GUILTY Turkey - Sarai Sierra, 33, NY woman murdered, Istanbul, 21 Jan 2013 - #1

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belimom

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I wonder if her tour guide in Amsterdam and Turkish dude know each other from the same online community she met them both... (Forgive me if this has been covered already)

I had thought of this, too. My DH wondered if perhaps when she went to the Netherlands if she was asked to "Oh, can you drop this package off at so-and-so?" or "I need these box with some camera equipment delivered." I don't know enough about her to know if she would willingly carry drugs or not. I don't believe any of us really know the answer to that. (If for some reason she was asked to take something back from Amsterdam to Taylan (just going out on a limb here) but didn't know what it was --- perhaps she figured it out and they realized she had to go? i.e she knew too much?)

So she either:
1) was a mule (knowing or unknowing) and maybe that ties into her being killed for some reason or another

2) she was a taken for sexual assault (and robbed in the process?)

3) she was a victim of simple robbery (either set up by IGers who may or may not have known she would be killed, or it was a random attack)

DH and I started calculating how much her travels could have cost once she arrived, and we could not understand how one would even spend $10,000 in that amount of time, without flying 1st Class or staying at the Ritz-Carlton, etc. And even then you would really have to be pushing it. Jewelry is the only thing I can think of... (Didn't one of the translations mention jewelry and earrings near her body?)

I think there's just so much more to this story. I feel so sorry for her family... :(
 

necco

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I had thought of this, too. My DH wondered if perhaps when she went to the Netherlands if she was asked to "Oh, can you drop this package off at so-and-so?" or "I need these box with some camera equipment delivered." I don't know enough about her to know if she would willingly carry drugs or not. I don't believe any of us really know the answer to that. (If for some reason she was asked to take something back from Amsterdam to Taylan (just going out on a limb here) but didn't know what it was --- perhaps she figured it out and they realized she had to go?

That's precisely why I asked.
 

panthera

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Im so sorry to see this. I was hoping that she would be found safe.

I was also, although I feared the worst as she appeared responsible and there would not be any other explanation for her disappearance. I hadn't followed the particulars of the case in much depth until now reading her body was found, obviously murdered.

My thoughts and prayers go out to her family.
:rose:
 

frenchvixen

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They risk their lives for only $10K?

Is is possible that she went twice (turkey to amsterdam and then amsterdam to munich)? She would have to do that in order to have 15k of receipts. The problem with this is that this 10k/15k figure has been thrown around before her body was found.
 

Walker

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Originally Posted by Walker
My point with the Scott quote was the US/Euro tourists, esp. female, do not realize how (usually bad) they look in the eyes of the local people.

Why would it make a difference? Please remember that they are very touristic areas and local people either working in a tourism related business or very used to seeing tourists from all over the world.

If a woman tourist is coming across as sleazy, she could be putting herself in danger; esp. if she is unaware of how her behavior (and perhaps dress) is being perceived.
 

frenchvixen

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Just saw the video of the woman stating that she was a middle aged man with what appears to be a body in a car on Tuesday. She looks really shaken. I would not be showing my face on Turkish TV knowing what I know. I would go to the police and ask not to be identified.
 

Walker

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If SS were a drug mule, couldn't the dealers wire the money into one of her bank accounts rather than handing her cash? Seems to me that carrying the cash, even if used to buy jewelry, is more of a risk than carrying the drugs; since it would make her a target, and look incriminating no matter what.
 

GinaSeikwa

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If true then I don't think the entire amount was spent on consumer goods. Could something(s) have been shipped back to the States? That way she wouldn't have to have the items on her. Also when exactly was she originally supposed to return home? I think I read the 25th and also the 22nd. If she was planning on leaving the 21st maybe her handlers caught whiff of her plan to leave early leaving some unfinished business behind. Could explain the no rape, no robbery, sending a personal message type of attack
The witness puts the possible body drop off as this past Tuesday (the 29th) right? Where the heck was she for 8 days? And would a body even have a recognizable hand if she was deceased from her day of disappearance. Would there not be decomp at that point (sorry). No matter what she did or did not to nobody should fall victim to such horrible violence.
 

prima.facie

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According to the timeline on the Daily Mail website:


Significantly, the Skype was activated. If LE knows the person who had her phone after she vanished used Skype, can they not determine whom (if anyone) that person allegedly contacted?

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/art...-Istanbul-vanished-holiday.html#axzz2JmvUeiTM

Since there is claim that Skype was used, the only way they would know that is if they had her phone and opened up the Skype APP and looked at the messages/calls. There is no "remote" way of pulling up Skype records except from the device Skype is installed on. It is not like text messaging on a phone, where if the provider is asked to hand over records.

So to summarize...to determine who she (or whomever had her phone) either chatted with or called, they would have to literally have her phone and start looking. Either that or have someone else's phone and see their Skype records on their phone/PC/whatever.
 

Walker

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Why would a drug dealer leave behind the jewelry, esp. if SS paid up to $15K for it?
 

frenchvixen

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If SS were a drug mule, couldn't the dealers wire the money into one of her bank accounts rather than handing her cash? Seems to me that carrying the cash, even if used to buy jewelry, is more of a risk than carrying the drugs; since it would make her a target, and look incriminating no matter what.

I'm sorry but I had to LOL at the visual of a drug dealer walking into a bank of turkey (lmao, sorry) and making a deposit or transaction for a drug mule. I believe that street drug transactions are done in cash. Because SS would have to deal with explaining how she got all that money deposited at once into here bank account.
 

belimom

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Since there is claim that Skype was used, the only way they would know that is if they had her phone and opened up the Skype APP and looked at the messages/calls. There is no "remote" way of pulling up Skype records except from the device Skype is installed on. It is not like text messaging on a phone, where if the provider is asked to hand over records.

So to summarize...to determine who she (or whomever had her phone) either chatted with or called, they would have to literally have her phone and start looking. Either that or have someone else's phone and see their Skype records on their phone/PC/whatever.

It's as if someone wanted to see who she had Skyped. They had a vested interest in knowing, perhaps.
 

prima.facie

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I don't think her being murdered has anything to do with it being Turkey per se. Rather, what happened could have happened anywhere. It also is not the fact that she traveled alone that was so dangerous. Alot of women may travel alone to Istabul for business or otherwise. Most women traveling alone would stay at a hotel, & perhaps join a tour group or travel on their own throughout the city. Most women traveling alone would not meet strange men to explore the city.

Rather this case should teach us all about being more careful with people we meet on the Internet. It is extremely risky behavior to sleep overnight on a stranger's couch. While that incident here may have turned out ok, meeting strange men in a foreign country when you are an attractive female especially is just plain risky. So it is not the fact that traveling alone is dangerous, it is the fact that one goes out and meets strangers that puts one at risk.

I agree with you completely....
I would not necessarily say her being murdered had specifically do with being in Turkey either; however, even the State Dept has some pretty strict guidelines on visiting that country. Any American traveling to a foreign country should ALWAYS check the State Dept. website. I know people feel it is a super safe country, but that is not what our govt. will tell you. As I mentioned before, the US Air Base there is continually on lock down and military members are advised to not go off base much.

http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/cis/cis_1046.html
THREATS TO SAFETY AND SECURITY: There have been violent attacks throughout Turkey, and there is a continuing threat of terrorist actions and violence against U.S. citizens and interests throughout Turkey. Terrorist bombings over the past several years – some causing significant numbers of casualties – have hit various targets in Turkey. Some attacks deliberately targeted U.S. and Western interests. In July 2011, 15 terrorists claiming association with al-Qaida were arrested for gathering explosive materials in preparation for an attack on the U.S. Embassy in Ankara. These incidents show a willingness on the part of some terrorist groups to attack identifiably Western targets. The possibility of terrorist attacks, from both transnational and indigenous groups, remains high.

The Kurdistan People's Congress (also known as Kongra Gel or KGK; formerly the Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK) is the most active terrorist organization in Turkey. Over the last few decades, PKK terrorist activity has been responsible for the deaths of more than 30,000 Turkish citizens. While the this terrorist group has historically targeted Turkish government and military interests, it has recently threatened increased violent activity in Turkey’s urban areas, and there is credible information suggesting that it intends to continue targeting tourist areas as well. There are continued clashes between Turkish security forces and the PKK in parts of Turkey, including outside of its usual operating area in the southeast.

It has a lot to do with her not being safe and meeting up with strange men from the internet in an unsafe area. That is a major major receipe for disaster.

I wanted to add....I am not trying to crucify her with my statements. I truly feel horrible for what happened to her and her family. However, with that said....my opinion of women traveling alone to meet strange men in foreign countries where the US State Dept says is not all that safe, is that it is truly a naive and unsafe thing to do.
 

Hisimage

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Just poking around the internet and I've found a few comments from people that live in Istanbul and they think it is a strange itinerary that she had. Also, a comment from someone that lived near the "sketchy" area that she was photographing.

A few of those people also seem to think that she met up with people who helped "encourage" her plans and itinerary ,

http://gangsofbrooklynnewyork.wordpress.com/2013/01/26/missing-abroad-sarai-sierra/
 

frenchvixen

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Since there is claim that Skype was used, the only way they would know that is if they had her phone and opened up the Skype APP and looked at the messages/calls. There is no "remote" way of pulling up Skype records except from the device Skype is installed on. It is not like text messaging on a phone, where if the provider is asked to hand over records.

So to summarize...to determine who she (or whomever had her phone) either chatted with or called, they would have to literally have her phone and start looking. Either that or have someone else's phone and see their Skype records on their phone/PC/whatever.

You can log into skype.com and sign on and see your records. You don't need to have the actual phone in your hand to do this. It's possible the police did that.

What if SS was the one who logged into her phone skype and was trying to get help?
 

panthera

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If true then I don't think the entire amount was spent on consumer goods. Could something(s) have been shipped back to the States? That way she wouldn't have to have the items on her. Also when exactly was she originally supposed to return home? I think I read the 25th and also the 22nd. If she was planning on leaving the 21st maybe her handlers caught whiff of her plan to leave early leaving some unfinished business behind. Could explain the no rape, no robbery, sending a personal message type of attack
The witness puts the possible body drop off as this past Tuesday (the 29th) right? Where the heck was she for 8 days? And would a body even have a recognizable hand if she was deceased from her day of disappearance. Would there not be decomp at that point (sorry). No matter what she did or did not to nobody should fall victim to such horrible violence.

Wouldn't the amount of decomposition in a week depend largely on the climate and where her body had been for that time? I haven't checked the online weather sites, however, isn't it rather cold there this time of year?
 

prima.facie

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You can log into skype.com and sign on and see your records. You don't need to have the actual phone in your hand to do this. It's possible the police did that.

What if SS was the one who logged into her phone skype and was trying to get help?

Ah right. I forgot that. I have used Skype on my phone, iPad and PC...sometimes it syncs (pulling in communication) from another device and sometimes it doesnt.
 

BethInAK

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I think the previous poster was merely referring to the fact that if SS wanted to meet up with strangers in a foreign place it would be alot safer to meet up with random woman, than random men. I am sure there are female photographers in Turkey and I think it is a little odd that all of the strangers we know she was talking to were men, not women.
.

YES.
I am an adventurous person, have travelled to some shady places alone, but have NEVER met up with random people from the Internet there. I find this incredibly naive for a New Yorker to consider safe and I do wonder about her motive for this trip. Was she overconfident because she WAS a New Yorker ? Was she seeking a different kind of adventure? Maybe this trip was a midlife crisis?

I mean, you want to go somewhere on your own - stay in youth hostel. You will probably meet some cool people to hang with and you will be able to get a sense of them in person.
 
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