Saudi sis­ters death probe

Po­lice search for an­swers into two girls’ puz­zling deaths

WHO - - Contents -

ON NOV. 1, THE NEW YORK PO­LICE De­part­ment re­leased an im­age of two girls and ap­pealed to the pub­lic for help sur­round­ing their mys­te­ri­ous deaths. Tak­ing to Twit­ter, Chief of De­tec­tives Der­mot Shea wrote: “[The bod­ies of] sis­ters Tala and Rotana Farea … were found on Oct. 24 at the edge of the Hud­son River in Man­hat­tan.” They had been fac­ing one an­other, with their feet and mid-sec­tions bound to­gether in “a macabre cross-like con­fig­u­ra­tion.”

The Saudi-born sis­ters were last seen on Sept. 24 in their home state of Vir­ginia and it’s been re­ported that the girls’ mother re­ceived a call from a Saudi Ara­bian of­fi­cial on Oct. 23, claim­ing Rotana, 22, and Tala, 16, had ap­plied for po­lit­i­cal asy­lum. The girls had mi­grated to the US with their par­ents Wala’a and Ab­dul­salam Farea and two brothers a few years ear­lier to seek a bet­ter ed­u­ca­tion and greater op­por­tu­ni­ties. Their fa­ther often trav­elled back to Saudi Ara­bia for work.

A fam­ily mem­ber told an Arab news out­let that me­dia re­ports the girls had run away were un­true. “Their mother was nat­u­rally pro­tec­tive, but in no way was their house­hold prob­lem­atic for them to run away.”

Chief Shea told the me­dia that Tala had been re­ported miss­ing by her mother just two months ear­lier. “Tala was up­set for quite some time af­ter her sis­ter de­cided to con­tinue her stud­ies in NYC,” the rel­a­tive re­vealed. “But the search was called off later when they found Tala was with her sis­ter, Rotana.”

A law en­force­ment of­fi­cial spoke to CNN anony­mously and said they had not ruled out foul play or pos­si­ble sui­cide and that they would con­tinue to in­ves­ti­gate the deaths, af­ter it was re­vealed the girls were alive upon en­ter­ing the water. “We’ve made sig­nif­i­cant progress in piec­ing to­gether pieces of this puz­zle to find out what hap­pened,” Chief Shea said. “I’m con­fi­dent that when the com­plete in­ves­ti­ga­tion is done we’ll have a good idea of what ex­actly tran­spired.” •

New York po­lice pull the bod­ies of two girls from the Hud­son River on Oct. 24.

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