STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

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 1:35 PM
Updated: Nov 1, 2018 1:37 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.

West Lafayette
Overcast
43° wxIcon
Hi: 55° Lo: 43°
Feels Like: 40°
Kokomo
Overcast
42° wxIcon
Hi: 54° Lo: 41°
Feels Like: 37°
Rensselaer
Scattered Clouds
36° wxIcon
Hi: 52° Lo: 40°
Feels Like: 36°
Fowler
Scattered Clouds
36° wxIcon
Hi: 53° Lo: 41°
Feels Like: 36°
Williamsport
Overcast
41° wxIcon
Hi: 54° Lo: 42°
Feels Like: 41°
Crawfordsville
Overcast
40° wxIcon
Hi: 55° Lo: 43°
Feels Like: 40°
Frankfort
Overcast
45° wxIcon
Hi: 55° Lo: 42°
Feels Like: 42°
Delphi
Overcast
39° wxIcon
Hi: 54° Lo: 42°
Feels Like: 34°
Monticello
Overcast
39° wxIcon
Hi: 52° Lo: 42°
Feels Like: 34°
Logansport
Overcast
41° wxIcon
Hi: 53° Lo: 41°
Feels Like: 38°
Clearer Wednesday after some patchy morning fog
WLFI Radar
WLFI Temps
WLFI Planner

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 166564

Reported Deaths: 4194
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion26255795
Lake14627362
St. Joseph9725171
Elkhart9402142
Allen8741232
Hamilton6462117
Vanderburgh622464
Tippecanoe402416
Porter355450
Hendricks3442137
Monroe337538
Johnson3307131
Delaware314475
Clark308565
Vigo280641
Madison254796
LaPorte241464
Cass230125
Kosciusko210329
Warrick206865
Floyd188468
Howard170166
Bartholomew149058
Marshall149028
Dubois147926
Wayne145533
Grant135440
Henry134330
Boone131050
Hancock125044
Noble124535
Jackson122519
Dearborn103828
Morgan100440
Lawrence99238
Gibson95612
Clinton93516
Daviess93236
Shelby91835
Knox83910
LaGrange82815
Harrison80724
Fayette79021
Putnam78317
DeKalb78111
Posey7787
Jasper7075
Miami6905
Steuben6748
Montgomery64422
White63016
Greene58138
Adams5777
Scott55916
Decatur53339
Whitley4926
Ripley4888
Wells47311
Clay4697
Sullivan46714
Starke4608
Wabash4599
Huntington4545
Orange42525
Spencer4236
Randolph42110
Fulton3956
Washington3923
Jennings38813
Franklin38325
Perry37714
Jefferson3655
Pike36318
Jay3486
Carroll34713
Fountain3393
Tipton28523
Vermillion2761
Parke2604
Rush2544
Blackford2425
Newton24011
Owen2171
Martin2040
Pulaski1794
Crawford1651
Brown1503
Ohio1367
Union1180
Benton1110
Switzerland990
Warren921
Unassigned0236

COVID-19 Important links and resources

As the spread of COVID-19, or as it's more commonly known as the coronavirus continues, this page will serve as your one-stop for the resources you need to stay informed and to keep you and your family safe. CLICK HERE

Closings related to the prevention of the COVID-19 can be found on our Closings page.

Community Events