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Suspect ID'd in Turkish murder mystery

Feb. 16, 2013 at 1:16 PM

ISTANBUL, Turkey, Feb. 16 (UPI) -- Turkish police said they had zeroed in on a suspect in the slaying of an American woman in Istanbul earlier this month.

A trash collector identified only as Z.T. was being sought Saturday after DNA tests matched him to tissue recovered from under the victim's fingernails.

Investigators believe Z.T. may have borrowed some money from family to pay for a bus ticket out of town, Today's Zaman reported.

Z.T. is wanted in connection with the death of Sarai Sierra, 33, of New York City, who disappeared in January while vacationing alone in Turkey. Her body turned up Feb. 2. in Istanbul's Cankurtaran neighborhood. She had been bludgeoned to death.

The suspect's brother told Turkish media Z.T. had a mental disability and had been living on the street while making a living collecting trash. The brother said Z.T. did not maintain regular contact with his family and his whereabouts were unknown.

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