No indication Saudi sisters found dead in NY were killed

Police release recent photos of Saudi sisters found dead in NYC river

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 USA because her daughters had applied for political asylum.

Now police have discovered that the two sisters who washed ashore were Saudi citizens living in Virginia who may have sought asylum in the US. The sisters, ages 16 and 22, had been placed in a shelter in Virginia in December of previous year, according to Shea, after reporting physical abuse by family members.

The witness was in Riverside Park, north of where the sisters were later found, about 7am on 24 October, when he stumbled upon two females sitting about 30 feet apart, with their heads lowered, and that they appeared to be praying, according to his account to the authorities.

Shea said police also relied on surveillance footage from up to six days before their bodies were found, which showed the sisters together alone and in good health, showing no sign of distress.

The medical examiner's office will ultimately determine the causes of death as the investigation continues.

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

"At this point in time it has still has not been determined a homicide", said Shea. Police said the sisters' family did not have any contact with the girls while they stayed in the facility. They were reported missing September 12.

Investigators say Tala and Rotana Farea made stops in Washington D.C. and Philadelphia before coming to the city.

There were no obvious signs of trauma to their bodies, police have said.

Sisters Tala Farea (L) and Rotana Farea (R).

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Police are still appealing for anyone who had met the sisters since August to come forward with further information.

Investigators also believe the duct tape used to secure the sisters was placed in a way that would help them stay together, rather than bind them together.

"I can't talk about it", she said.

The Farea sisters lived in Fairfax, Virginia, but were from Saudi Arabia and had requested asylum in the U.S.

Rotana was formerly a student enrolled at George Mason University, according to school spokesman Michael Sandler.

Once they were identified, police sent detectives to Virginia to piece together the last months of their lives.

Investigators are looking into reports the pair was allegedly physically abused in the past by family members.

A Saudi official refuted that to HuffPost, stating that the phone call was about the mother's expired immigration status.

For privacy reasons, the Department of Homeland Security said on Thursday they could not reveal whether the sisters had applied for asylum.

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