ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — Police in Istanbul on Friday detained a man who exchanged online messages with a missing New York City woman after questioning him over her disappearance.
Sarai Sierra, a 33-year-old mother of two, went missing while vacationing alone in Istanbul. She was last heard from on Jan. 21, the day she was due back home.
A police official in Istanbul said police had questioned a man who had been in contact with Sierra during her stay in in the city. The official refused to identify him or provide further details on the arrest. He spoke on condition of anonymity in line with government rules that bar civil servants from speaking to reporters without authorization.
Turkish news reports said Sierra had arranged to meet her contact on a bridge she planned to photograph on the day she went missing. It was not known if the meeting had taken place.
Sierra left for Istanbul on Jan. 7 to explore her photography hobby and made a side trip to Amsterdam, Netherlands, and Munich, Germany. Her family last heard from her on Jan. 21, when she was supposed to start her journey home, but she never checked into her flight.
Sierra's husband, Steven, and brother, David Jimenez, traveled to Istanbul to help in the search. Sierra's children are 9 and 11.
Sierra had planned to go on the trip with a friend, but went alone when the friend couldn't make it.
Associated Press writer Ezgi Akin contributed.