The man wanted for the killing of a Staten Island mother while she was on vacation in Istanbul earlier this year made his confession to police Monday and described his brutal actions in detail.
Sarai Sierra, 33, was taking pictures near railroad tracks on Jan. 21 when she encountered the accused killer, a vagrant known as Ziya T. The suspect tried to kiss Sierra, but she hit him with her cell phone, causing his nose to bleed, The New York Post reports. Angered by her action, Ziya T. then punched Sierra and sent her rolling down an embankment.
The Staten Island wife and mother of two tried to fight off her killer for 30 minutes. At one point, she hit him with a rock. Ziya T. then picked up a rock and hit her in the head multiple times. He left her to die.
The suspect returned the next day, covered her body and discarded her belongings. He later fled to Syria but recently decided to turn himself in because he knew authorities were closing in.
Turkish investigators have linked DNA from Ziya T's relatives to matter from under Sierra's fingernails, the Post reports.
Sierra had left for Turkey on Jan. 7. Her body was found on Feb. 2.