Identical twins Patricia and Joan Miller didn’t spend much time apart in life. So in a way, it seems natural that the 73-year-olds both mysteriously died in the South Lake Tahoe home they rarely ventured away from.
With no signs of struggle or blood and no record of ongoing health issues, police don’t know why one body was discovered in a downstairs bedroom and the other just outside the room in the hallway. Detective Matt Harwood of the El Dorado County sheriff’s office told the Associated Press “my perception is one died and the other couldn’t handle it.” The deaths appear natural.
Earlier in life, during the 1950s, the pair sang and danced for Bing Crosby, military troops and on television. They purchased their four-bedroom Californian home together—which was kept up nicely—in 1976, and slowly retracted from society.
(PHOTOS: The Annual Twins Day Festival)
Police were conducting routine checks on the house, because of an outside worry that the sisters weren’t sufficiently taking care of their hydration and nutrition needs. An ambulance was seen at the residence about a year ago. This time, when the police arrived in late February, there was no answer. The next day police tried to visit the sisters again and decided to force entry into the home, finding the bodies.
Without husbands, children or even pets, police have turned to the public to help find any family for the sisters, a family they haven’t yet been able to locate.
“The circumstance surrounding their death is somewhat of an enigma,” Harwood told media. “These two only ever had each other, and we would like, at least for their sake, to notify their family.”
The sisters, by all accounts, weren’t eccentric. They were born in Portland, Ore., and moved to San Francisco before their entertainment career took off for a while. Eventually they settled into regular jobs, with Joan Miller as a senior accounting clerk in the payroll department at the Lake Tahoe Unified School District for five years until 1984 and Patricia Miller working for El Dorado County’s social services office during the same time period.
Those who saw them around town say they were truly inseparable and knew of nobody else in their lives. They weren’t likely to stay on the phone and didn’t chat with the neighbors.
The sisters listed each other as their next of kin, Harwood said. “All they had was each other, and that’s actually the way they wanted it.”