Police have honed in on the man suspected of murdering American tourist and mother of two Sarai Sierra, whose body was found in the ruins of the city's ancient walls on February 2. Police have matched the DNA from a strand of hair from the number one suspect in the murder to a drop of blood found on the woman's person. The strand of hair belongs to a man named Ziya Tasalı, a paper collector who goes by the name of "Laz Ziya." The strand of hair was taken from a pillow Tasalı slept on in his brother's home in Karabük. With the identical DNA match, Ziya Tasalı is now wanted for being the number one suspect in the murder. It is thought that Tasalı may be intending to escape to Syria through Hatay.
On January 21st, Sarai Sierra, who was on a solo photography trip to Istanbul, vanished into thin air. Police immediately initiated a wide-spread investigation into tracking down the young mother of two, who was last seen in and around the Gülhane district. On February 2nd, the search came to an end. Sierra's body, which had begun to decompose, was found covered by a blanket in a corridor of the ruins of the city's ancient walls in the Cankurtaran district. Sarai Sierra was presumably killed by a blow to the head with a stone. There were no witness and no surveillance footage recorded of the incident. The only concrete evidence police had to work with was a drop of blood on the shirt Sierra was wearing. Inspection by the criminal lab proved the blood wasn't Sierra's. The question of course then became, 'well whose was it?'Detectives began seeking high and low for a lead. Blood samples were taken from 30 homeless residents in the region for DNA analysis. Detectives had uncovered that Ziya Tasalı was also a local homeless man, however he never surfaced again in Istanbul. Security forces contacted his family in Karabük and managed to find a highly sought-after piece of evidence. Detectives found a strand of Tasalı's hair on a pillow he had slept on, which they immediately sent in to the Homicide Bureau for testing. The report showed a 100 percent identical match to the blood found on Sierra.
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