Two Saudi Sisters Found Dead in Hudson Had Sought Political Asylum

Two women who were found dead and bound together in the Hudson River last week were sisters from Saudi Arabia who had reportedly been ordered to return home after requesting asylum in the U.S. Police in New York have yet to determine a cause of death for the two women, identified as 16-year-old Tala Farea and 22-year-old Rotana Farea. They were fully clothed and showed no obvious signs of trauma when they were found on Oct. 24, police say. But the sisters’ mother, who also lives in the U.S., told detectives she’d received a call from the Saudi Arabian Embassy just a day before her daughters disappeared urging the family to leave the U.S. because the two young women had applied for political asylum, the Associated Press reports. The Saudi consulate general has issued a statement saying it “appointed an attorney to follow the case closely” and that the sisters were students “accompanying their brother in Washington.” Investigators are now reportedly trying to figure out what the two women were doing in New York, 225 miles from their home in Fairfax, Virginia, and what they had been doing since they were reported missing on Aug. 24.