Missing woman killed by blow to head

Feb. 3, 2013 at 2:38 PM

ISTANBUL, Turkey, Feb. 3 (UPI) -- Sarai Sierra, the New York woman missing and found dead in Istanbul, died of a blow to the head, the city's police chief said Sunday.

The married mother of two who was vacationing alone in the city had traveled there as an amateur photographer. After failing to make her first flight out of Istanbul Jan. 22, her husband, Steven, called authorities and a search began for Sierra.

That search ended Saturday when her body was found stashed behind the ancient city wall in a low-income neighborhood near a busy bridge. She was identified by her New York driver's license, Today's Zaman said.

Reports indicate as many as nine or 10 individuals have been detained for questioning relating to Sierra's homicide.

Who killed Sierra and why remains a mystery, CNN said.

Steven Sierra told the network his wife had been in good spirits in her last contact with family, a message to her sister.

"The last we heard from my wife was Monday morning on the 21st. She had spoken with her sister and the last thing she said was, 'I'm coming home tomorrow,' and she was excited and put a little smiley face at the end of her statement," he said in a CNN interview last week.

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