It seems that Sarai Sierra took mysterious detours while visiting Turkey, and now that the woman is missing it's hard to determine what may have happened to her. These are new twists in an already internationally bizarre case, but there are still no signs of the woman or evidence of any direction she might have traveled. The New York mother was reportedly to come back on the 21st, but has since fallen out of contact with her family.
Now it's being reported that Sierra took detours before arriving to Istanbul, stopping in Amsterdam and Munich while traveling. The husband of the missing woman claims to be well aware of these excursions and says that she kept him up-to-date on everything she was doing -- including information about a man she had been in contact with as some sort of tour guide. Sarai was reportedly traveling alone for the first time, and presumably didn't have this man in her company while staying at the hostel in Turkey. It should be noted, however, that the identity of this man is still not yet determined.
To make this story more mysterious, Sarai Sierra was supposedly in a "sketchy" neighborhood shortly before her disappearance. It's reported that she was the only "tourist" in the hostel surrounded by an area inundated with drugs and other crimes -- an area where police may be near, as one neighbor claimed, but people just aren't as protected by them as they are in nicer areas. This was obviously no place for an American female tourist who was traveling alone for the very first time.
It should also be noted that Sarai's belongings, including her passport, were found by her hostel landlord when he went to check on her on Tuesday. This is disheartening and indicative that the missing mother was not intending on being away for very long -- but it has been a week, nonetheless. Is it possible that this young woman vanished to create a second life for herself, planning while visiting The Netherlands, Germany and then Turkey? Or did she wind up in the wrong place at the wrong time? There are so many unanswered questions in this case and there is only one certainty: Sierra Sarai remains missing.
Photo: CBS New York
Chelsea Hoffman is a candidly opinionated crime analyst with a lifelong interest in criminology and activism. She also owns 'Girl Nerdology' and is the author of several fiction stories. Follow her on Twitter @TheRealChelseaH or email her privately through Chelsea Hoffman: Case to Case.