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Sunday, February 3, 2013

Missing American mother of two found dead in Turkey

A New York City woman who went missing while vacationing alone in Istanbul was found dead yesterday Saturday February 2nd, and police were questioning 11 people in connection with the case, Turkey's state-run news agency said.

Sarai Sierra, a 33-year-old mother of two, was last heard from on Jan. 21, the day she was to fly home. Her disappearance attracted a lot of interest in Turkey, where the disappearance of tourists is rare, and Istanbul police had set up a special unit to find her.
 
The state-run Anadolu Agency said the body of a woman was discovered Saturday evening near the remnants of ancient city walls and that police later identified it as Sierra's.

The agency said she was found with a head wound and a blanket near her body. She was wearing jeans, a jumper and a jacket, and still had her earrings and a bracelet.

Police reached by The Associated Press refused to comment on the case.

Sierra, whose children are 9 and 11, had left for Istanbul on Jan. 7 to explore her photography hobby and made a side trip to Amsterdam, Netherlands, and Munich, Germany. She had originally planned to travel with a friend, but ended up traveling alone when her friend canceled.

She was in regular contact with friends and relatives, and was last in touch with her family on Jan. 21, the day she was due back in New York. She told them she would visit Galata Bridge, which spans Istanbul's Golden Horn waterway, to take photos.

The body was found not far from the bridge and near a major road that runs alongside the sea of Marmara. Here tourists often photograph dozens of tankers waiting to access the Bosporus strait.
On Saturday, police stopped traffic there as forensic police inspected the area.

Anadolu suggested Sierra may have been killed at another location and that her body may have been brought to the site to be hidden there.

At least 11 people were being questioned in Istanbul, Anadolu said, and a police official at the site told journalists that two of them were women. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to reporters about the case. Earlier, Anadolu had said nine people were detained.

It was not clear if a Turkish man Sierra had exchanged emails with during her stay in Istanbul was among those being questioned. He was detained for questioning Friday, then released. Turkish news reports said Sierra had arranged to meet the man on Galata Bridge, but he reportedly told police the meeting never took place.

Shortly after her body was discovered, a woman came forward and told police she had seen a white car parked near the city walls as she was driving there the night of Jan. 29, Anadolu reported. She said a man was trying to remove "something" from the car.

"At that moment, I noticed a woman's hand," Anadolu quoted the woman as telling reporters after talking with police. The agency said she declined to give her name.

Sierra's husband, Steven, and her brother, David Jimenez, traveled to Istanbul to help search for her. Sierra's mother, Betzaida Jimenez, said Saturday that she couldn't talk about the case when reached in New York.

Shortly after Sierra was reported missing, Turkey set up a special police unit which scanned hours of security camera footage in downtown Istanbul in search of clues. A Turkish missing persons association joined the search, handing out flyers with photos of Sierra and urging anyone with information to call police.

While break-ins and petty thievery are common in Istanbul, the vast and crowded city is considered relatively safe compared to other major urban centers. Sierra's death was unlikely to have a significant impact on tourism, a large component of the Turkish economy.

In 2008, an Italian artist, Pippa Bacca, was raped and killed while hitchhiking to Israel wearing a wedding dress to plead for peace. Her naked body was found in a forest in northwest Turkey. A Turkish man was sentenced to life in prison for the attack. 

Source: Associated Press

41 comments:

Anonymous said...

Rip...Bims

★★PRINCE CHARMING™★★ said...

Turkey would have a lot to explain to US now, even the European Union can't help them out of this. RIP lady, how sad.

Nneotta-Sally Oden said...

†☺☺ bad. Ãήϑ she's S☺ pretty.

Anonymous said...

Really Bad

Anonymous said...

May her soul rest in Peace

Chidozie Mario said...

Hope they find the culprits...may her soul RIP.
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BONARIO NNAGS said...

May her soul rest in peace.

~BONARIO~says so via NOKIA3310

Naijatips said...

Are theey looking for American Trouble again? I pity them. Cos when America strikes, Nation falls

LEGIT WAYS TO MAKE MONEY ONLINE

SLOT PRICE LIST said...

See Wahala with America o.

@doyexy on twitter said...

May her soul RIP

Anonymous said...

Turkey is a very safe country especially when it comes to tourism jst dat no body is perfect.rip

Anonymous said...

Oh chidozie u tok lik mumu I soo much hate u...anyway may her soul rst in perfect peace amen....bibtins

happy yoruba bunny said...

hope they get d criminals
if its Nigeria now we wl not hear word for CNN
when wl Obama warn his citizens about Turkey?
now it shows crime is everywhere, just stay safe wherever u find urself
from tourists going into south africa for honeymoon and losing their lives or one of them, to anywhere in d world? ts a global thing, may God keep us safe

Anonymous said...

may her soul rest in peace. So sad.

freeangel said...

Wot a wicked world. R.I.P pretty.

Anonymous said...

Rip

Anonymous said...

@ prince charming, turkey is not a part of the EU.. Although they've been tried to join, their application has been pending for years now.. so its not the EU's business..lol

Anonymous said...

Abeg linda ini edo just blasted her haters on twitter saying she is acurvy african woman and don't ever wanna be skinny truth is that ini edo is very shapeless never known her to have curves even though she thick she straight like 1 everybody dey claim curvy even me wey lepa i get curves pass am ini edo no curvy abii being fat na another name for curvy mtchewww, curvy my nyansh wonder who dey deceive am say she get curves lolzz.

Anwuli Oputa said...

May her soul rest in peace.

Anonymous said...

RIP...

Anonymous said...

Soo bad.

Anonymous said...

Very sad

Anonymous said...

Very sure she's a US spy

Anonymous said...

I feel very sad for her kids, losing their mum at such a young age. May her soul rest in peace.I hope her killer is found

Anonymous said...

She was targeted...the ve watched her and noticed she was unaccompanied

JJ said...

Why would a married mother of two be traveling all alone in a moslem country? They said she made side trips to Amsterdam and Munich and then back to Istanbul. I smell drugs. They said she traveled to Istanbul to take photos of a bridge and grafitti but yet she did not have camera except her phone. New York City is filled with grafitti. You don't need to travel to a foreign country for that. And they said she was going to meet a man she met on the internet at the Bridge so they can talk about their passion for photography. What a hog wash?. If I were the authorities, I would be questioning the husband. He is not saying everything he knows. Why would a husband allow his wife to travel to a foreing country to go anf take photos of a bridge and grafitti? Something is fishy here.

Anonymous said...

RIP Sierra. Country where citizens are valued. Hundreds of Nigerians get missing monthly, they are never found dead or alive.their families live in external "one day he will return"

Ady said...

May her soul rest in peace!

Anonymous said...

Rip.... Really bad joor

Anonymous said...

same thing as the movie,"Taken". Same Istanbul. May she rest in peace. So sad

Anonymous said...

Oh God have mercy... RIP

Anonymous said...

MAY HER SOUL REST IN PEACE. I PRAY THEY FIND THE KILLER(S).

Anonymous said...

Rip

Anonymous said...

Awwwn...my concern is her lil children*how sad*RIP

★★PRINCE CHARMING™★★ said...

Turkey became a founding member of the Council of Europe in 1949, applied for associate membership of the EEC(predecessor of the European Union) in 1959 and
became an associate member in 1963. After
decades of political negotiations, Turkey applied
for full membership of the EEC in 1987, became an
associate member of the Western European Union
in 1992, joined the EU Customs Union in 1995 and
has been in formal accession negotiations with the
EU since 2005. Source-Wikipedia
So by all that, I know why I mentioned the EU in relation to Turkey

Anonymous said...

May her soul rest in peace

Anonymous said...

Abegi! Why won't her hubby allow her travel? It's a free world jor, or you think Americans and the rest of the developed world act like Nigerians? Where women are enslaved and will not leave the kids with the hubby to travel alone? Please say something else

Anonymous said...

Yes o! You read my mind! Plus I watched a documentary which aired on Channel 4 in the uK sometime ago called 'my holiday from hell' they watch and kidnap tourists in Turkey o!!!! To make money. This was real life documentary where ythe tourists who survived came back to tell their horror stories. Men they kidnap them after pretending to be taxi drivers and all, empty their bank accounts collect their cards and pin and go to the cash machine withdrawing money from their accounts over a number of days before eventually letting them go

Anonymous said...

Bwahahahahaha Prince you no go kill me o! Every where I go on this blog ignorant people are trying to bring u down but I like how you clear them frm their ignorance

Anonymous said...

Miss world have u finished bashing her? Wat have u achieved with ur almighty lepa curves? Pls get a life and while ur at it get some medication for ur pain cos ur a bitter person!

Anonymous said...

Pls take this as a travel alert as govt has no such advise in their programme. Rip ma'am.