Police release recent photos of Saudi sisters found dead in NYC river

A passerby called police after spotting the bodies

2 bound bodies found in NYC were missing Virginia sisters

Tala had been reported missing from Fairfax since August 24 and was suspected to be accompanied by Rotan, police said.

"I think we've made significant progress in piecing together pieces of this puzzle to find out what happened", Shea said. However, there was no trauma to their bodies that would indicate they had jumped from the bridge.

Rather than live on campus like many of her classmates, Rotana traveled back to her home in Falls Church, Virginia where she lived with her mother, brother and Tala.

Police found the girls in New York City a year ago after the report, which said that Tala may have been with her sister.

The sisters were Saudi citizens and students who were accompanying their brother in Washington, the Royal Consulate General of Saudi Arabia in NY said Tuesday in a statement.

The mother of Tala Farea, 16, and Rotana Farea, 22, told detectives that she learned the girls applied for asylum in the United States the day before their bodies washed up on the East Side of Manhattan from the Hudson River.

She told them she had received a call from an official at the Saudi embassy, ordering the family to leave the USA as her daughters had applied for political asylum.

The NYPD says there's no known nexus between the sisters' death and the Saudi government.

Officials wouldn't confirm the report publicly but did confirm they're looking into the sisters' immigration status. The young women's bodies were being held by the NY medical examiner pending an autopsy.

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. Surveillance cameras showed no signs of them on the bridge.

WTOP has been unable to reach family members regarding the sisters' deaths.

The Saudi consulate in NY said that the Consulate General is keeping close tabs on the investigation. But they are still trying to work out how they died.

New York City Police Department (NYPD) Chief of Detectives Dermot Shea said that one of his employees had been dispatched to Virginia in an effort to obtain details about the girls' lives there-specifically regarding the past two months.

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