NYPD: Fairfax girls found dead had threatened to harm themselves rather than return to Saudi Arabia

- Police investigating the mysterious deaths of two Saudi Arabian sisters whose bound bodies washed up in New York City last week say they arrived from Fairfax, Virginia, on Sept. 1.

Investigators maintained that there are no indications that criminal activity led to their deaths – but they were still pursuing all avenues.

They believe the sisters most likely took their own lives.

One witness told investigators he saw the sisters making prayer gestures before they died.

In addition, they had indicated that they’d rather harm themselves than return to Saudi Arabia.

Police say credit card records show 16-year-old Tala Farea and 23-year-old Rotana Farea first stopped in D.C. and Philadelphia.

The sisters were last seen in Fairfax on Aug. 24. Their bodies were discovered Oct. 24 on the Manhattan waterfront.

Police say there were no signs of trauma and it appeared that they were alive when they went into the water.

The New York Police Department says there's no evidence the sisters went anywhere else after arriving in New York. Police wouldn't say how they traveled or where they stayed.

According to police, the sisters had been staying in multiple hotels in the city that they described as “high end,” and that a credit card they were using had been maxed out.

Investigators also believe the duct tape used to secure the sisters was placed in a way that would help them stay together, rather than bind them together.

Tala and Rotana moved to the U.S. from Saudi Arabia with their mother in 2015 and settled in Fairfax.

Rotana was enrolled at George Mason University but left in the spring. A George Mason spokesman called the news of her death "tragic," and said the university was cooperating with police.

Police said the sisters left their family home and were placed in a shelter after an earlier disappearance in December 2017.

They were reported missing again Aug. 24.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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