Mystery of Saudi sisters found tied together in Hudson River

Police release recent photos of Saudi sisters found dead in NYC river

Detectives said there were no signs of trauma on the corpses of 16-year-old Tala Farea and 23-year-old Rotana Farea, discovered tied together with duct tape on the shore of the Hudson River last week.

NY police on Friday said they had no evidence indicating that two sisters whose bodies were found duct-taped together in Manhattan had been killed.

The sisters were shopping, ordering two meals a day and staying at a number of high-end hotels until money on Rotana's personal credit card ran out.

According to investigators, the girls' mother, who still lives in Virginia, told police she got a call from the Saudi embassy the day before their bodies were discovered, saying the family had to leave the USA because her daughters applied for political asylum.

New York City police say two Saudi sisters whose bodies washed ashore on Manhattan's Hudson River likely committed suicide.

The witness told police "He came across ... two girls sitting about 30 feet apart ... alone ... they were sitting with their heads in their hands, their heads lowered ... and making noise that he describes as praying".

The two were last seen by family in Virginia on November 30, 2017.

Police have seen video from as recently as last week that showed the sisters "apparently in good health", Shea said. They were reported missing on Sept 12. The credit card was maxed out.

Tala Farea, 16, and Rotana Farea, 22, had applied for political asylum in the United States and had not been seen by their family for nearly a year before their bodies were discovered by a passerby on Manhattan's west side on October 24.

According to some media reports, 16-year-old Tala had reportedly been offered a place at a top school in Saudi Arabia but desperately did not want to go.

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Rotana had been enrolled at George Mason University, but left school in the spring.

According to the Chief Shea, an eyewitness came forward on Wednesday because of a "story that is haunting him".

They arrived in NY on September 1 - 11 days before they were reported missing.

Police discovered their bodies October 24.

The medical examiner's office has not released the cause or manner of death.

Earlier this week, police said the mother of the girls claimed she received a call from the Saudi Arabian embassy in Washington, D.C.

'Details are still under investigation and will be shared in due course, ' she said.

They also believe the pair went into the Hudson while they were still alive.

The consulate added that it had already appointed a lawyer to follow the case in order "to avoid inaccurate reporting". Tala Farea had been missing from Fairfax since August 24.

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