FALLS CHURCH, Va. - It remains a mystery how two Fairfax County sisters ended up dead along New York’s Hudson River.
New York police say the bodies of 16-year-old Tala Farea and 22-year-old Rotana Farea were found last Wednesday. After the bodies were located, the police department distributed sketches when they initially struggled to identify them. They were officially identified on Friday.
Police say the victims' feet and waists were duct taped together and they were facing each other. Investigators also say they believe the sisters entered the water from the George Washington Bridge.
There were no obvious signs of trauma to the bodies, but police have not determined whether this was homicide or suicide, officials say. Investigators do not think the sisters were in the water long.
According to a public records search, the sisters at one point lived in Falls Church at Skyline Towers Apartments with their father, which is the most recent address we could find for them.
However, a dozen people living on the floor of the listed address told FOX 5 on Sunday that they did not recognize anyone in the sketches or the victims’ names.
The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children posted on its website that Tala Farea had been missing since Aug. 24 and she could be with her sister. The page on the website has since been taken down.
However, Fairfax County police did not put anything out about the 16-year-old girl being missing. Police say they are limited with what information they can disclose because of juvenile privacy laws in Virginia.
Tala was a student for a portion of the 2017-18 school year at Fairfax High School, according to a Fairfax County Public Schools spokesperson.
A tweet from the General Consulate of Saudi Arabia in New York stated that the sisters were Saudi citizens and they are following this case closely with authorities.
The Consulate General is following closely with local authorities the investigation of the two Saudi citizens found in the Hudson river.— القنصلية العامة في نيويورك (@KSAconsulateNY) October 29, 2018
تتابع القنصلية العامة مع السلطات المحلية تفاصيل حادثة قضية المواطنتين السعوديتين اللتين عثر عليهما في نهر هدسون.
Autopsy results for the sisters are still pending, the New York Medical Examiner’s Office says.