2 bound bodies found in NYC were missing Virginia sisters

The two sisters from Saudi Arabia, whose bodies were found bound together with tape on the bank of a NY river, had been ordered to leave the USA after applying for political asylum, it has been revealed.

Tala Farea, 16, and Rotana Farea, 22, were found on a bank by the Hudson River in Manhattan, their bodies taped together and facing each other.

The sisters' mother also received a call from the Saudi Arabian embassy in Washington telling her about the asylum applications, according to the Times' report, which the NYPD declined to confirm.

A passerby called 911 at 2.40pm on Wednesday after spotting the two bodies, which were found laying on rocks by the river when police arrived at the scene.

NY and Arab media said the sisters, who had run away from home before, were of Saudi origin but their family was living in Fairfax, Virginia.


New York City police released images of Tala Farea, 16, and Rotana Farea, 22, who were found dead on October 24 near 68th Street and Riverside Park in Manhattan's Upper West Side neighborhood.

Detectives have been in Virginia, where Tala had been reported missing in August, Chief of Detectives Dermot Shea told reporters Wednesday.

At least one police source speculated to the New York Daily News last week that the cause of death could be suicide.

Saudi Arabia's consulate general in NY did not comment on the Times report directly.

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


Rotana was enrolled at George Mason University, but left in the spring.

The sisters' family could not immediately be reached for comment.

Rather than live on campus like many of her classmates, Rotana traveled back to her home in Falls Church, Virginia where she lived with her mother, brother and Tala. A George Mason spokesman called the news of her death "tragic", and said the university was cooperating with police.

According to the NYPD, the two dead girls had previously spent time in a shelter after going missing once before in December 2017.

The Farea sisters moved from Saudi Arabia to Fairfax, Virginia, in 2015 with their mother, and had a history of running away from home, according to U.S. officials.


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