NYPD denies releasing information on slain Saudi sisters seeking asylum in US

Police have identified the two women whose duct-taped bodies were found washed up from the Hudson River as sisters

Police have identified the two women whose duct-taped bodies were found washed up from the Hudson River as sisters

Police in NY are investigating the deaths of two sisters from Saudi Arabia who were found duct-taped together in the Hudson River last week.

Rotana Farea, 22, and Tala Farea, 16, were bound by duct tape at their waste and feet, fully clothed with their bodies facing each other when they washed ashore Wednesday, according to WABC in NY.

In a statement, the Saudi Consulate General said embassy officials in Washington had contacted the family and "extended its support and aid in this trying time".

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

Police found the girls in New York City previous year after the report, which said that Tala may have been with her sister.

The Hudson River separates NY from New Jersey, and police were scouring the river banks to see if they can establish where the sisters entered the water. The city medical examiner's office will determine the cause and manner of death.

A passerby alerted authorities after spotting the bodies in the Hudson River off of Manhattan's Upper West Side on the afternoon of October 24.

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

"We are out to get justice for those two girls and find out exactly what happened", he added. Investigators told the Associated Press on Tuesday that both sisters' bodies were fully clothed and indicated "no obvious signs of trauma".

Rotana Farea had been enrolled at George Mason University until the spring.

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.

Arab News reported that both sisters were in touch with their mother until about a week ago. Rotana Farea had been enrolled at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia, but left in the spring and may have moved to NY at some point, according to media reports. A George Mason spokesman called the news of her death "tragic", and said the university was cooperating with police.

Embassy officials said they were "following closely and constantly for details on the case" and had appointed a lawyer to help in this.

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

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