The ‘luxurious’ apartment where two young Saudi sisters lay decomposing for a month is open for inspection with a $40 rent hike – but there’s little the real estate can do to mask the acrid stench of death.
Asra Abdullah Alsehli, 24, and Amaal Abdullah Alsehli, 23, died a month before their bodies were found in separate bedrooms of their Canterbury apartment, in Sydney‘s south-west, on June 7.
Two months’ on from the grisly discovery, their deaths remain a mystery.
No one has been arrested and police still aren’t certain how two seemingly healthy young women died in the same place at the same time and lay there, undetected, for a month.
Their remains were only uncovered during a police welfare check – conducted because they owed the landlord about $5,000 worth of unpaid rent, having failed to hand over their weekly $480 since mid-March.
Unable to recoup the hefty financial loss, the owner gave the unit a fresh lick of paint, lay new floorboards, increased the price to $540 per week, and opened it up for public inspection on Saturday morning.
Crime scenes normally cause price reductions, but the real estate agent said most prospective tenants were interested because surrounding units cost about $580 per week.
Pictured: Asra Abdullah Alsehli, 24, and her younger sister Amaal Abdullah Alsehli, 23, who were found dead in their Canterbury unit on June 7
Before entering the property, prospective tenants received the same verbal disclaimer from the realtor – ‘some people died in there but it’s all been cleaned and it’s all OK’.
‘I just have to tell you that.’
The news didn’t come as a surprise to anyone – most weren’t interested in signing the lease.
Upon entering the unit on the relatively warm winter’s morning, sun beamed through the large balcony doors and bounced off the tiles, white walls and laminated kitchen cabinets – filling the open-plan living space with light.
However, there was a curious smell that became increasingly difficult to ignore.
At first, it was easy enough to brush the smell off as chemical residue left over from the crime scene, or perhaps Pine O Cleen and Windex from the post-investigation cleaning blitz.
It’s understood bottles of chemicals, such as bleach and other substances, were discovered beside their bodies found in separate bedrooms – leading detectives to suspect the pair planned to take their own lives.
Interim toxicology results showed traces of the substances found in the bedrooms also inside the women’s bodies, but the cause of death has still not been confirmed.
But even with fresh air streaming into the unit via the large balcony doors on Saturday morning, the aroma was present – particularly in the two small bedrooms – and it didn’t smell like bleach or cleaning products.
In fact, the acrid smell that had initially been difficult to pinpoint was suddenly, unmistakably, one of death and decay.
According to the online advertisement, the property has ‘spacious balconies’ that allow ‘airflow’
‘Unsettling’ was an understatement and ‘eerie’ wasn’t the right word. It felt like despair.
The front bedroom had its own balcony door overlooking Canterbury Road – a busy thoroughfare where trucks, buses, cars and people stream past at all hours.
Thousands of unassuming people would have passed by between when the Alsehli sisters died in May, and when they were found in June – completely unaware of the heartbreaking situation that lay behind a few inches of plaster.
In the real estate listing, the unit was described as a place that ‘ensures a life of seamless and luxurious comfort’.
In reality, the bedrooms were cramped and awkwardly-shaped – trying to squeeze a double bed in either would be a challenge, though one did have an ensuite and both had built-ins, albeit, small ones.
The kitchen was, indeed, equipped with stainless steel appliances and, as the listing promised, there were ‘reconstituted stone benches, mirrored splashback, and subtle leaf motif details keep the lines clean yet natural for a timeless contemporary look’.
‘Marble-look tiles’ and ‘frameless showers’ could also be seen, though whether they were ‘paired with elegant detailing carrying through the easy, layered mood’ was questionable.
The mood was definitely layered, but perhaps not in the way the owner intended.
While there was a disclaimer on the listing that said the sisters’ deaths was ‘not a random crime and will not be a potential risk for the community’, it’s difficult to imagine living there and sleeping soundly.
Not due to any fear the new occupant would succumb to the same fate, but because it simply felt like tragedy inside.
At the very least, the new tenant would probably suffer headaches from the smell alone – stepping into the fresh air after the viewing was a relief.
The smell will undoubtedly cease to linger as time wears on – at which point, it might even be a nice place to live.
New theory Saudi sisters were living in fear over their sexuality – and attended a ‘girls only’ queer event
A new theory has emerged two Saudi sisters found dead could have feared persecution for their sexuality after it was revealed they attended a queer event.
A woman, who wished to remain anonymous, said she met the sisters at a girls-only queer event in January, The Guardian reported.
She claimed police believe one of the sisters identified as queer and are unsure of the sexual orientation of the other one.
The woman described the sisters as ‘shy’ and said they were reluctant to talk more about their personal lives in Saudi Arabia.
‘They mentioned that they were from Saudi Arabia, and we talked about what it is like to be queer there,’ she said.
‘They said women live in fear of their safety and that they were grateful to be living in Australia, where they could more freely express themselves.’
‘What’s terribly sad is they told me they were excited to be out at an event like this and that they were ready to start exploring more of Sydney.’
The woman said she contacted police after recognising photos of the sisters that were released by police following the discovery of their bodies.
NSW Police refused to comment when approached by Daily Mail Australia.
‘As the investigation is ongoing, police continue to appeal for information in relation to the death of the two women,’ a spokesperson said.
‘No further information is available at this stage.’
A black BMW coupe covered in dust was removed from the garage of the apartment block the day after the bodies were found
Very little is known about the sisters lives both in Saudi Arabia and in Sydney, however, they are believed to have left their homeland in 2017.
They were not in regular contact with their family, and were both actively seeking asylum in Australia.
They were also in contact with a refugee service for the past five years, which helps foreign nationals escaping persecution and seeking asylum.
Police are to yet rule out homicide or suicide as investigations continue.
EXCLUSIVE: Major twist in Saudi sister timeline: How landlord sent letters warning them to pay up or ELSE…not realising they were already DEAD in their bedrooms
Two Saudi sisters stopped paying rent ten weeks before their decomposing bodies were found in a south-west Sydney unit, in a major timeline twist surrounding their mysterious deaths.
A letter sent on behalf of the landlord, exclusively obtained from a tribunal by Daily Mail Australia, show that Asra Abdullah Alsehli, 24, and Amaal Abdullah Alsehli, 23, racked up a $5,142.86 debt by May 13 – almost a month before their bodies were found, on June 7.
The sisters also owed $26.18 in outstanding water bills.
Their remains were uncovered in separate rooms of their $480-per-week Canterbury apartment by police during the last of three welfare checks.
The first check was conducted in mid-March – around the same time they stopped paying rent – after the property’s building manager raised concerns for their wellbeing because food was left out in common areas.
Attending officers said the women appeared fine, and left the unit.
The second check was done between March and June, before their bodies were found during the final visit.
By the time the NSW Civil & Administrative Tribunal scheduled a hearing to address the rental debt on May 13, they were likely dead.
Daily Mail Australia is not suggesting the landlord was in any way responsible for the sister’s deaths.
READ THE EVICTION LETTER:
On 13-May-2022 the following orders were made:
The Residential Tenancy Agreement is terminated immediately and possession is to be given to the landlord on the date of termination.
The order for possession is suspended until 20-May-2022
The tenant shall pay the landlord a daily occupation fee at the rate of $68.57 per day from the day after the date of termination, namely 14-May-2022 until the date vacant possession is given to the landlord.
Within 60 days of the date for possession of the premises specified in these orders the landlord may request the relisting of the application to determine the amount of the occupation fee owing.
The landlord’s agent is to advise the tenant in writing by the delivery of a letter to the premises by 6:00 pm on 13-May-2022 of the orders made today.
The tenant is to pay the landlord the sum of $5,169.04 immediately. Failure to pay any instalment in this order by the due date will result in the whole of the balance being payable immediately.
The tenant has not appeared before the Tribunal in the hearing [on May 13].
Having regard to the Registrar’s statutory declaration concerning notice and listing procedures in the Tribunal’s registries, The Tribunal finds that a copy of the Notice of Hearing was sent to the tenant.
It has not been returned to the Tribunal. There is nothing to suggest that it was not received by the tenant. The Tribunal is satisfied that the tenant has been served with notice of the hearing today.
According to the letter addressed to Amaal from the Tribunal on May 13, the women did not attend the hearing and were subsequently ordered to pay any amount of the total sum ‘immediately’.
Their lease was effectively torn up and they were given until May 20 to vacate the property, though it is unclear why the motion wasn’t enforced.
For every day they remained at the property after May 14, they were charged an additional $68.57.
It wasn’t until June 7 when police arrived to evict them that anyone realised they were dead.
There was no sign of forced entry, no clear signs of injury, and the cause of death remains undetermined – although is being treated as suspicious.
Police are hoping toxicology reports shed light on the situation.
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Forensic police scoured the unit (pictured) in the wake of the grisly discovery on June 7 – a month after the women died
SAUDI SISTERS MYSTERY TIMELINE
2017: Asra Abdullah Alsehli, 24, and Amaal Abdullah Alsehli, 23, are believed to have fled Saudi Arabia.
Upon arrival, they made contact with a refugee centre.
2019: Asra took an AVO out against a man, but it was later withdrawn.
2020: They frequently visited a service station around their flat, with locals describing them as ‘friendly’.
March, 2022: The sisters stopped paying $480/week for their Canterbury unit.
Police conducted the first of three welfare checks.
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 unit filed a civil case against Asra on May 13 due to $5,142.86 in outstanding rent.
That action was taken before 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.