JEDDAH: The bodies of two young Saudi women have been discovered bound together on the banks of the Hudson River in New York City.
Rotana Farea, 22, and her sister Tala Farea, 16, were identified on Friday by their mother from a sketch supplied by the New York Police Department (NYPD).
The two bodies were found by a passer-by just before 3 p.m. last Wednesday on the city’s Upper West Side near Riverside Park. The passer-by called police.
NYPD said police responded to the 911 call and “upon arrival, officers discovered two unidentified females unconscious and unresponsive with no obvious signs of trauma.” Emergency medical personnel declared them dead at the scene.
The New York City medical examiner’s office will determine cause of death.
Police lieutenant Paul Ng said the bodies of the two young women were tied together at the feet and waist with what he believed to be duct tape.
Rotana Farea had been living in New York. The young women’s mother lives in the state of Virginia. Both victims are Saudi nationals, from Jeddah.
Members of the family on Sunday denied claims that the two sisters had been missing for two months. In fact, the mother reported her younger daughter Tala as missing two months ago, but the report was withdrawn when she was found visiting her sister in New York, and the search was called off.
While Tala was visiting her elder sister, both young women lost contact with their mother about a week ago, and they were then reported missing.
The family has also rejected suggestions that the two women committed suicide, and they are awaiting the medical examiner’s findings.
The women’s father arrived in New York three days ago.
According to close family members, the Saudi consulate in New York City has been informed of the death.