Two Saudi sisters found dead, tied together in NY

Marsha Scott
November 1, 2018

Mystery continues to surround how the bodies of Rotana Farea, 22, (left) and her 16-year-old sister, Tala Farea (right) washed up along the Hudson River last week.

According to police, the sisters' mother said she received a call from the Saudi Embassy in Washington a day before the bodies were discovered informing her that her daughters had been ordered to leave to United States because they had applied for political asylum.

The sisters lived in Fairfax, Virginia.

Tala Farea, 16, and Rotana Farea, 22, were discovered facing each other and fully clothed without any obvious signs of trauma, police say.

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.

"I think we've made significant progress in piecing together pieces of this puzzle to find out what happened", Shea said.

She then called off the search after learning Tala was with Rotana in NY. Such questions were re-directed to the Saudi Embassy.

In a follow-up statement, the Saudi Arabian consulate described the pair as "students accompanying their brother in Washington".

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Saudi Arabia has recently come under fire for the murder of USA permanent resident Jamal Khashoggi.

The NYPD says there's no known nexus between the sisters' death and the Saudi government.

I've heard a lot of stories (nothing super documented) of [Gulf Cooperation Council] countries basically renditioning kids this age when they applied to asylum.

As of Tuesday, investigators still had not determined how they died.

The consulate said it has "appointed an attorney to follow the case closely", and that authorities "are following closely and constantly for details on the case including the forensic reports showing the causes of death which have not yet been finalized and is still under investigation".

Law&Crime also reached out to the U.S. agency responsible for processing asylum requests-U.S. Customs and Immigration Services-for information on if and why the sisters' asylum request was turned over to the Saudi Arabian government.

They had been previously reported missing in December 2017.

Police also urged anyone who saw the sisters between August 24 and October 24 - the timeframe of when they were reported missing to when their bodies were discovered - to come forward with information.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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