Turkey Police: US Tourist Was Killed By Blow to Head

11 arrests made in murder of Sarai Sierra

By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff

Posted Feb 3, 2013 1:03 PM CST

(Newser) – Istanbul's police chief is contradicting initial reports that American tourist Sarai Sierra was stabbed to death, telling CNN that she instead died of a blow to the head. "We have confirmed that she was murdered by way of impacts on her head," he said today. "But we need to conclude the investigation before details emerge." Police have arrested at least 11 suspects in the case, adds the AFP. Sierra's husband, Steven Sierra, has identified her body.

Police believe that Sierra's body was dumped and that she was killed elsewhere. "I saw a man removing something from the back seat of a car," an eyewitness was quoted as saying. "Then I saw a hand there." Sierra still had her jewelry, leading police to dismiss robbery as a motive.

Sarai Sierra died of a fatal blow to the head, Turkish officials now say.   (AP Photo/Family Photo, File)
Police forensics search for Sarai Sierra near the remnants of some ancient city walls in low-income district of Sarayburnu in Istanbul, Turkey, late Saturday, Feb. 2, 2013.   (AP Photo)
A member of the Istanbul-based Association For Families With Lost Relatives hands out flyers with photos of Sarai Sierra.   (AP Photo)
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