Mourners pay respects to Sarai Sierra - New York News

Mourners pay respects to Sarai Sierra

Posted: Updated:

By EILEEN AJ CONNELLY | AP

NEW YORK (AP) — Friends and strangers came to pay their respects Thursday to a New York mother of two who was killed while vacationing alone in Turkey.

The viewing for Sarai Sierra was held at Christian Pentecostal Church on Staten Island on Valentine's Day, which marked the 15th anniversary of Sierra's engagement to husband Steven, a New York City bus driver.

The 33-year-old Sierra disappeared Jan. 21, and her body was discovered 12 days later near Istanbul's ancient city walls. Police say she suffered a fatal blow to the head.

"She was very sweet, a good-hearted person," said Maritza Bermudez, a high school friend, as she left the church. "She was a very joyful person to be around. They say God takes the good ones first, right?"

Marjorie Ryan, a friend of Sierra's mother, said the family is struggling with their grief. "They're very strong, but this is devastating to them," she said.

Mourners arrived in a steady stream while a montage of photos and videos from Sierra's life played on overhead screens. Her funeral is scheduled for Friday.

"A lot of people don't know what kind of person she was," said Neo London, a friend. "She was just a happy person."

Pastor John Carlo, who knew Sierra as a teenager and later officiated at her wedding, said the family was broken up. "This is reality when you see the casket," he said.

Another mourner extended his sympathies to Sierra's two sons, ages 9 and 11.

"I feel bad for the kids," said Brian Doherty, a co-worker of Steven Sierra's. "They're the ones who will really suffer the most."

Sierra had traveled alone to Turkey to explore her photography hobby. A friend who was supposed to join her canceled for financial reasons.

Turkish authorities and the FBI are investigating her death. No arrests have been made.

Janet Santapau said she didn't know Sierra but wanted to pay her respects as a fellow Staten Islander and a Christian.

"I just wanted to come by and support the family," she said. "Just to say I'm with them."
   
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • Temperature drops; snow moves in

    Temperature drops; snow moves in

    Wednesday, April 16 2014 6:15 AM EDT2014-04-16 10:15:30 GMT
    Fox 5 photoFox 5 photo
    Temperatures are below average for the remainder of the week. The mild weather made an exit in the Tristate region and snow moved in late Tuesday into Wednesday. Scattered showers, heavier rain, thunderstorms, and strong winds made a return. 
    Temperatures are below average for the remainder of the week. The mild weather made an exit in the Tristate region and snow moved in late Tuesday into Wednesday. Scattered showers, heavier rain, thunderstorms, and strong winds made a return. 
  • Push to save historic NJ baseball stadium

    Push to save historic NJ baseball stadium

    Wednesday, April 16 2014 6:08 AM EDT2014-04-16 10:08:26 GMT
    Volunteers are working to help save one of the only stadiums still in existence where black professional baseball teams once played. Hinchliffe Stadium in Paterson was once home to the New York Black Yankees, the New York Cubans and other Negro League teams. Eleven members of the National Baseball Hall of Fame played there, including Larry Doby.
    Volunteers are working to help save one of the only stadiums still in existence where black professional baseball teams once played. Hinchliffe Stadium in Paterson was once home to the New York Black Yankees, the New York Cubans and other Negro League teams. Eleven members of the National Baseball Hall of Fame played there, including Larry Doby.
  • Robert De Niro says Tribeca Film Festival is his passion

    Robert De Niro says Tribeca Film Festival is his passion

    Tuesday, April 15 2014 10:47 PM EDT2014-04-16 02:47:46 GMT
    Robert De Niro is a family man, a filmmaker, an entrepreneur and one of my favorite actors of all time. He's also a co-founder of the Tribeca Film Festival, which has more to see than ever before. De Niro wears just as many hats on screen as he does in real life. The father of six starred in six films last year, owns four restaurants and a hotel, and still finds time each spring for the Tribeca Film Festival, Lower Manhattan's annual cinematic showcase.
    Robert De Niro is a family man, a filmmaker, an entrepreneur and one of my favorite actors of all time. He's also a co-founder of the Tribeca Film Festival, which has more to see than ever before. De Niro wears just as many hats on screen as he does in real life. The father of six starred in six films last year, owns four restaurants and a hotel, and still finds time each spring for the Tribeca Film Festival, Lower Manhattan's annual cinematic showcase.
Powered by WorldNow
Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices