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Asra Alsehli, Amaal Alsehli mystery: Haunting pictures of Saudi sisters found dead in Canterbury

2 weeks ago 244

The first pictures have been released of the two Saudi sisters who were found dead in Sydney's south-west in 'suspicious' circumstances - as cops plead for assistance in solving the mystery.

The bodies of Asra Abdullah Alsehli, 24, and Amaal Abdullah Alsehli, 23, were found in their first-floor unit in Canterbury, in Sydney's south-west, on June 7.

Detective Claudia Allcroft said on Wednesday that investigators believe the women died in early May - a month before their decomposing remains were uncovered by officers conducting a welfare check.

'Detectives are interested in speaking with anyone who may have seen or who may have information about the women's movements in the days and weeks prior to their deaths,' she said.

Police are yet to determine a cause of death.

They are also unable to say what the women did for work, despite Asra having an ABN. 

Pictured: Amaal Abdullah Alsehli, 23. Her body was found on June 7 in a Canterbury apartment

Pictured: Asra Abdullah Alsehli, 24. She and her sister were found dead in Sydney's south-west under 'suspicious' circumstances

'We hope that someone may be able to assist our investigators - either through sightings, or those who knew the sisters and may have some information on their movements prior to their death,' Detective Allcroft said.

She added that the manager of their apartment building contacted police in mid-March.

'I believe there was food that had been left out in the common areas, and he contacted police as he was concerned for their welfare,' she said.

Attending officers said the women 'appeared fine' and there was no further action required. 

The family are assisting police with their inquiries. 

Amaal and Asra were discovered in separate beds of their first-floor Canterbury unit on June 7 after they failed to pay rent for four weeks, and mail was piling up outside their door.

During the initial investigation, police said their bodies had been there for 'some time', had no obvious signs of injury, and there were no signs of forced entry.

Daily Mail Australia understands the siblings fled Saudi Arabia without their family in 2017 when they were 18 and 19.

They were engaged with a refugee service five years, which helps foreign nationals escaping persecution and seeking asylum.

The sisters were not in regular contact with their relatives back home, sources previously told Daily Mail Australia.

Asra took an AVO against a 28-year-old man in late-2018, but it was later withdrawn and dismissed in January the following year.

The bodies of the two women were found in a Canterbury apartment block (pictured)

In another court matter, the owner of their Canterbury unit filed a civil case against Asra on May 13 this year. 

Landlords can issue tenants with legal warning notices via the civil court for overdue rent before taking further action to have them removed from the property. 

That action was taken four weeks after sheriff's officers went to the apartment to serve the women with an eviction notice - alongside police - and the grisly discovery was made. 

It is unclear what attempts were made by real estate company, Property Investors Alliance (PIA), which was managing the lease, to contact Asra during the weeks before the sisters were found.

PIA refused numerous requests for comment by Daily Mail Australia.

Daily Mail Australia understands the women fled the Middle East in 2017 to seek shelter in Australia. They were regulars at a petrol station (pictured) near their Canterbury unit 

Police are pictured at the apartment block on June 8.

Forensics scoured the unit (pictured) in the wake of the grisly discovery 

Despite their traumatic past, locals said the women were cheerful towards neighbours.

Staff at a nearby service station said the women started visiting in 2020, just before the Covid pandemic, and were regulars until May when they stopped passing by. 

They described the pair - one brunette and the other dyed blonde - as 'quiet' but 'very friendly', and said they would only respond to questions. 

One female attendant said the sisters would visit the store to pick up drinks during the day, but only appeared to fill up their black BMW coupe with petrol at night. 

'One girl would come in to buy iced coffee and sometimes V [energy drink]. ' Sometimes two or three times a day,' one female attendant said.

'I never served her sister but I would see them walking up the street together. When I found out what happened to them, I was very shocked and confused.

A black BMW coupe covered in dust was removed from the garage of the apartment block

'She was so friendly. Every time she came in and I talked to her she would smile. She never looked sad.'

The Department of Home Affairs would not confirm if the women were seeking asylum in Australia. 

'The department does not comment on individual cases,' a spokesman said. 

Daily Mail Australia also contacted the Consulate General of Saudi Arabia for comment.

In 2019, a Four Corners report found around 80 Saudi Arabian women had tried to seek asylum in Australia in recent years. 

The investigation found the many of them were fleeing Saudi Arabia's male guardianship laws, which allow their husbands, fathers, brothers, uncles and sons to control their lives.

The sisters' reasons for leaving their homeland remains unclear and Daily Mail Australia does not suggest it was due to guardianship laws.  

The latest revelations come after Daily Mail Australia revealed there were two prior welfare checks, one done by police, on the women in the months leading up to their discovery.

Investigators spent days the apartment building with forensic teams poring over the scene

Detective Inspector Claudia Allcroft said the deaths of the sisters appeared to be suspicious

In one of the checks the women, the pair were described as 'timid' and refused to let anyone enter the apartment.

But after protests from a concerned party, the sisters eventually allowed the check to occur, but spent it huddled together in the far corner of the unit. 

One sat down while the other cowered behind her as they answered simple questions about their wellbeing. 

'They were standoffish and didn't really want to talk,' a source said. 

'Something felt off, but they said they were ok. What more could anyone do?' 

In a separate incident months earlier, the sisters' black car - which was towed away from their apartment last week - was keyed.

Anyone who may have information that could assist detectives is urged to contact Burwood Police Station or Crime Stoppers. 


2017: It is understood Asra Abdullah Alsehli, 24, and Amaal Abdullah Alsehli, 23, fled Saudi Arabia to seek safe shelter in Australia.

Began communications with a refugee agency which helps people escaping persecution. 

2019: Asra took an AVO out against a man, but it was later dismissed.

2020: They frequently visited a service station around their flat, with locals describing them as 'friendly'.

2022: Police conducted two welfare checks early in the year.

In one of the checks, the pair were described as 'timid' and refused to let anyone enter the apartment.

They eventually allowed officers to enter, but stayed huddled together in the far corner of the unit.

May, 2022: The owner of their Canterbury unit filed a civil case against Asra on May 13.

That action was taken four weeks after sheriff's officers went to the apartment to serve the women with an eviction notice.

June 7, 2022: Officers conducting a welfare check made the grisly discovery. 

There was no sign of forced entry. 

Police believe the sisters died in May, but have not been able to determine a cause of death.

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