2 bound bodies found in NYC were missing Virginia sisters

A passerby called police after spotting the bodies

Police in NY searched yesterday for clues to what, or who, killed two sisters whose bodies were found duct-taped together on the banks of the Hudson River in Manhattan.

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.

She told them she had received a call from an official at the Saudi embassy, ordering the family to leave the U.S. as her daughters had applied for political asylum.

The police department released new passport-style photographs on Wednesday showing the two young women with headscarves over their hair.

The sisters were Saudi citizens and students who were accompanying their brother in Washington, the Royal Consulate General of Saudi Arabia in NY said Tuesday in a statement.

Tala Farea was 16 years old at the time of her death. Dermot Shea, NYPD Chief of Detectives, tweeted on Wednesday.

The medical examiner's office will determine the causes of death as the investigation continues.

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The sisters were pronounced dead where they were found along the riverbank, police said.

"I think we've made significant progress in piecing together pieces of this puzzle to find out what happened", Shea said. Their bodies, which had no obvious signs of trauma, were discovered about 225 miles away from Fairfax, Virginia, where they lived and vanished in August.

The family, originally from Jeddah, had not experienced any major familial troubles, a relative told Saudi newspaper Arab News, dismissing reports they may had taken their own lives.

Their mother filed another missing persons report recently but withdrew it after she said her younger daughter called her and told her she was visiting Rotana in the city. A George Mason spokesman called the news of her death "tragic", and said the university was cooperating with police.

The Royal Consulate General of Saudi Arabia in NY confirmed in a statement Tuesday that the Farea sisters were students accompanying their brother in Washington, D.C.

They had also both been placed in a shelter after a disappearance in December previous year, although it is not clear how long they spent there.

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