United States police: Saudi sisters didn't want to return home

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

According to Shea, investigators believe the sisters left Fairfax, Virginia, on either August 23 or 24 and took different methods of transportation, including Uber, to NY, where they arrived on or about September 1.

On Tuesday, The Associated Press reported that Tala and Rotana Farea's mother told detectives that one day before the bodies were found last week, a Saudi Embassy official had called her and ordered the family to leave the USA because her daughters had applied for asylum. Shea revealed that neither sister had lived with their parents since November 30, 2017, when they ran away.He said there were abuse allegations involving other family members, which were not corroborated. The sisters had been reported missing in December 2017 when they left their family home in Fairfax, Virginia.

Shea said police also relied on surveillance footage from up to six days before their bodies were found, which showed the sisters together alone and in good health, showing no sign of distress.

The medical examiner's office has not released the cause or manner of death.

Both had come to the United States two or three years ago.

Did the sisters apply for asylum?

The consulate confirmed that it immediately appointed a lawyer to follow up the legal process of the case and will clarify the most important developments as soon as they are received.

Shea said detectives had been in Virginia interviewing family members to determine "what was going on in the two young ladies' lives".

"There is a strong possibility that money was running out", Shea said.

A witness told detectives he had seen two women kneeling about 30ft apart near the Hudson River praying loudly for about 15 minutes on the morning of 24 October.

But the Arab News reports the search was called off when she was found to be living with her older sister, who was studying computer and information technology in New York City.

However, the Saudi embassy spokesperson denied the women were ordered to come back to Saudi Arabia.

Rotana had attended school at George Mason University, before dropping out in the spring, school officials said.

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

This past Wednesday, a man described as a credible source contacted investigators about something that had been "haunting him", Shea said. Cops say they were last seen alive in Virginia on September 24.

Police said Friday that near the end of August this year, the girls vanished from that facility and made their way up to New York City through rides in Uber vehicles and trains.

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