No sign of assault in Saudi sisters' NYC deaths

New York City police say no foul play is suspected in the deaths of two Saudi Arabian sisters who were found duct-taped together in the Hudson River.

While detectives are still trying to determine how the sisters died, they have ruled out a suicide jump from the George Washington Bridge. There were no obvious signs of trauma, and the NYPD said it believes the two were living before entering the river.

The sisters' mother told detectives that the day before the bodies were discovered, she received a call from an official at the Saudi Arabian Embassy, ordering the family to leave the US because her daughters had applied for asylum.

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

Electronic court records indicated the sisters took Uber taxis to NY and arrived on September 1, Shea said.

He said that the girls were sitting in a playground at the park, sitting about 30 feet apart but appearing to be together.

Chief of Detectives Dermot Shea told reporters on Friday: "At this point in time, everything we've seen thus far is pointing to other than a crime taking place".

The cause of death has not been determined as forensics reports are being compiled.


The Saudi Arabian Embassy has denied talking to the family about any asylum request.

Police say credit card records show Tala Farea, 16, and Rotana Farea, 23, first stopped in Washington, D.C., and Philadelphia before ending up in Manhattan for the final days of their lives. Tala Farea had been missing from Fairfax since August 24. Police said reports of abuse by the mother, father and brother against the sisters have been brought to the attention of the NYPD, but have not been corroborated.

The sisters also were reported missing more than eight months prior, for one day in December 2017, according to Fairfax County Police.

Rotana had attended school at George Mason University, before dropping out in the spring, school officials said. Authorities are investigating whether the deaths were the result of suicide, homicide or an accident, said Phil Walzak, deputy commissioner for public information for the NY police. Police wouldn't say how they traveled or where they stayed.

They disappeared from Fairfax, Virginia, in late September and were thought to have been travelling together to New...

The sisters were found last Wednesday on the bank of the Hudson River. The sisters did, police said, reference the allegations of abuse when applying.

"There is a strong possibility that money was running out", Shea said.


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