‘Medical examiner RULES OUT that sisters could have jumped from NYC George Washington Bridge in a suicide pact’
Sisters found drowned and duct taped had been ordered home by Saudi govt a DAY before their bodies washed up as it’s revealed they fled home to a shelter a year ago and begged cops not give up their location to tell their family
Tala Farea, 16, and Rotana Farea, 22, washed up in the Hudson River on Oct. 24th
Tala and Rotana were living together in New York City where Rotana was studying Computer and Information Technology after recently dropping out of George Mason Univ, Virginia
Their parents, Wafa’a and Abdulsalam, live in Virginia with their two younger brothers who are 18 and 11.
A day earlier, their mother got a call ordering the family back to Saudi Arabia – The girls had applied for political asylum, the consulate official told their mother
Medical examiners have ruled out earlier police speculation that the girls could have jumped from the George Washington Bridge in a suicide pact as implausible – neither body showed visible signs of trauma
Rotana failed to return to classes at George Mason in August and neither sister had any contact with their family for a week before their bodies were found
How did they die? Investigators are yet to determine who or what led to the death of Rotana Farea, [right] and her 16-year-old sister, Tala Farea [left], after they washed up along the Hudson River last week
Fresh details surrounding the lives of a pair of Saudi Arabian sisters who washed up drowned and duct taped together in New York City last week has deepened the mystery surrounding their deaths.
Tala Farea, 16, and Rotana Farea, 22, were found washed up on October 24. The sisters were living together in New York City where Rotana was studying Computer and Information Technology after recently dropping out of George Mason University in Virginia.
Their parents, Wafa’a and Abdulsalam, live in Virginia with their brothers who are 18 and 11. The family moved to Fairfax, Virginia in 2015.
In the summer, the family reported 16-year-old Tala missing after she disappeared from Virginia but the search was called off when they learned she had gone to stay with her sister in New York City. She had recently been awarded a spot at a top private school in Saudi Arabia with a full scholarship but was desperate not to go.
It was the second time they broke off from the family.
In December last year, the pair fled to a shelter in Fairfax, leading their family to report them both missing.
When officers tracked them down, they begged them not to tell the family where they were. What led to them returning home remains a mystery but police are focusing their investigation on the circumstances surrounding it.
Authorities received a 911 call at 2.40pm on Oct 24, from a passerby who spotted the two bodies floating in the water off the New York City’s Upper West Side neighborhood, which turned out to be the sisters
On October 23, the girls’ mother Wafa’a received a phone call from an official at the Saudi Arabian consulate who ordered the entire family to return to their home country. It was in response to an application by the two sisters for political asylum in the United States.
The sisters fled home to a shelter in Dec 2017, and begged police not to tell mom where they were. They return back to Virginia at some stage afterwards.
After Rotana, 22 failed to turn up for classes at George Mason University in the summer of 2018, her younger sister Tala, 16, was also reported missing. However, the search was called off when police learned she was with her sister in New York City.
Coincidentally, on October 23, their mother received a call from the Saudi Consulate ordering the family to return home to Saudi Arabia because the girls had applied for political asylum in the United States.
A day later the two girls bodies are found washed up in the Hudson River, in New York City. It is not known how long they were dead before they were found but police struggled to identify them for days.
NYPD investigators initially suggested that the pair jumped from the George Washington Bridge in a suicide pact’. That theory that was later discarded at the ME’s report revealed that neither body had visible signs of trauma.
College authorities at George Mason said Rotana, an engineering major dropped out in May this year, two years into her studies.
George Mason, a public university with 35,000 students has close ties to Saudi Arabia. The Saudi Arabia Cultural Mission has gifted the college $63 million and has paid for the education of 270 of its 370 Saudi students.
It is believed he issues arose for Rotana who lived at home with her parents when she learned her whole family would have to return to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
Her sister Tala reportedly, had won a full scholarship to study at Dar Al-Fikr, a top private school in Jeddah.
Rescuers clear the bodies of the Farea sisters from the scene, the rocks on the Hudson river in New York City
After Rotana Farea dropped out of school her mother contacted The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children on August 24 after Tala went missing from home.
She then called off the search after learning Tala was with Rotana in New York.
She also told authorities the pair were applying for asylum in the US to avoid returning to Jeddah.
Family members told Arab News that the two sisters had only lost contact with their mother a week ago.
They are insisting that the pair did not commit suicide and are waiting to find out the cause of death from the Chief Medical Examiner, which has not yet released findings from the autopsies.
The bodies of the Farea sisters were bound together by duct tape washed up from New York’s Hudson River on Oct 24, 2018
The Farea family’s last known address was in Falls Church, Virginia, but the bodies of the sisters, bound together by duct tape washed up, 500 miles away, on New York’s Hudson River.
The bodies were laying on rocks near the river when authorities arrived on the scene on Wednesday.
Rotana and Tala were found fully clothed, wearing black jackets with fur trim and black leggings, when their bodies washed up near Riverside Park last week.
Their bodies were bound together with duct tape that was tied around their feet and waists. The pair were found facing each other.
A passerby called 911 at 2.40pm on Wednesday after spotting the two bodies, which were found laying on rocks by the river when police arrived at the scene.
In a statement released today, the Saudi Arabian Consulate General in New York in a statement, said the Farea sisters were ‘citizens accompanying their brother in Washington’ and it had ‘appointed an attorney to follow the case closely’.
The sisters’ father has since arrived in New York following news of their death.
It remains unclear what he did for a living but he frequently traveled between the US and Saudi Arabia for work.
The family moved to Virginia in 2015. It is not known why this was where they chose to settle.