Saturday, February 2, 2013

Turkey: Update--US Tourist Sarai Sierra, 33, Sadly Found Stabbed to Death in Istanbul

According to The Anadolu Agency, Turkey's largest news service which broadcasts in five languages (including English), and as a follow-up on my numerous postings concerning the disappearance of Sarai Sierra, 33, a US tourist from Staten Island (New York City), her body was sadly found earlier today by local residents, an apparent victim of stabbing.

Details at this point are too sparse to determine the motive behind her attack, although her New York driving permit was found amongst her effects.

COMMENT: Our condolences and sympathies go out to her family.

One of the worst experiences any family can shoulder is when a family member disappears abroad and is never found, depriving the family of closure and finality.

Although finding Sarai does little to ease the grief the family is experiencing at this difficult time, at a minimum the family is able to repatriate her remains and give her a final resting place at home where she can be visited regularly.

Ms. Sierra had been missing since January 21, even though police in Istanbul were not notified of her disappearance until January 25.   

Considering that the purpose of our blog is to help keep the global traveling public safe, when I first heard of Ms. Sierra's disappearance my first suspicion is that as a first-time foreign traveler, Istanbul, a city of nearly 14 million, was not a wise destination choice for her, simply because of the fact that roughly 20% of foreign travelers are victimized in some way while abroad. 

The US Consulate General in Istanbul is no doubt assisting the family with the victim's return to the US.

As new information becomes available on the details of Ms. Sierra's death, and the circumstances that led to her death, details will be provided to our readers.