“Her sister heard from her through texting and she stated to her sister she was excited about coming home,” Sierra said.
But Sarai never even boarded the plane.
“We contacted the landlord of the hostel she was renting and he went in her room and noticed her belongings were still there, her clothes her phone chargers her passport her medical cards,” Sierra said.
The friend Sarai was supposed to travel with backed out at the last minute. She decided to go it alone. And on January 7th she left for what was supposed to be the trip of a lifetime.
The part-time college student and medical assistant was passionate about photography, her family was enjoying her pictures of Istanbul — until they stopped coming.
David Jimenez is Sarai’s brother and is travelling with his brother-in-law to Istanbul. He says the 9- and 11-year-old boys have been spared the troubling details of their mother’s disappearance.
For now, all they know is that their mother missed her flight home. “We’re going there to find out what happened and hope to bring her back home as soon as we can,” Jimenez said.
Steven Sierra has been working with Congressman Michael Grimm’s office, and the U.S. embassy in Turkey, which he says will be their first stop in their quest to find Sarai.