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Police say Saudi sisters entered water alive

Police say Saudi sisters entered water alive

The NYPD shared more details Friday in the mysterious deaths of two Saudi Arabian sisters whose bodies were found bound on the bank of the Hudson River.

The sisters, Rotana Farea, 23, and Tala Farea, 16, were initially reported to have disappeared from their mother's Fairfax home on August 24 - two months to the day before their fully-clothed bodies washed up on rocks on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, bound together by duct tape at their waists and feet and facing one another. The next month they were located by police officers and taken to a shelter-like facility in the Washington area due to some abuse allegations that came up.

The girls' mother also told detectives her daughters were applying for political asylum in the U.S.

Another rumor raised in the mysterious case alleges that the Saudi Embassy threatened the two sisters or their family with repatriation for seeking asylum in the United States, and that they were afraid.

As per the Associated Press, the little girls have been identified as 16-year-old, Tala Farea, and 22-year-old, Rotana Farea, who lived in Fairfax, Virginia.

The bodies of Tala Farea, 16, and Rotana Farea, 23, were found by the Hudson River, New York, and they had told friends they would rather harm themselves than be forced to return to Saudi Arabia.

The case remains under investigation, Chief of Detectives Dermot Shea said.

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"Those interviews are really unraveling, in some way, a piece of the puzzle behind the scenes", Shea added.

Detectives said that the family of the girls last saw them on November 30, 2017. Shea did not elaborate or give further details on those reports, which he said had not been corroborated.

They stayed in several different upscale hotels in the city and maxed out a credit card, according to an New York Police Department (NYPD) spokesman quoted by U.S. media.

The New York Police Department (NYPD) has not disclosed how the sisters they travelled to New York or where they stayed before they died.

A passerby alerted authorities after spotting the bodies in the Hudson River off of Manhattan's Upper West Side on the afternoon of October 24. "'Study hard and get out to the US!'" the woman wrote in a text message.

"A "credible" eyewitness reached out to the NYPD on 31 October, telling them he had "a story that is haunting him" - his words", Shea said. Water found in their lungs made it "entirely credible" that they entered the water while still alive. In December, they were reported missing for one day, Fairfax County police said. A police investigation has reportedly yet to show any signs of foul play. On Friday Shea dismissed reports that they had jumped from the George Washington bridge, saying, "We have absolutely zero information to lead us to that". The city medical examiner's office will determine the cause and manner of death.

A spokesman for the New York Police Department earlier said there was no evidence tying the Saudi government to their deaths.


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