U.S. police probe deaths of Saudi sisters found duct-taped together

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

Saudi sisters found dead in Hudson River were alive when they entered

Cops have been working around the clock to unravel the mystery of what happened to Tala Farea, 16, and Rotana Farea, 22.

The sisters had recently requested asylum in the United States without giving a reason for the application, The New York Times reported, citing police.

Their mother told detectives she received a call from an official at the Saudi Arabian Embassy the day before the bodies were discovered, ordering the family to leave the USA because her daughters had applied for political asylum, the NYPD said Tuesday.

Their bodies were discovered washed up on the rocks of a city park on October 24.

The sisters' photos also were released publicly Wednesday by NY police, along with an appeal to the public for information about them and how their remains might have ended up along the waterfront around 68th Street and Riverside Park on Manhattan's Upper West Side.

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But they were wearing westernized clothes, including black leggings and fur coats - a no-no in the arch-conservative desert kingdom.

The two Saudi sisters found dead after washing up onto the Manhattan shore from the Hudson River were alive when they entered the water, officials said.

"They never spoke", the neighbour said.

The pair, who moved to the U.S. state of Virginia from Saudi Arabia in 2015, had been missing since August.

Police said the sisters - who had a history of running away from home - left their family home in Fairfax and were placed in a shelter after an earlier disappearance, in December 2017.

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Investigators are now questioning their friends and family to learn how they ended up in the Big Apple.

They were reported missing again August 24. Cops say they were last seen alive in Virginia on September 24.

NYPD Chief of Detectives Dermot Shea said Wednesday that detectives have been in Virginia conducting interviews with members of the immediate family to shed light on "what was going on in the two young ladies' lives".

At a briefing Wednesday, police said the medical examiner determined the sisters were alive when they entered the water, but did not specify a cause of death. "Detectives have filled in some of the pieces, but we are still looking to get a picture of what happened over the last two months".

Police have called their deaths suspicious.

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