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Sisters found bound together in New York river 'committed suicide' fearing return to Saudi Arabia Open in fullscreen

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Sisters found bound together in New York river 'committed suicide' fearing return to Saudi Arabia

Tala [L] and Rotana Farea [R] had stayed in Manhattan since September 1 [NYPD]

Date of publication: 23 January, 2019

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US medical examiners have concluded that two Saudi sisters found dead in New York's Hudson River had killed themselves.


Two Saudi sisters whose bodies were found mysteriously
bound together in a New York waterfront in October killed themselves, medical examiners have concluded.

Tala Farea, 16, and Rotana Farea, 23, "bound themselves together before descending into the Hudson River", Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Barbara Sampson said in a statement on Tuesday. The cause of death was drowning.

Their fully clothed bodies were discovered on 24 October near the river, two months after they were last seen in Fairfax, Virginia, where they had been living in a shelter amid allegations that they were abused at home.

New York City Police Chief of Detectives Dermot Shea said people who knew the Farea sisters in Virginia told investigators that they made statements within the last year indicating "that they would rather inflict harm on themselves - commit suicide - than return to Saudi Arabia".

Tala and Rotana moved to the US from Saudi Arabia with their mother in 2015, settling in Fairfax, a suburb of Washington DC.

Rotana was enrolled at George Mason University, but left in the spring.

The sisters left their family home and were placed in a shelter after an earlier disappearance in December 2017, according to police.

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