Cops release first photos of Saudi sisters found duct-taped together

Police have identified the two women whose duct-taped bodies were found washed up from the Hudson River as sisters

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

The elder of the two sisters whose bodies washed up along the Hudson River was an engineering student at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia, DailyMail.com can reveal.

Tala had been reported missing to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children on August 24, the New York Daily News said.

Tala and Rotana moved to the USA from Saudi Arabia with their mother in 2015, settling in Fairfax, a suburb of Washington D.C., police said.

The two bodies were found on Wednesday at around 3:00pm by a passer-by who informed the police. They were found with "no obvious signs of trauma", and were pronounced dead at the scene, according to New York City Police.

Police are considering whether the sisters died as part of a suicide pact, possibly jumping from the George Washington bridge some 10km north of where their bodies were found.

Tala Farea and Rotana Farea were found dead on October 24 near New York City's Hudson River. However, their cause of death has not been determined.

Arab News reported that both sisters were in touch with their mother until about a week ago.

"We're looking at a two-month gap", Shea said, referring to the time since Tala was reported missing.

Saudi Arabia's Consulate General in NY said in a statement that it had "appointed an attorney to follow the case closely".

The Week's Ryan Cooper likened the Farea sisters' death to the 1976 car-bombing and assassination of Chilean dissident Orlando Letelier-an assassination which was carried out with the full knowledge and tacit acceptance of top USA policymakers, including then-Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, according to the Washington Post.

Anyone with information is urged to call CrimeStoppers at 800-577-TIPS.

The Saudi embassy in Washington declined to comment on the reports.

"The embassy of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in Washington, D.C. has reached out to the citizens' family and extended its support and aid in this trying time", the statement said.

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