Mystery of sisters found taped together deepens

Mystery of sisters found taped together deepens

The same relatives reportedly rejected the idea that the sisters shared a freaky suicide pact, though that remains cops' working theory, police sources said.

Rotana Farea, 22, and her 16-year-old sister Tala were found dead - their bodies bound together by duct tape - on the riverbank of New York's Upper West Side neighborhood last week. Their bodies, bound by tape and facing each other, were on rocks near the Hudson River, leading authorities to believe they may have washed ashore.

The sisters were Saudi citizens and students who were accompanying their brother in Washington, the Royal Consulate General of Saudi Arabia in NY said Tuesday in a statement. "Meet them? See them?"

"We do not know that a crime took place", The New York Times quoted Dermot Shea, the chief of detectives, as saying.

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.

"We've made significant progress in piecing together pieces of this puzzle to find out what happened", Shea said.

The Farea sisters' deaths have been shrouded in mystery since last week.

There were no obvious signs of trauma to their bodies, police have said. The family arrived in the U.S.in 2015, having previously lived in Jeddah. Rotana Farea had been enrolled at George Mason University until the spring.

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

But there's still few public details about either sister's past.

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

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.

The Consulate General is following closely with local authorities the investigation of the two Saudi citizens found in the Hudson river.

The two young women were described as shy, intelligent and academically gifted.

In a follow-up statement, the Saudi Arabian consulate described the pair as "students accompanying their brother in Washington".

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