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Sisters found along Hudson River were Saudis

The two sisters found dead along the Hudson River were Saudi citizens. CNN's Athena Jones reports.

Posted: Nov 1, 2018 12:32 PM
Updated: Nov 1, 2018 12:37 PM

When their bodies were found last week on the banks of New York's Hudson River, the sisters wore similar black leggings and fur-trimmed jackets, with their feet and waists bound together by duct tape.

Now, more details about Rotana Farea, 22, and Tala Farea, 16, of Fairfax, Virginia, are emerging, even as much of the case remains a mystery.

The sisters were Saudi citizens and students who were accompanying their brother in Washington, the Royal Consulate General of Saudi Arabia in New York said Tuesday.

The sisters' photos also were released publicly Wednesday by New York 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.

Detectives have been in Virginia, where Tala had been reported missing in August, Chief of Detectives Dermot Shea told reporters Wednesday.

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

Interviews with family members and others have begun to shed light on "what was going on in the two young ladies' lives," he said.

"We're looking at a two-month gap," Shea said, referring to the time since Tala was reported missing. "The detectives' work has filled in many of the pieces, but there's still some gaps that we would like to fill in and get a real clear picture of what happened in the last two months."

The consulate has been in contact with the sisters' family and appointed an attorney to follow the investigation, officials said.

The Saudi Embassy in Washington had called their mother to inform her that her daughters had applied for asylum in the United States, The New York Times reported this week.

A Saudi official told CNN they are aware of the asylum reports.

"Embassy officials have not communicated with family members in relation to their seeking asylum, if this is indeed the case," the official said. "We are still investigating the full details within this case."

The sisters were pronounced dead where they were found along the riverbank, police said.

There were no obvious signs of trauma to their bodies, police have said. The city medical examiner's office will determine the cause and manner of death.

Tala Farea had been missing from Fairfax since August 24, according to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

A post on the center's website -- which appears to have been taken down -- had noted that Tala might have been with Rotana.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 441935

Reported Deaths: 5885
CountyCasesDeaths
Hennepin918591461
Ramsey39405729
Dakota32551324
Anoka30638354
Washington19827221
Stearns17686184
St. Louis13453237
Scott1178693
Wright11485101
Olmsted1024870
Sherburne812364
Carver686636
Clay643278
Rice595266
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Blue Earth533833
Crow Wing476573
Otter Tail449860
Chisago446331
Benton414885
Winona383946
Douglas370366
Nobles364646
Mower358026
Goodhue340757
Polk326754
McLeod321644
Morrison308743
Beltrami305746
Lyon298735
Itasca281143
Becker279438
Isanti279440
Carlton276942
Steele26879
Pine263813
Freeborn237219
Todd230029
Nicollet222136
Brown212334
Mille Lacs211645
Le Sueur206515
Cass203823
Meeker197433
Waseca187515
Martin168226
Wabasha16712
Roseau164916
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Watonwan10548
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Swift82617
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Stevens6968
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Grant4247
Norman4218
Mahnomen4077
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Iowa Coronavirus Cases

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Cases: 300884

Reported Deaths: 4197
CountyCasesDeaths
Polk44949440
Linn17563269
Scott15228161
Black Hawk13552228
Woodbury12896175
Johnson1191749
Dubuque11229148
Pottawattamie8863112
Dallas874169
Story857433
Webster464768
Cerro Gordo458766
Sioux452451
Clinton445461
Warren430637
Marshall424561
Buena Vista389029
Muscatine382275
Des Moines377340
Plymouth347967
Wapello336796
Jasper315955
Lee310828
Marion298852
Jones268949
Henry262130
Carroll252233
Bremer240048
Crawford227622
Boone214116
Washington213531
Benton207543
Mahaska189936
Jackson189631
Tama184757
Dickinson183225
Delaware171136
Kossuth169241
Clay165319
Wright161724
Fayette157022
Buchanan156920
Hamilton156828
Hardin153129
Harrison152961
Winneshiek150819
Clayton149848
Cedar149119
Butler145423
Page143115
Floyd137236
Cherokee137125
Mills135216
Lyon133132
Poweshiek131024
Hancock127924
Allamakee125927
Iowa122122
Calhoun12159
Jefferson118623
Grundy118522
Winnebago117229
Madison11639
Mitchell114634
Louisa113729
Cass111741
Chickasaw110111
Sac110115
Emmet109931
Appanoose108838
Union107922
Humboldt103919
Guthrie102124
Shelby101026
Franklin99818
Unassigned9370
Palo Alto8969
Keokuk84225
Montgomery82722
Howard81119
Monroe79918
Pocahontas77211
Clarke7717
Ida73530
Greene6837
Davis68221
Adair68120
Lucas6458
Osceola6349
Monona62316
Taylor5889
Worth5873
Fremont5005
Van Buren49112
Decatur4744
Ringgold4229
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Adams2923
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