Missing US tourist 'found dead' in Turkey

image copyrightAP
image captionPolice found Ms Sierra's body near Istanbul's ancient city walls

A US woman who disappeared last month while on holiday in Turkey has been found dead in Istanbul, reports say.

The body of Sarai Sierra was discovered near the the city's ancient walls, Turkish media report.

Police have arrested nine people in connection with the case, the state-run Anadolu agency says.

The 33-year-old mother of two from New York had been missing since 21 January, the day before she was due to arrive back in New York City.

She had left for Turkey two weeks earlier and made short trips to the Netherlands and Germany, the Associated Press(AP) reports.

Police had released security camera footage showing Ms Sierra at Istanbul's Ataturk Airport before she flew to Amsterdam.

Her body is reported to have been found close to the Galata Bridge, a popular tourist site spanning Istanbul's Golden Horn waterway.

image copyrightAP
image captionThe mother of two went missing one day before she was due to arrive back in the US

Shortly before her disappearance, Ms Sierra had allegedly told her family that she planned to visit the bridge.

Although police have not yet commented on the case, reports say the American may have been stabbed to death.

Anadolu says she may have been killed at a different location before her body was hidden near the city walls.

The US embassy in Ankara had been working with Turkish authorities to help track down the missing woman.

Police in Istanbul set up a special unit to find Ms Sierra, AP says.

Her husband and her brother had also travelled to Istanbul to join the search.

The case attracted extensive media coverage in Turkey where the disappearance of tourists is rare.

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