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Homeless Turk held in death of NYC woman

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By The Associated Press
Sunday, March 17, 2013, 9:09 p.m.

ANKARA, Turkey — A Turkish suspect in the killing of a New York City woman in Istanbul was arrested near the Syrian border on Sunday, officials said.

The suspect, identified by authorities only as Ziya T., had been on the run since the body of Sarai Sierra, a 33-year-old mother of two boys, was discovered last month. Authorities said Sierra died of a fatal blow to the head.

She had traveled to Turkey to explore her photography hobby. She did so alone when a friend who was supposed to join her canceled for financial reasons. Sierra's body was found hidden near Istanbul's ancient city walls on Feb. 2, 12 days after her family reported her missing.

Interior Minister Muammer Guler said the suspect was detained in the province of Hatay, near the border with Syria, as he entered Turkey. “We had information that the suspect had escaped abroad. He was believed to be in Syria,” Guler said. “He was detained in Hatay, as he was entering Turkey and was handed over to court officials.”

Turkish news reports have described the man as a homeless scrap paper collector who used to hang around the city walls. The man was expected to be taken to Istanbul for questioning .

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