Thursday, January 31, 2013
Missing American woman Sarai Sierra seen by witnesses in Istanbul, some 3,000 adults have gone missing recently
Missing American woman Sarai Sierra seen by witnesses in Istanbul, some 3,000 adults have gone missing recently.(HD).Members of the public have made contact with a foundation for missing people claiming to have seen an American woman that has been missing in Istanbul since Jan. 21, according to the head of the association.
“Some people come and say that they have seen [Sarai Sierra] a week ago,” Zafer Özbilir, the president of the Members of the Foundation for Relatives of Missing Persons (YAKAD), told the Hürriyet Daily News today, adding that the organization was directing such people to the police.
Some said they saw her taking photos over the Galata Bridge over Istanbul’s Golden Horn, he said. YAKAD is aiding in the search to locate the 33-year-old mother of two.
Sierra was supposed to return to New York on Jan. 22 but never boarded the plane in Istanbul, according to airline officials. Members of YAKAD launched a campaign to support the search for Sierra while drawing attention to the many missing-person cases in Turkey.
Traveling around in a bus they call “the bus of hope,” YAKAD members are currently distributing Sierra’s picture and details of her last-known whereabouts to help speed up the process. The bus is covered in photos of missing people, and its activities have helped resolve nearly 900 cases in the past.
Özbilir, who is also a relative of a lost person, said some 3,000 adults have gone missing only recently, adding that searching for Sierra was also helping to publicize their mission.
Police forces continue to search for Sierra, whose last contact was reportedly a Turkish man named Taylan. The two arranged to meet by Galata on Jan. 20, according to online chat transcriptions.
Sierra’s husband, Steven Sierra, handed transcripts of her Facebook and Twitter correspondences with four Turks over to police to aid attempts to track her activity during her time in the city.
It is not clear whether Taylan is the man’s real name.
Footage of Sierra walking around Sultanahmet and Taksim surfaced yesterday, and police forces have been looking into the stores visited by Sierra.Read the full story here.
Related: Video - Turkish Police search for missing American woman Sarai Sierra last Turkish contacts, she was last seen on security cameras in Istanbul.