Sunday, January 27, 2013

Husband and brother of missing Staten Island woman heading to Turkey to hunt for her

Sarai Sierra, 33, arrived in Istanbul for vacation Jan. 7 and was supposed to return home last Tuesday, but didn't show up for her return flight

	Sarai Sierra of Staten Island, missing in Turkey.
Sarai Sierra of Staten Island, missing in Turkey.
The husband of a Staten Island woman who vanished on vacation is headed to Turkey to look for her — but he isn’t telling his two young sons about their mom’s disappearance.

Steven Sierra, 40, is determined to find his 33-year-old wife Sarai Sierra, who arrived in Istanbul Jan. 7 and was supposed to return home last Tuesday.

She never showed up for her return flight.

Sierra, along with his wife’s brother, were poised to fly Sunday night to Turkey, where they will meet with American embassy officials.

Their sons, ages 9 and 11, are staying with a family friend and being kept in the dark.

“They don't know what's going on and I don't want them to,” Steven Sierra said. “We’re doing our best to hide it from them."

Sarai Sierra developed a passion for photography in recent years, and was headed to Turkey to photograph graffiti and to meet up with strangers she met online through Instagram, her family said.

A friend was supposed to accompany her to the former Ottoman Empire, but the pal backed out at the last minute.

“Sarai was so excited to go, she just continued with the trip,” her husband said. "We were all nervous and scared that she was going to go alone, but you want to be supportive and encouraging."

The day before her return flight, Sierra texted her sister that she was looking forward to coming home. She planned to register for classes at College of Staten Island, where she studies psychology part time.

"She was in contact with us every day while she was out there,” her husband said.

“Everything was fine until the day before she was supposed to arrive home. That’s strange."

The landlord of the hostel where she was staying in the pleasant neighborhood of Beyoglu found her belongings in her abandoned room, including her passport, iPad and the Samsung Galaxy phone she took pictures with.

Cops are checking hospitals, police stations and other institutions. Steven Sierra plans to join the search when he arrives Monday.

“If I don't go then I haven't done everything I can to find my wife — and I can't live with that,” he said.

“I’m hoping this is very quick, that we all come home, and it's a beautiful story in the end.”

No comments:

Post a Comment