Clues Sought in Turkey Death of Missing New York Woman Killed by Blow to Head

Monday, Feb 4, 2013  |  Updated 9:16 AM EDT
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A Staten Island woman who went missing while vacationing alone in Istanbul was found dead on Saturday. Checkey Beckford reports.

Checkey Beckford

A Staten Island woman who went missing while vacationing alone in Istanbul was found dead on Saturday. Checkey Beckford reports.

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Turkey's state-run news agency says authorities have finished an autopsy on a Staten Island woman found dead in Istanbul and DNA evidence from it has been submitted to a crime lab.

The Anadolu Agency also said Monday police were still scouring an area near the remnants of ancient city walls where the body of Sarai Sierra, 33, was found late Saturday.

Sierra went missing Jan. 21 while on vacation alone in Istanbul. Police said she had suffered a fatal blow to the head.

Turkish news reports say a criminal lab will examine samples from Sierra's fingernails as well as hair and other samples from a blanket found near her body.

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More than a dozen people were questioned in the case, but most of them have been released.

Sierra's two young children have not yet been told that their mother was found, their grandmother told the "Today" show Monday.

Betsy Jimenez said the children's father will tell them when he returns from Istanbul. He flew there when his wife didn't return home as scheduled.

Jimenez said her daughter was fascinated with Turkey's history, especially its bridges. 

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