Identical twin sisters Patricia and Joan Miller were born together, were deeply connected their whole lives, and it appears they even died together at the age of 73. Police found them dead in their home, and what they've been able to find out so far paints a sad but fascinating picture of a shared life.

When they were young, Patricia and Joan sang and danced for the likes of Bing Crosby and U.S. troops, and they were also on a TV show in the 1950s, but as they got older, their lives became increasingly reclusive and strange. Neither of them ever married or had children or even pets. As they grew up, the identical twins withdrew socially and rarely left their home. When police found them dead last week, one was in a downstairs bedroom and the other was in the hallway just outside it. El Dorado County detective Matt Harwood said, "My perception is one died and the other couldn't handle it. It appears purely natural, but we are still trying to piece it all together."


There were no signs of foul play, and there wasn't even anything to indicate the women had ongoing health problems. Though it appears they may have been treated for malnutrition or dehydration recently. The house was in good shape, so it wasn't a hoarder-type situation. The police haven't been able to identify any extended family or close friends of the sisters. They even took the unusual step of releasing their names publicly before informing the family in hopes that they would be able to locate a next of kin.

The recluse twins were a mystery to their neighbors in the tight-knit community where they lived, and no one understands what led to the two glamorous women to recede from showbiz and hole up in their house for 40 years. Neighbors did notice that an ambulance had come to the house a year ago, and the police were asked to check on the house regularly. It was during a routine visit at the end of February that it was discovered the women had died.

Before they fully receded from the outer world, Joan worked in the payroll department of a local school district in the early 1980s, and her sister worked in the county's social services office around the same time. Betty Mitchell, a woman who knew Patricia from that time, said, "I never heard of anyone else being in either of their lives. They were inseparable and really identical." She said they were friendly, but also guarded: "All they had was each other and that's actually the way they wanted it." With a deep attachment like that, maybe it shouldn't be surprising that one couldn't live without the other. It's like with conjoined twins, when one dies and the other can't survive—only these two seemed to be attached through the mind, not the body.


73-year-old twins found dead and alone together [CBS News]
Tahoe Detectives Seek Family of Dead Twin Sisters [KTVN]