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

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

Police said the mother, who was not identified, had received a call from the Saudi embassy in Washington informing her that her daughters had applied for asylum, NYT reported.

The sisters and their mother lived in Fairfax, Virginia, outside of Washington but some reports indicated that the elder sister had moved to New York City.

Rotana and Tala's mother contacted The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children on August 24 after Tala went missing from home.

The sisters came to the USA from Saudi Arabia with their mother in 2015.

Sketches were initially released of the Saudi Arabian sisters who were found bound by duct tape in the Hudson River near New York City's Upper West Side.

Police found the girls in New York City past year after the report, which said that Tala may have been with her sister.

Rotana was enrolled at George Mason University but left earlier this year.

Investigators are still mystified by how and why Rotana, 22, and Tala, 16, made their way to NY from their adopted Virginia home, as well as whether their demise was a weird suicide pact or something more sinister.

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.

New York Chief of Detectives Dermot Shea said they were particularly interested in finding out what happened since they were reported missing and what led them to New York.

The Saudi consulate in NY said that the Consulate General is keeping close tabs on the investigation.

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". A police official tells the Times that they are still seeking "what might have been their entry point into the water".

The family, originally from Jeddah, had not experienced any major familial troubles, a relative told Saudi newspaper Arab News, dismissing reports they may had taken their own lives.

Anyone with information about what happened 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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