Investigators say that there was likely no criminality in the mysterious deaths of two sisters found bound together on the banks of the Hudson River last month. Instead, police believe that Tala and Rotana Farea may have taken their own lives after their application for political asylum from Saudi Arabia was denied.

During a news briefing on Friday, NYPD Chief of Detectives Dermot Shea said that detectives were informed by a source that the sisters "would rather inflict harm on themselves, commit suicide" than return to Saudi Arabia, where they last lived three years ago. The sisters, ages 16 and 22, had been placed in a shelter in Virginia in December of last year, according to Shea, after reporting physical abuse by family members.

They disappeared from that facility in August, and are believed to have taken "a series of methods of transportation" that ultimately brought them to New York City in September. Credit card records reviewed by the NYPD show that they stayed at a "number of high end hotels" and ate a "pattern of meals until the credit card started to run out," Shea said. They were seen on surveillance footage, apparently in good health, a week before their bodies were discovered.

A witness claims to have seen the sisters praying near the Hudson River on the morning of October 24th. Hours later, they were found dead, fully clothed and belted together with duct tape at their waist and ankles.

While police have previously said that their bodies showed no signs of trauma, officials now note that water was found in the sisters' lungs—meaning they likely entered the water alive. Authorities have not ruled out other possibilities of death, and an investigation remains ongoing.

Anyone with additional information is urged to call CrimeStoppers 800-577-TIPS.