Turkish police forces are continuing their search for those responsible for the murder of the 33-year-old American Sarai Sierra, reportedly arrested 13 people in connection with the murder.
The body of 33-year-old New Yorker Sarai Sierra was found on Saturday near Istanbul’s ancient city walls with fatal head injuries.
Istanbul police chief Huseyin Capkin confirmed that she died of head injuries but said the investigation was still ongoing.
Turkish police had been searching for Ms Sierra after her family reported that they had lost touch with her on January 21, the day she was due to return home to New York.
The Hurriyet newspaper, along with other media outlets, reported that Istanbul police had arrested 11 suspects but gave no further details.
Ms Sierra’s body might have been dumped in a blanket on Tuesday night on the main road near the city’s ancient walls.
Crime scene investigators arrived on the scene early this morning, accompanied by security officials and unit dogs. Fatih Municipality cleared out the bushes in the area to make the search easier for officials, according to Anatolia news agency.
Sierra’s body was found in Sarayburnu, 13 days after she went missing on Jan. 21, with evidence of head injuries. Her jewelry was still on her, but her tablet computer and smart phone were gone. A blanket was found nearby, hinting at a different crime scene from where Sierra was carried off to Sarayburnu.
Her body was sent to Istanbul forensic medical teams for an autopsy on the evening of Feb. 2. She was killed with a single blow to the head, the Istanbul Public Security Branch Office confirmed earlier yesterday.
Turkish police last week released CCTV footage of Ms Sierra eating alone at a shopping centre cafeteria near her hostel in the Taksim area of the city and walking around the mall.
Her husband and brother had travelled to Istanbul to help the search effort.
Istanbul is Turkey’s largest city, home to at least 15 million people and considered a relatively safe travel destination which is visited by millions of tourists every year.