Turkish police seek clues in NYC woman's death

Published on NewsOK Modified: February 4, 2013 at 8:43 am •  Published: February 4, 2013
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ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — Turkish authorities finished an autopsy Monday on a New York City woman found dead in Istanbul and submitted DNA samples from it to a crime lab for testing, Turkey's state-run media reported.

Sarai Sierra, a 33-year-old mother of two, went missing Jan. 21 while on a solo vacation in Istanbul. Her body was found 12 days later, near the remnants of some ancient city walls. Police said she had suffered a fatal blow to the head.

Police on Monday were still scouring the area where the body was found for clues, with the help of sniffer dogs, the state-run Anadolu Agency reported.

The Milliyet newspaper said a forensic medicine lab will examine samples from Sierra's fingernails as well as hair and other samples from a blanket found near her body. It said some nail scrapings suggest she may have tried to fight off her attacker.

More than a dozen people were questioned in the case but most of them have been released, Milliyet reported. It said three people were still being held for questioning.

Sierra, whose children are 9 and 11, had left for Istanbul on Jan. 7 to explore her photography hobby and made side trips to Amsterdam, Netherlands and Munich, Germany. She was to have traveled with a friend, but the friend cancelled.

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