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    Parents of Sarai Sierra, missing in Istanbul, hope for news

    7:45 AM, Jan 31, 2013   |    comments
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    UNDATED (CNN) -- The parents of a New York woman who went missing in Turkey are pleading for any information leading to her safe return. Betsy Jimenez and her husband Dennis are holding out hope their 33-year-old daughter will be found.

    She'd gone on her first trip overseas to photograph scenes from Istanbul. Her husband and two sons, 9 and 11, were not with her. Her husband is now in Istanbul, working with authorities trying to find her.

    Sarai Sierra disappeared in Istanbul and now her husband and brother are there searching for her.

    More than a week after 33-year-old Sarai Sierra disappeared in Turkey, her parents cling to hope. As they wait in New York, Sierra's husband and brother are in Istanbul working with authorities to find the missing mother of two. Her mother Betzaida Jimenez says, "I see myself being in the airport and seeing her come with her husband and her brother and I see myself just running. Just running and grabbing her and holding her."

    The image foremost in their minds right now is this surveillance video. It was released by Turkish police showing Sierra in an Istanbul shopping mall on Jan. 20.

    A day earlier, her parents say they spoke to her on Skype. Dad Dennis Jimenez says, "She was giving me the flight info. When she was coming in on the 22nd. What the flight was and what time she was coming in and she told me..don't forget."

    They say she had shortened her trip by a few days. Dennis went to Newark Airport to pick up his daughter but she never showed. He says, "Because she kept in contact with us all the time...Then not to hear from her, it's not like her."

    Sierra traveled by herself to Istanbul on Jan. 7, they say, because a friend who was supposed to go with her canceled. They say she had rented a private room she found on the Internet.

    Her passport and bags were later found inside, they say, after she was reported missing. Perhaps the strongest clues about what may have happened to her may be found online and in social media.

    She documented through photos, her first trip abroad on Instagram visiting not only Istanbul, but Amsterdam and Germany as well. Her husband told CNN she'd chosen to take this trip with the help of people she'd met through Instagram.

    As her parents wait for news, they are taking care of Sierra's two boys working to shield them from what has happened. Betzaida says, "Having the kids, I have to get up and be strong...But I'm just so broken inside. "

    And on Sierra's Instagram account with more than 3,000 followers they are filled with messages like these: "You're in my thoughts and prayers" and "I hope you come home safe."

    Family members are counting on those prayers as us and Turkish authorities work together to find Sarai Sierra.

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