The search for missing teen Sierra Lamar continued today but it doesn't seem like any signs of the allegedly abducted girl have turned out successfully. However, the search for the girl has attracted a high profile individual. San Francisco 49ers quarterback Alex Smith is a bit of a celebrity in the Bay Area and used his star power to arrange several volunteers to assist in the search along with KlaasKids.
Nearly 600 people turned out this weekend in the search for Sierra Lamar, but as stated above, this has not proven successful. This also brings to attention questions regarding whether or not evidence could be damaged in the searches for missing people using volunteers. When you think of around 600 people trekking off road through the brush searching for a missing person, that's a lot of foot traffic and off road vehicle traffic as well. These volunteer searches help in gathering more evidence and sometimes they help in finding human remains of missing persons. Just recently volunteer searchers found used condoms and a box labeled "handcuffs." These items may or may not be connected to Sierra's disappearance, but it's thanks to volunteer searches that they were found.
However, could all this foot traffic potentially destroy evidence that hasn't yet been discovered? If you've been following any of the other missing persons cases that are still active, such as the disappearance of Tennessee woman Holly Bobo, you may recall the cries of protest by family members regarding instant foot searches and the destruction of evidence and crime scenes. For example, when Holly Bobo was allegedly abducted, the parents of the missing woman claimed that police wouldn't let anyone into the woods where she was believed to have gone. Then they expressed dissatisfaction with the fact that volunteers stomped through the area from the same day as her disappearance into the following weeks, which could have possibly ruined evidence pertaining to the direction in which she and her alleged captor may have gone.
Could all of this foot traffic and off road vehicle traffic potentially damage signs of where this girl could have gone? Possibly, but it's important to realize that that is one of the chances that people must take when it comes to finding a missing loved one, especially under the belief that an abduction has occurred.
What do you think?
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 Chelsea directly.