The husband of a New York City mother who went missing while vacationing in Istanbul last week is traveling to Turkey to try and find her.
Sarai Sierra, a 33-year-old wife and mother, has not been heard from since Jan. 21, the day she was set to return home from a three-week-long trip to Turkey. Sierra, who is Puerto Rican, was traveling alone.
On Monday, police officials in Istanbul said authorities were reviewing security camera footage from the neighborhood where Sierra was staying.
Her husband, Steven, and brother, David Jimenez, left Staten Island for Istanbul on Sunday to aid in the search.
Sierra’s mother, Betzaida Jimenez, told Fox News Latino the family has been in contact with the U.S. embassy as well as government officials in Turkey.
She said the family was meeting with U.S. Congressman Mike Grimm (R-Staten Island) on Monday and U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer is being updated on the situation.
She said the family has been assured that the government is doing all it can to bring Sierra home as quickly as possible.
“All I know is that when I see my daughter I am going to hug her and kiss her and thank God for her safety,” her mother said.
Family and friends of Sierra say it is out of character for the young mother to be out of contact with her family for so long.
Sierra initially planned to take the trip with a friend, but the person ended up backing out at the last minute.
The last time the family heard from Sierra she was heading to the Galata Bridge, a well-known tourist destination that spans the Golden Horn waterway, to take some photographs.
Sierra’s father waited for hours at the Newark International airport on the 22nd, the day his daughter was supposed to return home.
From the beginning, Jimenez was hesitant about the idea of his daughter traveling abroad by herself.
"I was nervous. I didn't want my daughter to go," Jimenez told the Associated Press.
But throughout the trip "she would always call and let us know, 'This is what I did today'” her father said.
When she didn't show up in New York City, her husband called the place where she had been staying and the owner of the hostel checked Sierra’s room. He found her passport and most of her belongings, except for her iPad and cell phone, were still there.
"It looked like she was just stepping out," he said. “You have so many thoughts going through your mind,” Steven Sierra told the news station, “you don’t know what to think…”
Sierra’s mother said the men had no return date planned.
But the brother told the AP he was not returning home without his sister.
Instances of Americans missing in Turkey is extremely rare as the country is considered a relatively safe place for tourists.
However, there are areas where women are asked to avoid going alone at night.