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Turkish authorities make arrest in death of tourist mother from NYC

Sierra family via EPA file

A undated family handout photograph shows US tourist Sarai Sierra. Reports state that Sarai Sierra who was on holiday alone in Istanbul was killed by at least one fatal blow to her head.

ANKARA — Turkish police have arrested the suspected killer of a tourist from New York whose whose body was found in Istanbul earlier this year, a provincial governor's office said.

The suspect, identified by the initials Z.T. and nicknamed Laz Ziya by Turkish media, was arrested in Reyhanli in Turkey's southern Hatay province near the border with Syria, the provincial governor's office said on its website.

The body of 33-year-old Sarai Sierra, a married mother of two from Staten Island, was found in the ruins of Istanbul's old city wall last month after she was first reported missing in late January.

Sierra, who had been traveling alone, was killed by a blow to the head.

After questioning Sunday, the man was handed over to judicial authorities, the governor's office said. It gave no further details.

Sierra's killing has attracted wide media attention the U.S. and in Turkey, a country which receives millions of tourists each year and is generally seen as a safe destination for foreign travelers.