- (Photo: Facebook/Sarai Sierra)
Sarai Sierra has not been seen or heard from since Jan. 21, when she was supposed to return home from a trip to Istanbul. Sierra traveled alone, and Turkish police, along with the New York Police Department, are working together to locate the missing mother of two.
Sierra was supposed to meet a man whom she had made arrangements to photograph during her time in Istanbul; it's unknown whether they actually met or not. Turkish police have been in contact with the man and took him into custody for interrogation.
"There's nothing remarkable about their conversation, but the fact that he's the last person she had any contact with makes him a person of interest. That's a solid lead that needs to be followed up on," Staten Island Rep. Michael Grimm told Staten Island Live.
They recently released the news that Sierra's cell phone has been turned on twice since she went missing, which provides hope that she is still alive and in the country. It was most recently used on Thursday, Jan. 31.
Police have been busy scanning surveillance footage from the area surrounding the bridge and the hostel where she stayed. So far there has been no major break in the case, but Sierra's family remains hopeful that they will be reunited with her. In fact, Sierra's husband and brother have both flown to Turkey in order to assist police.
According to her husband, Steven, Sierra's passport and medical cards were still in her hostel room in Turkey. She never boarded the flight home on Jan. 21, but checked in with family members before suddenly disappearing.
A group of Turkish citizens wanted to help with the search and handed out flyers with Sierra's photograph and a number where they could call with information, the Associated Press reported. They also plastered posters around the area Sierra was staying at in order to try and raise awareness.
"You have so many thoughts going through your mind, 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," Steven Sierra told WABC News.