Sisters bound together were Saudi and seeking asylum

Sisters bound together were Saudi and seeking asylum

Sisters bound together were Saudi and seeking asylum

Two bodies that were found bound together last week on the Manhattan banks of the Hudson River have been identified as those of two Virginia sisters, one of whom had been reported missing, NY police said.

The New York City police described in detail how 16-year-old Tala Farea and her 22-year-old sister, Rotana Farea, were discovered.

In a statement, the Saudi consulate-general said embassy officials in Washington had contacted the family and "extended its support and aid in this trying time".

The girls were bound together with duct tape, arranged so they faced each other, and were found fully clothed in matching outfits.

NY and Arab media said the sisters, who had run away from home before, were of Saudi origin but their family was living in Fairfax, Virginia. The statement added that the embassy has appointed an attorney to follow the case closely.

Anyone with information about what happened is urged to call the NYPD's Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477) or for Spanish, 1-888-57-PISTA (74782).

"I think we've made significant progress in piecing together pieces of this puzzle to find out what happened", Shea said. The lack of obvious trauma appeared to rule out a theory they may have jumped into the river from the George Washington Bridge.

"At this point in time it has still has not been determined a homicide", said Shea.

In December 2017, police said the sisters were placed in a shelter after an earlier disappearance in 2017.

The sisters' mysterious death comes at a time of increased scrutiny of U.S. -Saudi relations following the death on October 2 of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi, who was allegedly murdered and dismembered after entering the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul.

DailyMail.com has learned Rotana, from Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, was an undergraduate at George Mason University from January 2016 until May of this year. Their bodies were identified Friday.

After the discovery of their bodies, the NYPD asked for assistance in identifying them and put out a sketch of the pair.

The girls had recently applied for USA asylum, police said.

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