The lead suspect in the Sarai Sierra murder, Ziya T., also known as Laz Ziya, was last seen in his hometown of Karabük where he met up with his brother who confirmed the suspect’s plans to flee to Syria, daily Habertürk reported.
Ziya told his family and friends that he was headed for Syria and gave a number of reasons for his escape. He reportedly told his family that he was fatally ill with a few months left to live, but also told a close friend that he was really headed for Iran, which he’ll reach after passing through Syria.
Ziya’s father past away at the age of 10 and he never attended school for any length of time. He has been living on the streets since he was 11, according to Habertürk’s report, and once served seven years in prison for theft.
The owner of the local coffee house said that Ziya mentioned a “woman who was killed in Istanbul” and that he was leaving the city.
Thirty-three-year old lone tourist Sarai Sierra was found bludgeoned to death near Istanbul’s ancient city walls on Feb. 2, 10 days after her family said they had lost contact with her.