(ISTANBUL, Turkey) — An autopsy has been completed on Sarai Sierra, the American woman murdered in Turkey, and her body has been moved to a church in Istanbul.
A casket holding the Staten Island mother of two was carried through alleyways lined with spice and food stalls to the church, which remains closed while her body is inside.
Sarai’s husband, Steven Sierra, did not accompany her body on the journey.
Turkish officials said Sunday that Sierra, 33, who was traveling alone, was killed by at least one fatal blow to her head. An autopsy report, which will officially rule on her cause of death, is expected within three months, local media reported.
After an intense search for Sierra that lasted nearly two weeks, her body was found Saturday near the ruins of some ancient city walls and a highway. Sierra was wearing the same outfit she was seen wearing on surveillance footage taken at a food court and on a street the day she vanished, Istanbul Police Chief Huseyin Capkin said.
Sierra’s body was taken to a morgue, Capkin said, and was identified by her husband.
It did not appear she had been raped or was involved in any espionage or trafficking, Capkin said.
Sierra, who had traveled to Istanbul on Jan. 7 to practice her photography hobby, was last heard from on Jan. 21, the day she was due to board a flight home to New York City.
Further investigation revealed she had left her passport, clothes, phone chargers and medical cards in her room at a hostel in Beyoglu, Turkey.
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