Cause of death released for Saudi sisters found in Hudson River

Tala Farea and Rotana Farea

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.

Rotana and Tala Farea both drowned and the cause of death was suicide, ny medical examiner Barbara Sampson said in a brief report on Tuesday evening.

Law enforcement sources in NY indicated past year that the sisters "would rather do harm to themselves" than return to their home country. In a November 2 press conference, NYPD Chief of Detectives Dermot Shea said that his detectives have developed sources who told them how much the girls didn't want to return to Saudi Arabia.

The sisters were found beside the Hudson River in late October with no visible signs of trauma, dressed all in black, and in coats with fur-trimmed collars.

The mysterious death of two Saudi Arabian sisters found bound together with duct tape on the banks of the Hudson River a year ago has been ruled a suicide, medical officials said on Tuesday. He said detectives were informed the sisters expressed a desire to "inflict harm on themselves, commit suicide" rather than return to Saudi Arabia after they had been in the United States about three years, according to the station.

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The sisters, who according to police has applied for asylum in the United States, had been placed in a shelter but left Virginia in August and set out for NY.

The sisters moved to the US from Saudi Arabia with their mother and two brothers in 2015. They traveled to New York City and stayed in high-end hotels, eventually maxing out the older sister's credit card.

A witness told police he saw them praying near the river before their bodies were found October 24.

The harrowing deaths of the Saudi-born women - Rotana Farea, 22, and Tala Farea, 16 - stunned the world and drew attention to their home nation's misogynistic culture. They were tied together at the ankles and waist by duct tape.

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