LOCAL > Final images from security cameras of slain Sierra revealed

KARABÜK – Doğan News Agency

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Sarai Sierra, an American woman who went missing in Istanbul in Jan. 21, was killed with a single blow to the head. AA photo

Sarai Sierra, an American woman who went missing in Istanbul in Jan. 21, was killed with a single blow to the head. AA photo

The final images from security cameras of American tourist Sarai Sierra have been revealed, showing her walking in Eminönü, which is a neigbourhood inside the old city walls, where her body was later found. 

Turkish police are searching the country for a man codenamed “Laz Ziya” or “Ziya T.” who is thought to be the number one suspect in the murder of American tourist Sarai Sierra.

Ziya T., who earns his living collecting and selling used papers, reportedly left Istanbul right after Sierra’s body was found by police Feb. 2.

New Yorker Sierra was murdered while on a solo trip to Turkey and her body was found near Istanbul’s ancient city walls in the Sarayburnu district, leaving a cloud of mystery over who the assailant or assailants were.

According to police reports, after leaving Istanbul Ziya T. went to his sister’s house in the northwestern province of Karabük where he spent three days, leaving after his sister gave him 100 Turkish Liras. He told his family he was heading for the southern province of Hatay.

Istanbul police stretched their investigation to Karabük where they questioned the suspect’s family and took a blood sample from his sister.

The blood sample was sent to Istanbul Forensic Medicine for tests to see if blood from the suspect’s family members might hint at a potential match to the blood found on Sierra’s clothes.

Turkish police also analyzed footage recorded in a Larabük bus terminal to understand which bus Ziya T. took to Hatay if he did in fact head in that direction. It is known that he provided a false name to the bus company when buying the ticket.

The suspect’s sister, identified as N.Ç., told reporters she did not believe her brother was a murderer and refused to respond to further questions.

However, the suspect’s brother İbrahim T. said “Ziya T. lives a disturbed life in Istanbul,” adding that the family was financially stable and his brother did not have to work collecting used papers.

İbrahim T. echoed his sister’s claims that Ziya T. wasn’t capable of committing such a violent crime.


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Notice on comments

Adnan Kara Osman

2/16/2013 12:31:00 PM

i cant believe how much Attention this story has been given in the media because she is American what about the rape and killings of numerous woman in Turkey and around the world especially Syria nah they are Muslim woman so no need for the attention how sad people wake up and see the reality around you stop being sheep and going with the flow stand up for JUSTICE for everyone not just Americans.

Beam .

2/16/2013 4:24:46 AM

Lara U: I agree - why did Sarai fly off to two other cities (for very short visits) if her aim and dream was to photograph Istanbul and Turkey? According to British DailyMail Sarai and her husband were financially not well off,and still she spends $10-15,000 on this holiday?? (and it's not for a luxury hotel). I'm still waiting for media to report more on her finances. Cos I've stayed 2 weeks in Istanbul with hotels, foods etc for less than total $2000. Something is fishy with Sierra's case.

Beam .

2/16/2013 4:00:12 AM

Andrea dealmagro: this is the mistake that some tourists do - wandering around out of the tourist path, thinking everywhere is safe in Istanbul. My Turkish friends advice me not to go alone to certain places, even THEY as Turks wouldn't go everywhere in Istanbul because of potential dangers in certain areas. I am not saying that Istanbul is unsafe, I have traveled an alone woman many times and I do feel safe. But there are areas that locals avoid, and so should tourists.

michele suzanne

2/16/2013 3:48:30 AM

The fact is Sarai did NOTHING WRONG - THE PERSON WHO MURDERED HER WAS WRONG! My guess is that possibly whilst taking photos at the old walls, a vagabond (of which there are many lurking around the old walls), killed her to rob her of the Ipad and phone. It's a disgrace how so many comments have been made trying to "blame" Sarai - you people need to realise that Westerners are used to travel and there's no "hidden agenda" in doing so. It seems that concept is difficult for some to comprehend.

andrea dealmagro

2/16/2013 1:18:53 AM

Incredible! Too many people too quick to judge this woman. Photo above is from 13: 29 or 1.29 PM, hardly night time anywhere except Earth Poles in winter. Eminonu is full of people at midday. And the only thing we can tell for sure about Sarai's sexual mores is that she fought her rapist to death - literally. How many women - or men - are ready to go that far to defend their virtue? I wished I had known her: I would have been honored.

andrea dealmagro

2/15/2013 10:25:59 PM

She fell in love with Istanbul.

mara mcglothin

2/15/2013 9:32:11 PM

RICHARD WYATT Well why else would a married woman with children at home to take care of travel alone unless she was up to no good? She must have been up to something. I resent all the passive agressive comments about her traveling alone(nobody's business but hers) and how she should have been at home, or she must have been running drugs or spying. All or none of those things may be true, BUT that is still no reason to get bashed in the head. This is getting Int'l press.

lara ulusoy

2/15/2013 8:37:07 PM

Richard W: I wouldn't call it paranoia as much as it is a strange story which sounds 'very wrong' to almost everybody and when something feels wrong to so many trust me, it IS wrong. If she was so fascinated by Turkish sceneries,why waste such valuable time in Amsterdam and Zurich?Her behaviour was sadly enough all wrong.Her net friend Tarkan warned her of the dangers and walked her home based on that.Sarai lost her life and we are losing r sense of security n peace of mind towards Istanbul,Sad.

joe Maddin

2/15/2013 6:22:53 PM

We may ever know the truth about her turkish lover and what she was doing at night in a place where no one sane would go.

sam stevens

2/15/2013 11:03:46 AM

Turk Oz, that sort of 'hospitality' you can keep !
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