The mystery surrounding the deaths of two Saudi Arabian sisters whose bodies were found bound and duct-taped together in the Hudson River in New York has deepened after the girls’ mother revealed that the family had recently been ordered to leave the U.S. by the Saudi Arabian embassy.
The bodies of Tala Farea, 16, and Rotana Farea, 22 were found two months after they were reported missing in Fairfax, Virginia, on August 24. Police were initially unsure as to the sisters’ identity, and assumed that they might have committed suicide together by jumping off of the George Washington Bridge. But after a medical examination appeared to rule out that theory and the discovery of the sisters’ identities, police have ruled the deaths as suspicious and are investigating the circumstances behind their disappearance before a full autopsy provides more information as to the cause of their deaths. CNN reported on Thursday that a law enforcement official close to the investigation said detectives believe the sisters were the victims of foul play and that they were alive when they entered the waters of the Hudson River.
The girls’ mother, who moved from Saudi Arabia with her daughters to Fairfax in 2015, told police she had received a call from the Saudi Arabian Embassy just a day before their bodies were discovered. On the call, she said, it was demanded that she and her family leave the U.S. because her daughters had asked for political asylum. Adding to the mystery was the discovery that the sisters had been placed in a shelter after a previous disappearance in December 2017.
Saudi Arabia has been under increased scrutiny in recent days following the brutal murder of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi Arabian embassy in Turkey. In a statement, Saudi Arabia’s Consulate General in New York said that he had “appointed an attorney to follow the case closely.”
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