Saudi sisters found dead in New York ‘were not killed,’ US police source says

New York police said that the mysterious death of the two Saudi sisters, who were found tied together with duct tape at their feet and bound at the waist near the Riverside Park in the Upper West Side of Manhattan, could have been a double suicide.

Tala Farea, 16, and Rotana Farea, 22, had been living in Fairfax, Virginia with their mother, but Rotana had moved to live in New York. The family are Saudi nationals from Jeddah.

Investigators said that witness testimonies, evidence and the sisters’ credit card purchases reveal that there was no evidence they had been killed.

Suicide is among the hypotheses as to the cause of their deaths.

The two young women moved to New York two months before they died, where they stayed in five-star hotels and spent their time shopping.

“At this point in time we have no credible information that a crime took place in New York City… but it is still under investigation,” Dermot Shea, the city’s chief of detectives, said Friday.

Fatimah Baeshen, spokeswoman for Saudi Arabia’s US embassy in Washington, tweeted that “Reports that we ordered anyone related to the Saudi sisters, Tala and Rotana Farea, God rest their souls, (who recently died tragically in NY), to leave the US for seeking asylum; are absolutely false.”

“Details are still under investigation and will be shared in due course,” she said.

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