Stephen Nessen, Reporter, WNYC News
Stephen Nessen reports for the WNYC Newsroom and can often be heard live on Morning Edition.
Police in Istanbul are poring over security camera footage in their search for a Staten Island mother of two who is missing in Turkey on what was her first solo trip overseas.
Sarai Sierra, 33, was supposed to arrive home last Monday, but was not on her return flight. She left her passport and other belongings at a hostel where she was staying.
Sierra's husband and brother are expected to arrive in Turkey on Monday.
"They're looking around for her, they're passing her flyers out, and the Turkish police are out day and night just trying to get some answers to figure out what exactly happened," said Magalena Rodriguez, Sierra's childhood friend.
Rodriguez describes her friend as adventurous and as someone who always made the most of each day.
The last time they spoke was on January 18, while Sierra was in transit from Munich to Turkey.
"Although she loved Turkey, she was eager to come home and share all that with us, all the pictures she took. So we know that this isn't normal. Something happened. She wanted to come home," Rodriguez said.
Rodriguez said Sierra had taken up photography a year ago and was eager to visit Turkey after looking at photos online. "She just wanted to do one international trip, that's all she said she wanted," Rodriguez said. "And experience the beauty herself."