Family heading to Turkey to seek missing woman

January 28, 2013 4:18:43 AM PST
Relatives of a missing New York City woman who disappeared while on vacation in Turkey, her first trip outside the U.S., are heading to Istanbul to look for her, her brother said Sunday.

Sarai Sierra's family was last in touch with her on Monday, the day she was supposed to start her journey home. The 33-year-old mother of two had been in Turkey on her own since Jan. 7.

Sierra's husband, Steven, left for Turkey on Sunday night to help in the search.

Just minutes before boarding a flight to Turkey, Steven explained he's anxious to get to Istanbul and desperate to find answers about his wife's disappearance.

The adventure in Turkey was the trip of a lifetime for Sarai.

It was her first time overseas by herself, but she never made it home, leaving her family on Staten Island with painful questions.

"I've been married to her for over 14 years, and my love for her is deeper than it is for any individual," said Steven Sierra.

Sarai is on the other side of the world and he doesn't know what happened to her.

Sarai is an avid photographer, who traveled to Istanbul on January 7th to capture the majesty and rich heritage of the city.

While in Turkey, her family says she stayed in a hostel and checked in with them every day, saying at one point she was ready to come home. Sarai then booked a flight to Newark on January 22nd.

"I called United Airlines when she didn't show up at the airport, and they stated that she didn't board the flight," said Steven.

A letter from the hostel Sarai was staying at says she left her passport, clothes and phone chargers in her room. Her family is working with officials from the US Embassy in Istanbul, who say the Turkish National Police are involved in the investigation.

"I Miss my daughter," said Sarai's mother, Betsy Jimenez, "my heart is broken." Back on Staten Island, the Sierra family is left in limbo, waiting for answers that couldn't come soon enough.

"You have so many thoughts going through your mind," said Steven, "you don't know what to think, you don't know what to believe, you don't know what to expect, you don't know what will come out of this."

The couple has two sons. A 9-year-old and an 11-year-old.

To help raise money via PayPal for Sarai's husband and brother while they are overseas in Turkey, CLICK HERE, visit the "Current Events list, and click on "Support Fund: Sarai Sierra's Disappearance"

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