Saudi Arabian Sister Suicide?

Gia Napoleon, Editor

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A pair of Saudi Arabian sisters were found dead near the Riverside Park in the Upper West Side of Manhattan on October 24, 2018. The girls were found wearing similar black leggings and fur trimmed parkas tied together with duct tape around their waists and ankles. Chief of Detectives and Lead Investigator, Dermot Shea stated that the duct tape was “keeping them together” but wasn’t meant to bind them (CNN). Because of this, the New York Police have said that the sisters could have died as a result of a double suicide (Arab News).

Authorities initially believed the sisters, Tala (16) and Rotan (22) Ferea, killed themselves by jumping from the nearby George Washington Bridge, but further investigation revealed no signs of trauma that would indicate such a plunge, Shea reported (Time).

Further evidence established that the sisters’ family had not seen the pair since they went missing on Nov. 30, 2017. After they were located by authorities in December 2017, they were placed into domestic violence center in Virginia. Police said the sisters went on to live in the Virginia facility “due to abuse allegations” until August of this year, when they went missing again. Uber records show that the girls had traveled around for a while until they arrived in New York on September 1, 2018. (Fox News).

The police stated that an eyewitness saw who he believed to be the Ferea sisters at around 7 am on October 24 in Riverside Park. According to the witness, the two women were sitting 30 feet apart with their heads in their hands and making loud noises described as praying. Police said they have credible sources that say the sisters expressed “they would rather commit suicide than return to Saudi Arabia” (Time)

The mysterious deaths of the Farea sisters have occurred at a time of tension between the United States and Saudi Arabia following the death of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi. He was brutally murdered and dismembered in a Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul. Assault and murder have not been ruled out in the case, but the cause of death is still being investigated and has yet to be uncovered.

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