Two sisters from Saudi Arabia whose bodies were found taped together on the banks of a New York river committed suicide, it has been concluded.
New York’s Chief Medical Examiner Barbara Sampson said that Rotana Farea, 22, and her sister Tala, 16, tied themselves together before descending into the Hudson River.
The sisters were found tied together at the ankles and waist by duct tape, dressed all in black in late October.
There were no visible signs of trauma and water was found in their lungs, indicating they were alive when they entered the river.
Rotana and Tala had run away from their family home in Virginia on several occasions, according to the New York Police Department (NYPD).
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 New York.
An NYPD spokesman said that they stayed in several different upscale hotels and maxed out a credit card while there.
Following their deaths, Fatimah Baeshen, spokeswoman for Saudi Arabia’s US embassy in Washington, denied the asylum claims made by police.
She tweeted: ‘Reports that we ordered anyone related to the Saudi sisters, Tala and Rotana Farea, God rest their souls, (who recently died tragically in NY), to leave the US for seeking asylum; are absolutely false.’
US media quoted police as saying the sisters had indicated that they would rather harm themselves than return to Saudi Arabia.
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