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Arrest Made, Confession Obtained in Murder of Sarai Sierra

A 46-year-old homeless man suspected in the killing of a Sarai Sierra, the Staten Island, NY, mother of two who was murdered in Istanbul, Turkey, in January was taken into custody on Sunday, the Turkish authorities said. 

The authorities in Hatay, near the Turkish-Syrian border, said the suspect — identified only by his initials, Z.T., and a nickname, Laz Ziya — had been detained in Reyhanli Township. 

In a video recorded shortly after his detention in Syria, the man, known in the Turkish media as Ziya T., spoke of the killing to a news camera operator.

“I do not remember how it happened,” he said in the video,posted on the TimeTurk site, adding that he had been sniffing paint thinner “excessively” as a way to get high that day. “I must have hit her head with a heavy object. As I came back in the morning, she was dead. I covered her.”

He said in the video that he walked around the area for nine days before fleeing Istanbul. “On the 10th day, when the police found this dead body, I had to escape into Syria,” he said, “and now I am captured.”

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