Two Saudi sisters found dead, tied together in NY

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New York City detectives have conducted various interviews in Virginia where two sisters from Saudi Arabia were living before their bodies, bound together with duct tape, were found floating along the Hudson River last week.

Rotana, 22, and Tala, 16, had a history of going missing, but police don't know how they ended up in the 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.

Police released a sketch of the two women found laying on rocks near the Hudson River off of Riverside Park.

A source with the New York Police Department tells CBS News the mother, who lives in Virginia, told police she received a call from the Saudi government in October telling the family they all had to go back to Saudi Arabia because the sisters had applied for immigration asylum.

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Some reports indicate that the older sister, Rotana, may have been living in NY.

Detective Shea told a media conference that investigators were working to resolve "gaps" in the sisters' history.

At least one police source speculated to the New York Daily News last week that the cause of death could be suicide.

The sisters were pronounced dead where they were found along the riverbank, police said. Neither body had signs of trauma.

In a statement made public by members of the victims' family on Sunday, "they denied claims that the two sisters had been missing for two months".

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Saudi Arabia's consulate general in NY did not comment on the Times report directly.

Rotana was enrolled at George Mason University, but left earlier this year.

"We are out to get justice for those two girls and find out exactly what happened", he added.

Tala Farea and Rotana Farea are seen in these undated photos released by the New York Police Department.

They had also both been placed in a shelter after a disappearance in December past year, although it is not clear how long they spent there. A George Mason spokesman called the news of her death "tragic", and said the university was cooperating with police. Tala had been reported missing from Fairfax since August 24 and was suspected to be accompanied by Rotan, police said.

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