A day after police said a missing California girl likely had been kidnapped, searchers found possible items of interest in the case, including condoms and an empty box labeled "handcuffs" not far from where she was last seen.
Santa Clara sheriff deputies confirmed Thursday that a volunteer searching for missing 15-year-old Sierra LaMar of Morgan Hill, Calif., discovered the items near a dead-end road about two miles from the girl's home, Fox affiliate KTVU-TV reported.
The potential evidence, part of a series of items discovered by volunteers, will be sent to the county crime lab for testing, authorities said.
"Volunteer search members located an empty box that was labeled 'stainless-steel handcuffs' and five feet away a couple of used condoms," Santa Clara County Sheriff's Department spokesman Jose Cardoza told the station.
But Cardoza noted that the items were found in an area known to authorities as a place where underage people go to drink alcohol and party.
Investigators said this week that they think LaMar, a sophomore at Sobrato High School, likely was the victim of an acquaintance abduction.
She last was seen March 16 leaving her home at around 7:15 a.m. to walk to a school bus stop. Police dogs searching for the girl lost her scent on the driveway of her home.
The teenager usually walked from her home to a nearby bus stop, but a bus driver said he saw no sign of her.
LaMar's phone was recovered shortly after her disappearance about three-quarters of a mile from her home after police tracked its electronic ping. Police said the last text LaMar sent out was shortly before 7 a.m. the day she disappeared, and it was not a distress text. He also said there was no forensic evidence on the phone.
The girl's bag also was discovered a couple of miles from her home. Her pants and shirt were found neatly folded inside the Juicy brand bag, though it's not known whether those are the clothes she was last seen wearing, police said.
There is currently no person of interest in the case, and police are still treating it as a missing person case.
Police said they have interviewed registered sex offenders in the area near where LaMar was last seen. There are 276 registered sex offenders in the area, according to the station.
Sierra lives with her mother and stepfather. She transferred to the school in October after the family moved from Fremont to Morgan Hill. She is described as having a very good relationship with her family.
The girl's father, Steve LaMar, who lives some 40 miles away in Fremont, is a registered sex crimes offender but is not considered a suspect in the case.
Sierra LaMar is described as 5 feet 2 inches, with brown hair. She was last seen carrying a Juicy brand pink and black purse.
Anyone with information on the teenager's whereabouts is being urged to call the Santa Clara County Sheriff's Department at 408-299-2311.