Two Saudi sisters found dead, tied together in NY

Nov 01, 2018, 01:57
Two Saudi sisters found dead, tied together in NY

Police said the mother, who was not identified, had received a call from the Saudi embassy in Washington informing her that her daughters had applied for asylum, NYT reported.

According to other family members, the sisters were close, prompting Tala to run away form her home in Fairfax and move to New York City, where her older sister lived. Tala had been reported missing from Fairfax since August 24 and was suspected to be accompanied by Rotan, police said.

Tala and Rotana moved to the US from Saudi Arabia with their mother in 2015, settling in Fairfax, a suburb of Washington D.C., police said.

The women's bodies washed up along the banks of the Hudson River in Riverside Park, on the Upper West Side, Wednesday, Oct. 24.

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A NY police spokesman said Sunday that police were awaiting the results of autopsies on the sisters before determining whether the case was a homicide.

Both had been students and Rotana had been studying at George Mason University before she left in the spring.

The mother of Tala Farea, 16, and Rotana Farea, 22, told detectives that she learned the girls applied for asylum in the United States the day before their bodies washed up on the East Side of Manhattan from the Hudson River.

The Hudson River separates NY from New Jersey, and police were scouring the river banks to see if they can establish where the sisters entered the water.

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The cause of death has not been released. Chief of Detectives Dermot Shea said they were particularly interested in finding out what happened since they were reported missing and what led them to New York City. Surveillance cameras showed no signs of them on the bridge.

Saudi Arabia's Consulate General in NY said in a statement that it had "appointed an attorney to follow the case closely".

In a statement released to the public on Tuesday afternoon, the Saudi Consulate General said that embassy officials had reached out to the Farea family and "extended its support and aid in this trying time".

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).

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