Credit card records may provide clues on Saudi sisters

US police probe deaths of Saudi sisters found duct-taped together

The NYPD is investigating the mysterious deaths of two Saudi Arabian sisters whose bound bodies washed up in New York City last week after arriving from Fairfax, Virginia, on September 1.

Investigators continue to decipher "numerous volumes of records" between their arrival in New York City and October 24, but have records indicating they stayed at a number of high-end hotels, regularly ordered multiple meals a day and went shopping, Shea said. By the time of their deaths, Rotana's credit card was maxed out.

Their bodies showed no signs of physical trauma.

The law enforcement official told CNN it's become evident in the course of the investigation that the sisters did not want to return to Saudi Arabia.

The sisters were found duct-taped together after washing ashore near near 68th Street in Riverside Park.

They also believe the pair went into the Hudson while they were still alive.

The sisters were Saudi citizens and students accompanying their brother in Washington, according to a statement from the Royal Consulate General of Saudi Arabia.

According to credit card records reviewed by the New York Police Department, Rotana Farea, 22, and Tala Farea, 16, arrived in New York from Philadelphia two months ago after visiting Washington.




Police are still appealing for anyone who had met the sisters since August to come forward with further information. Police said they have credible sources that say the sisters expressed "they would rather commit suicide than return to Saudi Arabia".

It was also noted that the girls were loosely taped together and did not appear to have jumped from a great height prior to entering the water.

The New York Police Department is not ready to determine the official causes of death.

"They were a democratic family, they never had any issues and the eldest was sent to college in New York City with her family's blessing", they said.

Earlier this week, The New York Times reported the Saudi Embassy in Washington had called Rotana and Tala's mother to inform her that her daughters had applied for asylum in the United States.

NYPD officials confirmed that the sisters applied for asylum in the US, but they did not elaborate. HuffPost could not independently confirm this, and the Department of Homeland Security did not immediately respond to a request for comment. In December, they were placed in a shelter in Virginia after reporting that they had been physically abused by family members.

They always order two meals from room service, officials said.

"We are out to get justice for those two girls and to find out exactly what happened", Shea said.

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