Mystery of sisters found taped together deepens

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She later said she hadn't seen either girl since then.

The Farea sisters moved from Saudi Arabia to Fairfax, Virginia, in 2015 with their mother, and had a history of running away from home, according to United States officials. "Meet them? See them?" NYPD Chief Detective Dermot Shea told reporters on Wednesday that detectives have gone to Virginia and interviewed family and associates.

Police also urged anyone who saw the sisters between August 24 and October 24 - the timeframe of when they were reported missing to when their bodies were discovered - to come forward with information.

"We are looking at all clues in their past life", he said.

NYT reported that investigators were trying to determine how the two sisters ended up in the riverbank at Riverside Park.

A passerby called 911 at 2.40pm on Wednesday after spotting the two bodies, which were found laying on rocks by the river when police arrived at the scene.

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The Associated Press, citing NY police, said that the day before their bodies were discovered, their mother received a call from an official at the Saudi embassy ordering the family to leave because the girls had applied for political asylum. Police initially believed the sisters committed suicide by jumping off of the nearby George Washington Bridge, but further investigation revealed no signs of trauma that would indicate a plunge from the bridge, police said.

In a statement made public by members of the victims' family on Sunday, "they denied claims that the two sisters had been missing for two months".

Anyone with information about the Farea sisters is urged to call the New York City Police Department's Crime Stoppers hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS.

Police had originally theorised that the girls may have jumped from the George Washington Bridge, but ruled that out after finding a lack of obvious injuries which they would have sustained in the fall.

Embassy officials said they were "following closely and constantly for details on the case" and had appointed a lawyer to help in this. Law&Crime repeatedly reached out to the Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia in Washington, D.C. for comment or clarification on the mother's allegation but no response was forthcoming at the time of publication.