02/20/2013 03:45 pm ET Updated Feb 21, 2013

Sarai Sierra DNA Evidence: Blood And Skin Link Homeless Suspect With Dead Mom

Blood on the shirt of a New York mom murdered in Istanbul and skin found under her fingertips allegedly matches the DNA of a homeless man running from Turkish police.

Police linked a transient paper collector known as Ziya T. to the brutal bludgeoning of Sarai Sierra by analyzing a hair he'd left in a family member's bed, the Daily News reported.

The 33-year-old married mother of two was traveling alone for two weeks when she disappeared on Jan. 21, the day before she was supposed to fly home.

Her body was found stuffed in an opening of the ancient walls in a rundown part of Istanbul on Feb. 2. A blow to the head killed her.

Ziya T was identified early on as a possible suspect. Witnesses claimed he was often in the neighborhood where Sierra was found. He was covered in dirt and had scratches on his arms the day she vanished, according to media reports.

He fled Istanbul and popped up 200 miles east of Istanbul in Karabuk where he has family. Relatives told police he stayed there for three days before announcing that he was headed to the Hatay region near the Syrian border.

A hair found in the bed he slept in allegedly matched the DNA evidence left behind by Sierra's killer, according to the New York Post.


Sarai Sierra
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