Police say Saudi sisters entered water alive


Demot Shea, the chief of detective for the New York City Police, said on Friday that sisters Tala Farea, 16, and Rotana Farea, 23, from Saudi Arabia who were living in Virginia, had likely "entered the water alive" and were said to have preferred suicide over returning to Saudi Arabia.

The two young women, identified as Rotana Farea, 22, and her sister Tala, 16, were found on the banks of the Hudson River on October 24 with no visible signs of trauma.

Shea said police examined credit card receipts and other evidence that showed the sisters arrived in NY in September and stayed at various high-end hotels in recent weeks.

The two Saudi Arabian sisters who were found dead on the shores of the Hudson River in NY are not believed to be victims of foul play, authorities said on Friday.

The sisters' mother told detectives that a Saudi official called her the day before the bodies were discovered and said the family had to leave the USA because her daughters had applied for political asylum.

Shea stopped short of saying that the sisters had killed themselves but said police have "no credible information that any crime took place".

ASSOCIATED PRESS Passport photos of Tala and Rotana Farea, found dead in NY.

On Aug. 24 of this year, the two went missing from the facility.

Police are still investigating what exactly happened, but they are calling the deaths suspicious.

The tape that was found around the women's bodies gave rise to speculation, but Shea said it was not so much as "binding" the women together but rather "keeping them together".

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While investigators believe their deaths are suicides, the official said, they are investigating the circumstances surrounding them.

Detectives spent the last week interviewing family members in Virginia and trying to piece together the sisters' movements in recent months.

The Saudi consulate in NY said it had "appointed an attorney to follow the case closely", while the Saudi embassy in Washington contacted the family and "extended its support and aid in this trying time".

Saudi Arabia has denied any involvement in the death of two Saudi sisters studying in the United States, a spokesperson for the kingdom's embassy in Washington, DC, said.

"Details are still under investigation and will be shared in due course", she said.

The Saudi Embassy in Washington had called their mother to inform her that her daughters had applied for asylum in the United States, The New York Times reported this week.

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

The pair, who moved to the USA state of Virginia from Saudi Arabia in 2015, had been missing since August.

Rotana was formerly a student enrolled at George Mason University, according to school spokesman Michael Sandler.