NYPD and Saudi Arabian embassy officials have challenged a claim made to the Associated Press by the family of two sisters found dead in the Hudson River last week, who reportedly said they were ordered to leave the U.S. a day before the bodies of Tala Farea, 16, and Rotana Farea, 22, were discovered near Riverside Park in Manhattan on the afternoon of October 24.
As CrimeOnline previously reported, detectives told the Associated Press that Tala and Farea’s mother claimed the family received a call from the Saudi Arabian embassy last week, the day before the bodies were found, ordering the family to leave the U.S. because the sisters had reportedly applied for asylum.
But Arab News reports that the NYPD has denied the officer handling the investigation was the source for the Associated Press story, which stated that the information came from New York police. Further, the Arab News report states that a Saudi embassy source “categorically” denied a call was made to the mother regarding the girl’s purported aslyum request.
“Any/All communication with the mother had nothing to do with a supposed asylum claim,” the unidentified Saudi embassy official reportedly told Arab News, while appearing to indicate that the Farea family had some type of communication with the embassy.
CrimeOnline contacted both the Saudi Arabian embassy and the NYPD, and has not yet been able to independently verify the claims in the recent report.
The medical examination to determine the cause of death is still pending, and the NYPD released photos of the sisters on Wednesday in an appeal to the public to come forward if they recognized the teen and the young woman.
Anyone with information is urged to call CrimeStoppers at 800-577-TIPS.