Saudi sisters' mystery death: Pair 'were alive' when they entered river

01 November, 2018, 05:39 | Author: Bert Pena
  • Police sketches of the two sisters Tala Farea 16 left and Rotana Farea 22

New York City detectives have conducted various interviews in Virginia where two sisters from Saudi Arabia were living before their bodies, bound together with duct tape, were found floating along the Hudson River last week.

Police also urged anyone who saw the sisters between August 24 and October 24 - the timeframe of when they were reported missing to when their bodies were discovered - to come forward with information.

The sisters' mother also received a call from the Saudi Arabian embassy in Washington telling her about the asylum applications, according to the Times' report, which the NYPD declined to confirm.

Police released a sketch of the two women found laying on rocks near the Hudson River off of Riverside Park.

A New York City Police Department spokesperson said an investigation into the deaths is ongoing and that the city medical examiner will determine their cause of deaths, according to WTOP in Washington D.C.

The sisters' photos also were released publicly Wednesday by NY police, along with an appeal to the public for information about them and how their remains might have ended up along the waterfront around 68th Street and Riverside Park on Manhattan's Upper West Side. NY police Chief of Detectives Dermot Shea told The Washington Post "they were not in the water that long".

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The Royal Consulate General of Saudi Arabia in NY confirmed in a statement Tuesday that the Farea sisters were students accompanying their brother in Washington, D.C. "We are out to get justice for those two girls and find out exactly what happened".

Police said there were no obvious signs of trauma on their bodies, adding that both had been reported missing multiple times in the past, and had recently requested asylum in the US.

In the case of the deaths of the Ferea sisters, police said foul play has not been ruled out. Tala had been reported missing from Fairfax since August 24 and was suspected to be accompanied by Rotan, police said.

Officials wouldn't confirm the report publicly but did confirm they're looking into the sisters' immigration status.

Rotana Farea had been enrolled at George Mason University until the spring.

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