Rotana and Tala Farea washed ashore in a stretch of Riverside Park near West 68th Street on October 24, one day after her mother told cops that she received a call at her home in Fairfax, Virginia from the Saudi Arabian Embassy stating that her daughters had applied for asylum, police sources said.
Their bodies were bound together with duct tape that was tied around their feet and waists. Did you know them? They also, had the pair jumped during daylight, a driver near the busy bridge would have seen them.
Chief of detectives Dermot Shea said police are interested in finding out why the girls had headed for New York City, adding that "all clues in their past life" were being looked at.
Rotana and Tala's mother contacted The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children on August 24 after Tala went missing from home.
Detectives initially suspected a double suicide from the George Washington Bridge but family members rejected that theory and officers have also dismissed it after reasoning that the bodies would have sustained more damage from a fall from the bridge. Investigators told the Associated Press on Tuesday that both sisters' bodies were fully clothed and indicated "no obvious signs of trauma".
Tala and Rotana moved to the USA from Saudi Arabia with their mother in 2015, settling in Fairfax, a suburb of Washington D.C., police said. Prior to their recent disappearance, Tala and Rotana Farea were reported missing in December 2017 when they left their family home and were placed in a shelter.
Officials wouldn't confirm the report publicly but did confirm they're looking into the sisters' immigration status.
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 us because her daughters had applied for political asylum.
Saudi Arabia's Consulate General in NY said in a statement that it had "appointed an attorney to follow the case closely". However, their cause of death has not been determined.
The bodies were discovered on rocks near the Hudson River.
Furthermore, a Saudi official at the kingdom's embassy in Washington DC categorically denied to Arab News that the embassy had made any calls to the mother with regards to her alleged daughters' political asylum claim.
Anyone with information about what happened is urged to call the NYPD's Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477) or for Spanish, 1-888-57-PISTA (74782).