Missing Staten Island woman found dead in Turkey - FOX 35 News Orlando

Missing Staten Island woman found dead in Turkey

Posted: Updated:
NEW YORK (MYFOXNY) -

Turkish police say Sarai Sierra, the 33-year-old Staten Island mother of two who went missing and was later found dead in Istanbul, had suffered a fatal blow to the head. 

On Sunday, Istanbul police chief Huseyin Capkin said that forensic experts had not concluded their autopsy report on Sierra but that it was "clear" the head injury caused her death. 

NTV, a Turkish broadcaster, says 15 people have been detained for questioning in the case.

Sierra was last heard from on January 21st, the day she was scheduled to fly home. 

"She was stabbed, they're doing an autopsy -- there's nothing that has really been released yet," said Marjorie Ryan. 

Ryan is speaking on behalf of Sierra's family.

Turkish police say Sierra's body was found near a popular tourist area. Reportedly, an eyewitness saw a man possibly dump her body there. 

Sierra had traveled alone to Istanbul on January 7th to explore her photography hobby. 

Ryan was asked why did Sierra travel by herself.

"I've traveled overseas lots of times. You know it's just one of those things. She was going with a friend and then at the last moment, the friend was not able to go," said Ryan. "She has a hobby as a photographer and she was very just very anxious to take pictures."  

Sierra had two children ages 9 and 11. 

The trip to Turkey was the first time she had traveled alone overseas. Esther Santisi knew Sarai since she was a little girl. 

"She was a doll. She worked at the chiropractor's office that I used to go. Full of life, she was so happy, you know.  She was just a wonderful, person, a wonderful mother -- I can't imagine how her husband feels right now." 

Her husband says he spoke to his wife every day she was away. 

Images of Sierra in an Istanbul mall are the last known images of her alive. She's seen with her long hair tucked under her hat riding down an escalator, sitting down to eat, and walking.  

In every image, she's by herself. 

However, police say while in Turkey, Sierra exchanged emails with a Turkish man who claims that she never showed up for a planned meeting. 

That man has been questioned by police. 

Right now not clear if this man is among the 11 people being questioned.

  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • 'Spider-man' slugs cop in Times Square

    'Spider-man' slugs cop in Times Square

    Monday, July 28 2014 6:13 AM EDT2014-07-28 10:13:27 GMT
    A man dressed as Spider-Man was arraigned on charges he punched a police officer who told him to stop harassing tourists in Time Square. Junior Bishop, 25, faces charges of assault, criminal mischief, resisting arrest and disorderly conduct. Police say the officer interceded after Bishop demanded at least $5 from a woman he posed for a picture with, instead of the $1 she offered.
    A man dressed as Spider-Man was arraigned on charges he punched a police officer who told him to stop harassing tourists in Time Square. Junior Bishop, 25, faces charges of assault, criminal mischief, resisting arrest and disorderly conduct. Police say the officer interceded after Bishop demanded at least $5 from a woman he posed for a picture with, instead of the $1 she offered.
  • Kayakers breach New York's JFK airport security

    Kayakers breach New York's JFK airport security

    Sunday, July 27 2014 3:46 PM EDT2014-07-27 19:46:29 GMT
    The tower at John F. Kennedy International AirportThe tower at John F. Kennedy International Airport
    Two kayakers have been cited for trespassing after breaching a Kennedy Airport security perimeter.
    Two kayakers have been cited for trespassing after breaching a security perimeter at New York's Kennedy Airport.
  • Woman gets 20-year prison term for fatal stabbing

    Woman gets 20-year prison term for fatal stabbing

    Sunday, July 27 2014 2:32 PM EDT2014-07-27 18:32:05 GMT
    A southern New Jersey woman who fatally stabbed a man last year during an argument in his home has been sentenced to 20 years in state prison.
    A southern New Jersey woman who fatally stabbed a man last year during an argument in his home has been sentenced to 20 years in state prison.
Powered by WorldNow

35 Skyline Drive
Lake Mary, FL 32746

Phone: (407) 644-3535
News Tips: (866) 55-FOX35

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices