thinking. Detectives already have the evidence that indicates she was murdered. Perhaps some of the DNA was post mortem? Perhaps some of the DNA was in the form of copious amounts of blood? The public does not know and probably won't for a while. It's important that the prosecution holds onto every ounce of evidence they can for the posterity of the trial.
Crime analyst and profiler Chelsea Hoffman can be found on The Huffington Post, Chelsea Hoffman: Case to Case and many other outlets. Follow @TheRealChelseaH on Twitter or click here to contact Chelseadirectly.