No sign of assault in Saudi sisters' deaths

No sign of assault in Saudi sisters' deaths

NY police were still trying to piece together the mystery over two young women whose bodies were discovered a week ago on the rocky Manhattan shore of the Hudson River, bound together with duct tape around their waists and ankles. The purchases have been traced to a credit card in Rotana, the older sister's, name.

Things changed however in the days before their death.

As indicated by the Arab News, an English paper in Saudi Arabia, their mom revealed Tala, the younger sister, was reported missing months ago but called off the search once she found out that Tala was staying with Rotana in New York City.

But the Arab News reports the search was called off when she was found to be living with her older sister, who was studying computer and information technology in New York City.

The two were found wearing similar fur-trimmed jackets and black leggings with their waists and feet bound together by duct tape.

The sisters were last seen by their family, who lived in Fairfax, Virginia, around 30 November 2017.

Electronic court records indicated the sisters took Uber taxis to NY and arrived on September 1, Shea said.

The deaths are being investigated as suspicious, and there has been no determination on whether they are homicides, suicides or accidents, the sources said.

They were also seen several times on security cameras in apparently good health, police said during a news conference on Friday afternoon. They say there were no obvious signs of trauma.

Rotana was formerly a student enrolled at George Mason University, according to school spokesman Michael Sandler.

Shea did say that it was "entirely credible" that the two were alive when they entered the water.

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"Those interviews are really unraveling, in some way, a piece of the puzzle behind the scenes", Shea added.

Their bodies were discovered October 24 on the Manhattan waterfront.

Shea also said investigators spoke with non-family sources who said the sisters would have preferred to harm themselves than return to Saudi Arabia. He told detectives it had been "haunting him", Shea said.

Did the sisters apply for asylum?

"We're looking at a two month gap here, from August to now, when their bodies discovered in the water".

No official cause of death has been determined, and the investigation is ongoing.

A Saudi official told CNN the girls' mother's immigration status had expired and that U.S. officials had asked her to leave the country.

Tala and Rotana moved to the USA with their mother in 2015.

Shea said officers are basing their investigation on the circumstances surrounding the disappearance of the girls from the family home in the past.

NY police declined to comment further during a press briefing Wednesday.

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