Sisters bound together were Saudi and seeking asylum

Rotana Farea, 22, and Tala Farea, 16, were bound by duct tape at their waste and feet, fully clothed with their bodies facing each other when they washed ashore Wednesday, according to WABC in NY.

The Virginia-based mother said the Saudi embassy in Washington called her on October 23 alerting her that the family's residence in America was in jeopardy because of the asylum applications, reported the New York Post.

The younger sibling had been living with their mother, who is based in Virginia, before visiting her sister.

The city medical examiner's office will determine the cause and manner of death.

There were no obvious signs of trauma when the bodies were discovered, police said.

The mother said that she hadn't seen the girls since December 2017. The Farea sisters were reported missing again, for the second and final time, on August 24.

Rotana, 22, and Tala, 16, had a history of going missing, but police don't know how they ended up in the river.

The bodies of two women were found washed up from the Hudson River off the Upper West Side in New York, Oct. 24, 2018.

She then called off the search after learning Tala was with Rotana in NY.

Police had originally theorised that the girls may have jumped from the George Washington Bridge, but ruled that out after finding a lack of obvious injuries which they would have sustained in the fall.

"They were not in the water that long", NYPD Chief of Detectives Dermot Shea said last week, according to the New York Post.

Anyone with information is urged to call the NYPD's Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477) or for Spanish, 1-888-57-PISTA (74782).

In a statement made public by members of the victims' family on Sunday, "they denied claims that the two sisters had been missing for two months".

The Saudi embassy in Washington declined to comment on the reports.

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.

When officers located the girls, they requested protection and were placed in a shelter, according to the New York Times.