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Istanbul police try to trace missing US woman

Published on NewsOK Modified: January 28, 2013 at 9:34 am •  Published: January 28, 2013

ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — Police in Istanbul were scanning security camera footage Monday to try to trace a New York City woman who went missing 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 prior authorization.

Turkey's private Dogan news agency meanwhile, reported that police had established that Sierra had traveled to Amsterdam, Netherlands, from Istanbul on Jan. 15 and then journeyed on to Munich, Germany, on Jan. 16, before returning to Istanbul on Jan. 19. Police were trying to determine the reason for her visit to the European cities, the report said.

Police were also trying to find the identity of a person she had been chatting with on the Internet, Dogan reported.

Another police official, contacted by The Associated Press, confirmed that Sierra had made a brief trip to Europe, but refused to provide further details. He also spoke on condition of anonymity saying he was not authorized to speak publicly about the investigation.

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