Published: Thu, November 01, 2018
Global | By Enrique Rogers

Mystery of sisters found taped together deepens

Mystery of sisters found taped together deepens

The Saudi Arabian sisters who were found dead and bound together with duct tape in New York City applied for asylum before they died.

Rotana and Tala Farea washed ashore in a stretch of Riverside Park near West 68th Street on October 24, one day after her mother told cops that she received a call at her home in Fairfax, Virginia from the Saudi Arabian Embassy stating that her daughters had applied for asylum, police sources said.

The police department released new passport-style photographs on Wednesday showing the two young women with headscarves over their hair.

New York City Police Department (NYPD) Chief of Detectives Dermot Shea said that one of his employees had been dispatched to Virginia in an effort to obtain details about the girls' lives there-specifically regarding the past two months.

Police say 22-year-old Rotana Farea and 16-year-old Tala Farea were similarly dressed and bound together at their ankles and waists with duct tape.

Detective Shea told a media conference that investigators were working to resolve "gaps" in the sisters' history.

The statement said that the case was still under investigation and a forensic report stating the cause of the death hadn't been issued as yet.

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

The sisters' photos also were released publicly on Wednesday by police, along with an appeal to the public for information about them and how their remains might have ended up along the waterfront on Manhattan's Upper West Side.

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

Tala was last seen Aug, 24, according to a posting on the website of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

In a statement released today, the Saudi Arabian Consulate General in NY said the Farea sisters were "citizens accompanying their brother in Washington" and it had "appointed an attorney to follow the case closely". A George Mason spokesman called the news of her death "tragic", and said the university was cooperating with police.

They said there was no reason to think the sister was abducted or in danger, which is why no images were released to the public.

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