American Woman Found Dead in Turkey; Sarai Sierra Murdered With Stab Wounds to Abdomen?
Sarai Sierra, a mother of two from New York who had been missing for nearly two weeks in Turkey, has been found dead Saturday evening.
Turkish police confirmed that the body belonged to Sierra, saying "it's her," according to USA Today.
According to the Hurriyet, a Turkish newspaper, a body of a woman with stab wounds in the abdomen was found near the ramparts of the city walls in the Sarayburnu district of Istanbul. She was identified by police when they discovered a driver's license on her body.
The 33-year-old mother disappeared while vacationing by herself in Istanbul, Turkey. Her family stated that they hadn't heard from her since Jan. 21, which was the day she was scheduled to return back home to New York City, but Sierra reportedly never got on board her flight to the U.S.
However, a CCTV surveillance video that was released by Turkish police on Jan. 29 did show a woman that police later identified as Sierra, walking outside of a shopping mall in Istanbul.
Istanbul authorities had taken a man into custody on Friday that reportedly exchanged messages over the Internet with a New York woman before she went missing.
According to the CBS News, a police official stated that under the condition of anonymity, the authorities did query a man that had been in contact with Sierra while she stayed in the city, but the official wouldn't identify the potential suspect or give any further details on the arrest.
Turkish news reports are saying that Sierra arranged to meet up with the man being questioned on a bridge that she planned to take pictures of on the day she went missing. It's still unknown whether the meeting between the two had ever occurred.
The Staten Island woman initially made the trek to the foreign country on Jan. 7 to further pursue her hobby of photography. She also allegedly made some other trips to Amsterdam, Netherlands and Munich, Germany while in Europe.
Sierra was originally supposed to take the trip with one of her friends, but ended up doing it solo when the friend wasn't able to make it.
Sierra's husband, Steven,and his brother, David Jimenez, had traveled to Istanbul on Monday in order to assist with the search for his wife. Their children are 9 and 11.
According to Turkish media, nine individuals have been detained and are being interrogated.
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