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

2 bound bodies found in NYC were missing Virginia sisters

Relatives of dead Saudi sisters reject suicide reports

The cause of death has not been released.

The mother of the sisters, Rotana Farea (22) and Tala Farea (16), lives in Fairfax, Virginia.

Police have disclosed that the sisters, who lived in Fairfax, Virginia, were from Saudi Arabia and had recently requested asylum in the USA, the New York Times reports.

The sisters' mother had also told investigators that she hadn't seen Rotana and Tala since December 2017, when she reported them missing to local authorities, sources said. Their bodies, which had no obvious signs of trauma, were discovered about 225 miles away from Fairfax, Virginia, where they lived and vanished in August. It said the sisters were students "accompanying their brother in Washington".

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A passerby called 911 at 2.40pm on Wednesday after spotting the two bodies, which were found laying on rocks by the river when police arrived at the scene.

The Hudson River separates NY from New Jersey, and police were scouring the river banks to see if they can establish where the sisters entered the water. The lack of obvious trauma appeared to rule out a theory they may have jumped into the river from the George Washington Bridge.

The Saudi consulate in NY has said they are following the investigation.

Anyone with information is urged to call the NYPD's Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477) or for Spanish, 1-888-57-PISTA (74782).

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In a statement released today, the Saudi Arabian Consulate General in NY said the Farea sisters were "citizens accompanying their brother in Washington" and it had "appointed an attorney to follow the case closely". Law&Crime repeatedly reached out to the Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia in Washington, D.C. for comment or clarification on the mother's allegation but no response was forthcoming at the time of publication.

In a statement made public by members of the victims' family on Sunday, "they denied claims that the two sisters had been missing for two months".

In a statement, the Saudi consulate-general said embassy officials in Washington had contacted the family and "extended its support and aid in this trying time".

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