Published February 05, 2013
The husband of the Puerto Rican mother killed while visiting Turkey said he’s heartbroken his two young children will grow up without their mother.
In an interview with the New York Daily News, Steven Sierra said he is not looking forward to telling his sons – ages 9 and 11 – their mother is dead. But he will tell them when he returns to New York next week with her body, he said.
“You have so many plans, so many dreams with the person you deeply love. You look forward to many years together and there are so many things you haven’t fulfilled with that person, and now those won’t be fulfilled,” he told the Daily News.
Sarai Sierra, 33, an amateur photographer who took a solo vacation to Turkey last month, went missing on Jan. 21, the day she was scheduled to return home to New York City. Her body was found 12 days later near some ancient city walls in Istanbul.
Police said Sierra suffered a fatal blow to the head and that authorities were still scouring the area where the body was found for clues, with the help of sniffer dogs, the state-run Anadolu Agency reported.
“My heart especially goes out to my two sons,” Steven Sierra told the newspaper. “Now they won’t grow up with this amazing woman.”
Sarai Sierra’s family held a press conference Monday to express gratitude for the help the family had received during the search, though they said they said they wished there had been a different outcome.
"Even though I wanted to see my daughter alive, at least we have closure," the mother, Betzaida Jimenez, said during the press conference.
The FBI joined in the investigation to find out exactly how and why Sierra was killed. Tourists are rarely killed in Turkey.
Police said Sierra suffered a fatal blow to the head. Turkish newspapers have said nail scrapings suggest she may have tried to fight off her attacker.
At least 15 people have been brought in for questioning – including a man she was supposed to meet up with the day she was killed – though all have been released because of a lack of evidence.
Based on reporting by The Associated Press.