Sisters found tied together in NY river identified

Aaron Brown
November 4, 2018

Police say they are "unraveling" what was going on in the lives of the two young sisters from Saudi Arabia who were found bound together last week after their bodies washed up on the shore of Manhattan's Upper West Side have been identified.

Investigators are struggling to piece together the mystery of how two sisters from Saudi Arabia who lived in Virginia ended up dead with their feet and waists tied together on a riverbank in NY.

Media reports claimed that relatives of the dead girls told police that a Saudi embassy official had telephoned them on August 23 ordering them to return to Saudi Arabia.

Shea added that the sisters were last seen by their family in Virginia on November 30 a year ago.

He said a witness had told officers about "a story that is haunting him" - that at around 7am on October 24 he witnessed two women kneeling about 30 feet apart near the river, praying loudly for about 15 minutes.

The police department released new passport-style photographs on Wednesday showing the two sisters wearing headscarves.

A cause of death have not been determined in this case and police were working closely with the chief medical examiner. The consulate has been in contact with the sisters' family and appointed an attorney to follow the investigation. Police said they were still alive when they went into the water.

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So far, the investigation has revealed that the sisters traveled from Washington DC to Philadelphia, before arriving New York City on September 1.

The official told CNN investigators believe the deaths were suicide. Police previously said the bodies showed no signs of trauma.

The expenses were put on a credit card that was eventually maxed out. A George Mason spokesman called the news of her death "tragic", and said the university was cooperating with police.

"We're looking at a two-month gap", Shea said, referring to the time since Tala was reported missing. The official also refuted reports the family was told it must return to Saudi Arabia because the girls had applied for asylum.

A Saudi official said on Thursday that was inaccurate, saying they had only communicated with the mother about her expired immigration status in the United States. The family are Saudi nationals from Jeddah.

The Saudi embassy in Washington said yesterday that it was extending its "support and aid in this trying time" to the family.

According to some media reports, 16-year-old Tala had reportedly been offered a place at a top school in Saudi Arabia but desperately did not want to go.

Other reports by Free-Prsite

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