Tala and Rotana Farea, the sisters from Saudi Arabia whose bodies were found taped together in New York City’s Hudson River last week, were said to have preferred suicide over returning to their home country, police said.
Dermot Shea, chief of detectives for the New York City Police Department, said “sources” in Virginia, where the Farea sisters had previously been living, informed investigators that the two women had been in the United States for about three years and would “rather inflect harm on themselves and commit suicide than return to Saudi Arabia.”
“Everything that we’ve seen thus far is pointing to something other than a crime taking place,” Shea told reporters at a press conference Friday afternoon. “But we’re not ruling anything out.”
Detectives believe the girls may have applied for asylum in the United States after reporting that they were physically abused, Shea said.
The medical examiner’s office will ultimately determine the causes of death as the investigation continues.