Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Missing mom found dead

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ISTANBUL -- A missing New York mother of two was found dead in Istanbul almost two weeks after she disappeared, Turkish police confirmed to USA Today.

The body belonging to a woman stabbed to death was found Saturday evening at the foot of the ramparts of the city walls in the Sarayburnu district of Istanbul, Turkish daily Hurriyet reported.

When USA Today called to confirm the body's identity as Sarai Sierra, Turkish police said "It's her" and abruptly hung up. Turkish police have not returned repeated followup calls.

Police found Sierra's driver's licence on the body and are interrogating nine individuals in connection with the case, according to Turkish reports. Police officials told Turkish media the body had stab wounds to the abdomen.

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.

On Friday, police had said they had taken the man known only by his online handle "Taylan" into custody for questioning.

They did not elaborate on whether he had been charged.

-- USA Today

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition February 3, 2013 A6

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