Saudi Sisters Killed Themselves, Says Medical Examiner

April FrancisJan 25, 2019

The mysterious death of two Saudi Arabian sisters found bound together with duct tape on the banks of the Hudson River previous year has been ruled a suicide, medical officials said on Tuesday. "The sisters were two of roughly 500 known individuals citywide that committed suicide in 2018", Sampson said in a statement obtained by PEOPLE.

22, that Rotana Farea, 22, and her sister Tala, 16, had killed themselves, and the cause of death was drowning.

The medical examiner on Tuesday said 16-year-old Tala Farea and 23-year-old Rotana Farea "bound themselves together before descending into the Hudson River" on October 24.

USA media quoted police as saying the sisters had indicated that they would rather harm themselves than return to Saudi Arabia.

It was later discovered the women had run away from their home in Fairfax, Virginia, before being placed in a shelter amid allegations they were abused at home.

The sisters were last seen in Virginia on August 24 and were reported missing on September 12.

A Saudi official has denied reports that Saudi Arabia ordered the sisters and their mother, who lives in the USA, to return to the country.

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While Tala was reported missing by her family in August, she was later found to have run away from home to join her sister in NY, the report said.

He said that the girls were sitting in a playground at the park, sitting about 30 feet apart but appearing to be together.

An official at the Saudi Embassy in Washington refuted an Associated Press (AP) claim that the mother of the sisters said she had received a call from the embassy requesting that the family leave the USA because the daughters had requested asylum.

An eyewitness told police that he saw the sisters praying in New York City's Riverside Park on the morning of October 24.

Police released sketches of the sister's faces and posted repeated calls for the public's help in identifying them on social media.

Rotana was enrolled at George Mason University, in Fairfax, but left in the spring. They were tied together at the ankles and waist by duct tape.

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