Mystery of sisters found taped together deepens

Police released a sketch of the two women found laying on rocks near the Hudson River off of Riverside Park. (DCPI)

NEW YORK – Investigators are still looking for answers in the case of Rotana and Tala Farea, the sisters whose bodies were found duct-taped together on the banks of the Hudson River last week.

Police have disclosed that the sisters, who lived in Fairfax, Virginia, were from Saudi Arabia and had recently requested asylum in the US, the New York Times reports. Rotana, 22, and Tala, 16, had a history of going missing, but police don't know how they ended up in the river.

"We do not know that a crime took place," NYPD Chief of Detectives Dermot F. Shea said Thursday. "We have a terrible tragedy for sure."

Sources tell the New York Daily News that the sisters had been in the US since 2015 and were once placed in a shelter after running away from home. The sources say the mother told police that the sisters disappeared after the entire family, which also includes two brothers, was ordered back to Saudi Arabia.

A relative tells Arab News that the sisters were part of a happy family. "They never had any issues and the eldest was sent to college in New York City with her family’s blessing," says the relative, who rejects suggestions that the sisters died in a suicide pact. A police official tells the Times that they are still seeking "what might have been their entry point into the water."

Read more on the case here.

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