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Slain photographer's family sells her photos online

Sarai Sierra traveled alone from New York to Istanbul on January 7 to take photographs.

Story highlights

  • Proceeds from photo sales will be used to support Sierra's sons, family friend says
  • Sierra traveled alone to Istanbul on January 7, and her body was found Saturday
  • An estimated 9 million people travel to Istanbul each year

The family of Sarai Sierra, an amateur New York photographer recently killed during a vacation in Turkey, is selling her photographs online to help support her sons.

The images went on sale Tuesday on a marketplace website called Instacanvas, and proceeds will go to her two sons, ages 9 and 11, according to family friend Marjorie Ryan.

The money was originally intended to pay for Sierra's funeral services, but "the funeral home has now agreed to take on the costs," Ryan said.

Sierra traveled alone to Istanbul on January 7.

She was reported missing after she did not arrive on a return flight January 22. An estimated 9 million people travel to Istanbul each year.

After a rigorous two-week search, Turkish police found her body near ancient stone walls in Istanbul's Sarayburnu district on Saturday, the semi-official Anatolian Agency reported.

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Police suspect that she was killed at another location. They told CNN's sister network CNN Turk that the body of the 33-year-old Staten Island mother showed signs of stab wounds. But authorities said Sierra died from a blow to the head.

Turkish police have detained a Turkish man with whom she had been in contact, identified only by the first name Taylan, according to CNN Turk. Authorities have also collected DNA samples from 21 people, including three foreigners.

Her body has since been transferred to Istanbul's Ataturk Airport for a Thursday departure to New York. The medical examiner's office is expected to release the results of an autopsy in about three months.