The case remains steeped in mystery more than a week after the bodies of 22-year-old Rotana Farea and 16-year-old Tala Farea of Fairfax, Virginia, were discovered in upper Manhattan with their feet and waists bound together by duct tape.
Speaking this week, Dermot Shea, the New York Police Department's chief of detectives, said: "Are there any clues down in Virginia in their past life?"
Police are trying to piece together information after two women were found dead along the Hudson River in NY. The sisters, ages 16 and 22, had been placed in a shelter in Virginia in December of previous year, according to Shea, after reporting physical abuse by family members.
According to credit card records reviewed by the New York Police Department, Rotana Farea, 22, and Tala Farea, 16, arrived in New York from Philadelphia two months ago after visiting Washington.
The sisters were last seen in Fairfax on August 24.
The sisters' bodies were taped together, facing each other and fully clothed, police said.
The Saudi consulate in NY said it had "appointed an attorney to follow the case closely", while the Saudi embassy in Washington contacted the family and "extended its support and aid in this trying time".
Video surveillance showed the sisters alone, apparently in good health several days before they were discovered, Shea said.More news: Sensor failure led to Soyuz launch failure, says Roscosmos
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They were reported missing in Fairfax on September 12.
Despite initial reports that the sisters were bound together, Shea said he would describe the tape as "not binding them together, but keeping them together". The medical examiner has yet to rule on their death and the case remains under investigation, he said.
Earlier this week, police said the mother of the girls claimed she received a call from the Saudi Arabian embassy in Washington, D.C.
Last December, they ran away from their Fairfax, Va. home for the first time. At the time, police said the sisters were referred to county family services.
While investigators believe their deaths are suicides, the official said, they are investigating the circumstances surrounding them.
Rotana had been enrolled at George Mason University but left in the spring. The family members said Tala had run away to NY without telling the family because she wanted to be with her sister, who family members said was attending college there.
The jogger who said he saw the sisters praying went to the police on Wednesday.
But the Saudi newspaper "Arab News", citing family members, reported that the search was called off when it was discovered she was visiting her sister at an unspecified college in NY.