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Bodies of two sisters found taped together on NY river bank

Bodies of two sisters found taped together on NY river bank

Police in NY are investigating the deaths of two sisters from Saudi Arabia who were found duct-taped together in the Hudson River last week.

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 sisters' mother also received a call from the Saudi Arabian embassy in Washington telling her about the asylum applications, according to the Times' report, which the NYPD declined to confirm.

The police department released new passport-style photographs on Wednesday showing the two young women with headscarves over their hair.

Both sisters were reported missing in Virginia by someone in October as well, NY police officials said.

"They never had any issues and the eldest was sent to college in New York City with her family's blessing", says the relative, who rejects suggestions that the sisters died in a suicide pact.

At a press conference on Wednesday, the city's chief of detectives said there are some "gaps" in the sisters' history, which investigators are trying to resolve. "We are out to get justice for those two girls and find out exactly what happened".

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They were accompanying their brother in Washington, the Royal Consulate General of Saudi Arabia in NY said.

Police told the New York Post that they believed the women had entered the river from the George Washington Bridge and then floated more than 100 blocks south to just below Riverside Park, which stretches for 50 blocks along Manhattan's west side.

Both were fully clothed and there were no obvious signs of trauma, police said.

Both had been students and Rotana had been studying at George Mason University before she left in the spring. However, there is little detail about why they were in New York City and whether they have been there since late August.

Tala had been reported missing to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children on August 24, the New York Daily News said.

When they were found, they reportedly asked for police protection and were placed in a homeless shelter.