Missing Staten Island Woman, Sarai Sierra, Update: Family of Slain Tourist in Turkey Puts Her Photographs Online To Help Pay for Funeral
Feb 05, 2013 05:47 PM EST
The family of Sarai Sierra, the Staten Island tourist who was first reported missing, then later killed while on a trip to Turkey, put her photographs up for sale online. Sierra, 33, was found murdered near a highway in Istanbul with a battered body, and at least one fatal blow to the head on Saturday.
Sierra, mother of two, traveled to Turkey alone on January 7. It was her first overseas trip, and throughout the duration, she kept in heavy constant contact with her family, leading up to her disappearance. She routinely shared stories of her journey and posting photos online. Her iPhone and iPad, -not an actual camera- were the tools she used to share her photos with her reported thousands of Instagram followers.
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"Sarai's passion for photography and love for capturing the beauty we see in culture, architecture and scenery was her reason for traveling to Istanbul," her brother, David Jimenez wrote on a the web site set up. The profits raised will help for funeral costs, as well as for her children's wellbeing, her family said.
Sierra had been scheduled to arrive home at Newark Liberty International Airport on January 22, and when hen her husband, Steven, called the airline, he was told his wife never boarded the flight from Istanbul.
Steven Sierra and Sierra's brother traveled to Istanbul in hopes of finding Sarai, but the two week search ended when her murdered body was found. An autopsy was completed Sunday, but results are not expected for another three months.
A casket holding the Staten Island mother was taken to an Istanbul church Monday where it remains as Sierra's family makes arrangements to bring her home, ABC News reported.