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Body of missing N.Y. woman found in Turkey

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By USA Today
Saturday, Feb. 2, 2013, 8:04 p.m.

ISTANBUL — A New York mother of two was found dead Saturday evening almost two weeks after she was reported missing, Turkish police told USA Today.

“It's her,” a police official said when asked whether the body belonged to Sarai Sierra, before quickly hanging up without identifying himself. Turkish police have not returned repeated follow-up calls.

The Turkish daily Hurriyet reported that the body of a woman with stab wounds to the abdomen was found at the foot of the ramparts of the city walls in the Sarayburnu district of Istanbul. Police found Sierra's driver's license on the body.

Sierra, 33, on her “dream” trip abroad, was supposed to return to New York on Jan. 22 after two weeks in Turkey. She disappeared after last talking to her family on Jan. 21, when she was supposed to meet a man she had been chatting with for months online at Galata Bridge on the Bosporus.

Turkish media reported police were interrogating nine individuals detained in connection with the case.

Sierra's husband, Steven Sierra, and brother, David Jimenez, arrived in Istanbul last Monday to look for her, meeting with police and U.S. Embassy officials and giving police access to her online accounts. Steven Sierra said Wednesday that he was having difficulty holding on to hope.

“To be honest, as a human, I am scared, especially when I think about what could be going on now with my loved one,” he said.

Sarai Sierra, an avid photographer, had wanted to go abroad to develop her photography skills.

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