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Congressman: FBI helping Turkey investigate NYC woman's death in Istanbul while on vacation

  • d9e9ca5000426504280f6a70670048d1.jpg

    Police forensics search for missing New York City woman Sarai Sierra near the remnants of some ancient city walls in low-income district of Sarayburnu in Istanbul, Turkey, late Saturday, Feb. 2, 2013. Turkey's state-run news agency said that she has been found dead in Istanbul and police have detained nine people in connection with the case. Sierra, a 33-year-old mother of two, went missing while vacationing alone in Istanbul. Her body was discovered late Saturday amid the city walls.(AP Photo) (The Associated Press)

  • 0437c79f00416504280f6a706700ee39.jpg

    Police forensics search for missing New York City woman Sarai Sierra near the remnants of some ancient city walls in low-income district of Sarayburnu in Istanbul, Turkey, late Saturday, Feb. 2, 2013. Turkey's state-run news agency said that she has been found dead in Istanbul and police have detained nine people in connection with the case. Sierra, a 33-year-old mother of two, went missing while vacationing alone in Istanbul. Her body was discovered late Saturday amid the city walls.(AP Photo) (The Associated Press)

  • f37ef53c00426504280f6a7067003b49.jpg

    Police forensics search for missing New York City woman Sarai Sierra near the remnants of some ancient city walls in low-income district of Sarayburnu in Istanbul, Turkey, late Saturday, Feb. 2, 2013. Turkey's state-run news agency said that she has been found dead in Istanbul and police have detained nine people in connection with the case. Sierra, a 33-year-old mother of two, went missing while vacationing alone in Istanbul. Her body was discovered late Saturday amid the city walls.(AP Photo) (The Associated Press)

  • fe6dfb7d001b6404280f6a706700ffbc.jpg

    FILE - In this image from files provided by the family, Sarai Sierra is shown in an undated family photo, in New York. The New York City woman who went missing while vacationing alone in Istanbul was found dead on Saturday and police detained nine people for questioning in connection with her case, Turkey's state-run news agency said. Sarai Sierra, a 33-year-old mother of two, was last heard from on Jan. 21, the day she was due to board her flight back home. Her disappearance attracted a lot of interest in Turkey, where such disappearance of foreign tourists are rare and Istanbul police had set up a special unit to find her. (AP Photo/Family Photo, File) (The Associated Press)

A U.S. congressman says the FBI is playing a significant role in the investigation into the death of a New York City woman found dead in Istanbul while on a solo vacation.

Rep. Michael Grimm, a former FBI agent, says U.S. investigators were invited by Turkish authorities to assist as they try to find out what happened to Sarai Sierra. The 33-year-old mother of two went missing Jan. 21. Her body was found 12 days later.

Grimm and Sierra's parents, Betzaida and Dennis Jimenez, say the family's immediate concern is returning Sierra's body to the U.S.

Her husband, Steven, is in Turkey. He intends to accompany her body, but the family is still determining how to fund the transport.

Grimm says the family's priority is bringing her home.

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