Turkish police believe they have found the body of a New York City tourist reported missing in Istanbul 12 days ago, a police official said Saturday.

Sarai Sierra, 33, had been traveling alone and was reported missing Jan. 21.

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The state-run Anatolian news agency said the body was discovered in the ruins of the old city wall by residents in the low-income Sarayburnu neighbourhood and that Sierra's driving licence was found on the body.

"[We are] 70 to 80 percent sure the body belongs to her, but this is not absolutely certain," an Istanbul police official told Reuters on the condition of anonymity, adding that more tests needed to be completed.

The news agency said the cause of death had yet to be determined, but police were investigating the possibility that Sierra had been killed elsewhere and her body moved to Sarayburnu.

"Investigations are still continuing and police officials are still in the field," a second police official said.