Missing US tourist baffles

ANKARA, Turkey — Police in Istanbul were scanning security camera footage Monday to try to trace a New York City woman who disappeared while vacationing alone in the city, an official said.

Sarai Sierra, 33, was last in touch with her family on Jan. 21, the day she was supposed to fly home after two weeks in Turkey.

A police official said authorities were reviewing footage from around Istanbul’s Taksim neighborhood — the city’s main hub where she was staying at a hostel.


Several police teams have also been dispatched to surrounding neighborhoods to find possible clues and witnesses, the official said. He spoke on condition of anonymity, in line with government rules that bar civil servants from speaking to reporters without authorization.

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Before she went missing, the mother of two told family members that she planned to take some photographs at Galata Bridge, a well-known tourist destination about a mile from Taksim. She was then supposed to begin traveling home.

Her belongings, including her passport and phone, were found in her room.

Sierra’s husband and brother were traveling to Istanbul to follow the search. Her two children, aged 11 and 9, do not know their mother is missing, her brother David Jimenez said Sunday.

Sierra had planned to go on the trip with a friend but ended up going by herself when the friend couldn’t make it.


Istanbul is a relatively safe city for travelers, though there are areas where women would be advised to avoid going alone at night. The Galata and Galata Bridge areas have been gentrified and are home to chic cafes and boutiques.

Associated Press