In August, a large family moved from Texas to Fairfax, Virginia, settling on a three bedroom apartment in Fairfax Corner; a quaint gated community, nestled in a shopping district.
A few days ago, a 20-year-old family member, who asked to remain nameless, strayed from her routine and turned on the news.
What she saw, terrified her.
The story of Tala and Rotana Farea.
The New York City Police Department confirmed Tala, 16, and Rotana, 22, were found dead last Wednesday.
The girls were found along the Hudson River, in the area of Riverside Park, in New York City. Police confirm the sisters had been bound together with duct tape at the waist and ankles. Police believe the girls were not in the water for long.
The sisters were both wearing black coats with fur trim and black leggings.
Police said there were no obvious signs of trauma. Monday afternoon, there was no update on the medical examiner's report.
“I said a prayer for their families, and went to bed.” the 20-year-old said.
A few days later, there was a knock on her door. It was a reporter -- the girls had lived in the family’s new apartment.
The family immediately sought information from officials.
“I was told that it was a bad situation.” the girl said.
Tala Farea was listed as missing on August 24. Less than two months later, she, and her sister were dead.
A handful of apartment staff members said they were notified at least one of the sisters ran away previously. More specifically, had “run away again.”
A document regarding an unlawful detainer at Fairfax Corner in June 2017 shows that Rotana Farea had lived in the apartment with multiple people. Though, most neighbors and staff members say they saw Tala far more, and believe Rotana was living elsewhere at certain points.
The judgment was left blank in the case. Former neighbors confirm that the family moved out of the apartment in August 2018, shortly after Tala was reported missing.
A former neighbor said he was approached by the girls mother in September. She told the man she did not know where her daughter was. He told her to contact the police.
In July 2016, an unlawful detainer shows that Rotana Farea had been living at Skyline Towers apartments in Falls Church, Va. with Abdulsalam Farea. Abdulsalam is listed as Tala’s middle name. The management group won the case, and was awarded immediate possession of the apartment -- which would typically mean the Farea’s were evicted.
Reports from acquaintances on family members, and relationships were too sparse to responsibly report. Though everyone the family encountered recalled meeting two people who identified themselves as the girl’s mother and father, at some point.
The Royal Consulate General of Saudi Arabia in New York issued a statement, confirming that the sisters were both Saudi Arabian citizens. The consulate says the sisters were students, “accompanying their brother in Washington.”
Arabic media outlets have reported that the sisters were seeking asylum in the United States. The NYPD would not confirm, nor deny, the statement.
The Saudi Consulate stated that they have appointed an attorney to follow the case closely. The statement also mentioned being “mindful to keep the details of the case private,” and “to avoid inaccurate reporting.”
Read their full statement here: https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DqxemyHX4AIrtgd.jpg:large
Anyone with information is urged to contact the New York City Police Department.