Sisters found dead, duct-taped together had applied for asylum


The family of two Saudi sisters found dead on the shore of the Hudson River in New York City has denied media reports that they might have killed themselves.

The family, originally from Jeddah, had not experienced any major familial troubles, a relative told Saudi newspaper Arab News, dismissing reports they may had taken their own lives.

The New York Police Department says the bodies that were found Wednesday lying on rocks along the river were 22-year-old Rotana Farea and her 16-year-old sister, Tala Farea, both of Fairfax, Virginia.

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.

The younger sister, Tala, had been reported missing on August 24, according to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

In a statement issued on Monday, the Saudi Embassy in Washington said that it has contacted the family of the sisters and assured all help and support in their hours of distress.

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Officials confirmed Tuesday that they were looking into the girls' immigration status, including whether they had in fact filed for asylum.

Authorities believe the sisters may have died in a suicide pact, but questions continue to swirl about when they disappeared and how they ended up in NY.

Consulate sources said autopsy results determining the cause of the death are yet to come out and the investigation is underway.

Almost a week after two Fairfax County sisters were found dead along a riverbank in New York City, the police there have released more details on the discovery of their bodies, but mystery still surrounds their deaths. They were fully clothed, wearing black jackets with fur trim and black leggings.

The bodies of the two women that were bound together by duct tape washed up from New York's Hudson River on Wednesday.

Anyone with information about the Farea sisters is urged to call the New York City Police Department's Crime Stoppers hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS.