Family, friends mourn death of SI mother killed in Turkey - Dallas News | myFOXdfw.com

Family, friends mourn death of SI mother killed in Turkey

Posted: Updated:
NEW YORK (MYFOXNY) -

The friends and family of a Staten Island mom, whose body was found at the side of a road in Turkey on Saturday, are left to wonder what happened. 

She had been missing after going on vacation in Istanbul. Those friends understandably having a hard time coping with Sarai's death – they, like many had held out hope she would be found alive.

Sunday, we learned Sarai died of blunt trauma to the head, but who is responsible remains a mystery. 

"She had an awesome smile, she was very upbeat, very sarcastic, she was a real city girl and I'll never forget her," said Nina Rivera, Sarai Sierra's friend. 

33-year-old Sarai Sierra is being remembered as a vibrant woman and great mom Sunday – one day after authorities in Turkey announced they found her body at the side of a roadway in Istanbul with signs of blunt trauma to her head, capping off a nearly two week search after she vanished while on a solo photography vacation. 

"There's anger, there's questions that we have," said Rivera. 

Among the questions which Sierra's friends want desperately answered – what happened on January 21st, the day she was last heard from and the day before she was supposed to return to New York. 

The Staten Island mom of two had been in constant contact with her family up until then, frequently posting photos of her trip to her Instagram account. 

Fox 5 has some of the last known images of Sierra taken from security cameras in a mall in Istanbul on January 20th. Now more than a dozen people are being questioned according to Turkish media -- this as her friends back home begin the mourning process. 

"We're still uncertain what happened, but she called out to God the last moments of her life." 

Sierra's close friend Nina Rivera was among the mourners attending a special prayer service Sunday afternoon at the Manhattan Grace Tabernacle Church in East Harlem where the Sierra's were once members. 

"Everybody got together, we prayed for the family, for their loved ones, for their suffering," said Ruben Gonzalez, Congregant. 

Sierra's husband Steven and her brother traveled to Istanbul to assist authorities in their search and remain there, but her two sons, 9 and 11 are at home and according to friends still don't know what happened to their mom.

"I know for sure Steven hasn't spoken to his boys yet, I think he wants to do that face to face," said Rivera.

Forensic experts have not yet concluded their autopsy of Sarai's body. We know Turkish authorities are questioning a man with whom Sarai reportedly exchanged emails with while she was in Turkey, but it's not clear if that man is among the group that has been detained for questioning in her murder.

  • Manhattan NewsManhattan NewsMore>>

  • NYC Council bill to make kids' fast food healthier

    NYC Council bill to make kids' fast food healthier

    Thursday, August 21 2014 12:09 PM EDT2014-08-21 16:09:22 GMT
    Happy Meals might soon need to get healthier.  A New York City councilman is introducing legislation that would set stricter nutritional standards for meals served with toys.
    Happy Meals might soon need to get healthier.  A New York City councilman is introducing legislation that would set stricter nutritional standards for meals served with toys.
  • Chokehold attacker targeting victims in Central Park

    Chokehold attacker targeting victims in Central Park

    Thursday, August 21 2014 11:33 AM EDT2014-08-21 15:33:53 GMT
    The NYPD is looking for a tall, violent thug who is attacking victims in Central Park and dragging them to the ground with chokeholds.The latest attack happened about 12:40 a.m. on Wednesday. Police say the 6' 5" attacker started a conversation with a 47-year-old man in the area of 74th St. and East Drive. He then put the victim in a chokehold, dropped him to the ground and stole his bag.
    The NYPD is looking for a tall, violent thug who is attacking victims in Central Park and dragging them to the ground with chokeholds.The latest attack happened about 12:40 a.m. on Wednesday. Police say the 6' 5" attacker started a conversation with a 47-year-old man in the area of 74th St. and East Drive. He then put the victim in a chokehold, dropped him to the ground and stole his bag.
  • Vandal splashes red substance at NYC museum

    Vandal splashes red substance on NYC museum wall

    Thursday, August 21 2014 11:14 AM EDT2014-08-21 15:14:21 GMT
    A vandal has splashed a red substance on a wall at New York City's Whitney Museum of American Art.
    A vandal has splashed a red substance on a wall inside New York City's Whitney Museum of American Art.
Powered by WorldNow

KDFW FOX 4
400 N. Griffin Street
Dallas, Texas 75202

Main Station Directory:
(214) 720-4444
News Fax:
(214) 720-3263 or (214) 720-3333

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | New Terms of Service What's new | Ad Choices