The New York Police Department continues to investigate the deaths of two sisters from Saudi Arabia whose bodies were found washed up along the Hudson River near the Upper West Side on Oct. 24.
The sisters, who have been identified as Tala Farea, 16, and Rotana Farea, 22, were reported missing from Fairfax, Virginia in August, the Associated Press reported. Their bodies were found at the edge of the Hudson River wearing similar clothing — black tights and black jackets with fur trim — and bound together by duct tape.
NYPD first asked for the public’s help identifying the women by sharing police sketches of the sisters on social media after their bodies were discovered.
Police are continuing to investigate the mysterious deaths and asking for anyone with information to call CrimeStoppers at 800-577-TIPS.
“Did you know them? Meet them? See them?” NYPD Chief Dermot F. Shea pleaded to the public on Twitter, sharing photographs of the Saudi sisters.
Saudi Arabia’s Consulate General in New York said in a statement that it has appointed an attorney to “follow the case closely.”
Who were the Farea sisters found in Hudson River?
The Farea sisters were students, according to the Consulate, who were accompanying their brother in Washington.
They had a history of going missing and had recently requested asylum in the United States, police told the New York Times.
Police previously said that they were investigating the possibility that the Farea sisters had both committed suicide, but that they were not ruling out murder. A relative denied that theory to Arab News, saying that the sisters were happy, did not have any problems at home and were afraid of water.
“They were a democratic family,” the family member told Arab News. “They never had any issues and the eldest was sent to college in New York City with her family’s blessing.”
Rotana was reportedly living in New York City and Tala had run away from her home in Virginia to visit her, the paper reports. While Tala had initially been reported missing, that was called off after it was found that she was visiting her sister.
The medical examiner’s office is still investigating the cause of death.