Tala was last seen Aug, 24, according to a posting on the website of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.
"We're looking at a two-month gap", Shea said, referring to the time since Tala was reported missing. Police initially believed the sisters committed suicide by jumping off of the nearby George Washington Bridge, but further investigation revealed no signs of trauma that would indicate a plunge from the bridge, police said.
Rather than live on campus like many of her classmates, Rotana traveled back to her home in Falls Church, Virginia where she lived with her mother, brother and Tala.
In December 2017, police said the sisters were placed in a shelter after an earlier disappearance in 2017.
The mother of Tala Farea, 16, and Rotana Farea, 22, told detectives that she learned the girls applied for asylum in the United States the day before their bodies washed up on the East Side of Manhattan from the Hudson River.
The NYPD says there's no known nexus between the sisters' death and the Saudi government.
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NY and Arab media said the sisters, who had run away from home before, were of Saudi origin but their family was living in Fairfax, Virginia.
They said there was no reason to think the sister was abducted or in danger, which is why no images were released to the public. "Those interviews [with relatives in Virginia] are really unraveling in some way a piece of the puzzle of, behind the scenes, what was going on in the two young ladies' lives".
Fairfax police confirmed to DailyMail.com that at least one Farea sister was reported missing by family.
Anyone with information about what happened is urged to call the NYPD's Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477) or for Spanish, 1-888-57-PISTA (74782).
The consulate said it has "appointed an attorney to follow the case closely", and that authorities "are following closely and constantly for details on the case including the forensic reports showing the causes of death which have not yet been finalized and is still under investigation".
"The embassy of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in Washington, D.C. has reached out to the citizens' family and extended its support and aid in this trying time", the statement said.