Sarai Sierra's friend Maggie Rodriquez, who bowed out of going on the Turkey trip at the last moment, told the Staten Island Advance that she feels guilt over her friend's death now according to Latino Fox News.com on Monday, Feb. 4, 2013.
Rodriquez appears to be experiencing survivor's guilt, although she backed out of the trip due to financial reasons she says.
"If I went with her, maybe this wouldn't have happened," she said, adding that "Maybe we would have went to a different spot that day. Maybe we'd be sitting in a cafe, just chit chatting with each other."
But Sarai Sierra's friend's presence on the trip abroad was not a guarantee that the two would not have met with foul play, of course. And Sierra's family does not appear to be blaming the traveling companion who changed her mind at the last minute.
In a press conference held by them with Staten Island Rep. Michael Grimm, a former FBI agent, Sierra's mother Betzaida wasn't focused at all on the "what if's" in the case, according to the Staten Island Advance video coverage of the press conference.
"Even though I wanted to see my daughter alive, at least we have closure. At least they found her," Betzaida said.
And despite the terrible grief she must fell, Sarai Sierra's mother took time out to recognize and mention that "there are still people waiting for their loved ones who haven't been found." That's the kind of person Maggie Rodriquez is dealing with, thankfully.
Sarai Sierra's autopsy is now complete, with the exception of DNA evidence processing, but her mother told reporters in her Staten Island interview on Monday that the family was struggling with the funding needed to get her body back to the states.
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