An air of both mystery and tragedy surrounds the death of two Saudi Arabian sisters whose bodies were found in a Sydney apartment they shared in the suburb of Canterbury earlier this year.
Police believe Asra Abdullah Alsehli, 24, and Amaal Abdullah Alsehli, 23, had been dead for over a month before anyone noticed their absence and reported it to authorities.
Even then, the only reason they were found is they were behind on their rent and no friends or family have come forward to explain how two beautiful young women ended up where they did.
Despite it being over two months since their bodies were discovered in the Canterbury unit, authorities are still struggling to make sense of what led to the young women’s demise.
Leaked evidence now suggests they may have taken their own lives by consuming toxic chemicals – although police have only gone as far as to say the deaths were “suspicious” and “unusual”.
Their bodies were found in separate rooms, in their beds, next to which were reportedly bottles of chemicals and other substances.
“There’s no indication of anyone else being in the unit… no forced entry. It really does appear to be a tragic suicide,” a senior police source told The Daily Telegraph this week.
Interim toxicology results reportedly showed traces of those substances in the women’s bodies, however the coroner has delayed delivering a final ruling while further testing is conducted.
Police say the period of time before the girls were discovered has been “problematic”.
It is understood the girls – who arrived in Australia in 2017 – had applied for protection visas with the Department of Home Affairs. It is not known what the nature or cause of their claims were.
Older sister Asra had also applied for an apprehended violence order (AVO) with the courts back in 2018 against an unknown person who was later withdrawn.
The strange circumstances in which the girls were found have led the apartment complex’s manager, Michael Baird, who had interactions with the girls on several occasions to suggest their deaths didn’t add up.
“Two young women do not commit suicide together unless they’re doing it together. They don’t get naked, they don’t go to separate rooms, they don’t die separately,” he told the ABC.
The girls’ final months were marked by their belief someone may have been attempting to monitor or interfere with them at the apartment.
In January this year younger sister Amaal reportedly sent an email requesting to check the building’s security footage.
In it she said she was concerned someone had tampered with a recent food delivery they had received.
“I think the girls were very, very scared. Very afraid of something. And we’re not sure whether it was something or someone, they didn’t tell us,” Mr Baird said.
They would again contact the building manager following an incident in which their car was “keyed” by an unknown person.
“We believed that it was not a personal attack on them because they’d parked their car in an unusual position. And somebody’s obviously taken offense to it,” Mr Baird said.
Police were called to the girls’ apartment in mid-March to conduct a welfare check following a call from the building manager.
After knocking on the girl’s door police say there were “no issues raised” that would prompt them to take further action.
Last week investigators released the girls’ identities and photos in an effort to encourage anyone who knew them or could help with the investigation to come forward.
However, their isolated existence meant few people noticed them as they went about their lives mostly at home in the apartment.
It was only because the girls were behind on their rent to the tune of more than $5000 that a sheriff was called to the unit at the landlord’s behavior, leading to the discovery of their bodies.
Their only family will remain in Saudi Arabia and have instructed the Saudi consulate to act on their behalf.
Police say the family are assisting with inquiries and there is nothing to suggest they were involved in the girls’ deaths.