Wednesday, March 7, 2012
3/07/2012 01:31:00 AM live news No comments
Their shared life ended in a mysterious double-death at their home last week. One body was in a downstairs bedroom, and the other was in the hallway just outside. They were 73.
There was no blood, no signs of struggle. Nothing indicated that the women had persistent health troubles. Their longtime home was not unkempt, a likely sign of mental or physical illness.
It was as if the two sisters, long each other's only companion, could not live without each other, said Detective Matt Harwood with the El Dorado County sheriff's office.
"My perception is one died and the other couldn't handle it," said Harwood, who has been unable to find any close friends or family members of the twins. "It appears purely natural, but we are still trying to piece it all together."
Police usually do not release the names of the dead without first informing their relatives, but the sisters' shrouded lives made that impossible, Harwood said.
Never married and without children or pets, the Miller sisters had long withdrawn into the four-bedroom home they purchased in 1976. When people called, the sisters came up with excuses to get off the phone. Without explanation, they stopped sending birthday cards to a childhood friend. And on the rare occasion when they left their home, the two women didn't chat up the neighbors.
"The circumstance surrounding their death is somewhat of an enigma," Harwood said. "These two only ever had each other, and we would like, at least for their sake, to notify their family."
A neighbor spotted an ambulance at the house a year ago and assumed the sisters had fallen ill. Someone asked police to check regularly on the house. When officers arrived Feb. 25 for a routine check, no one answered the door. The next day, police forced their way in and found the bodies.
As news of the deaths spread, former South Lake Tahoe residents called police to report that they had lived near the sisters for decades in some cases, and had hardly seen them. One sent in a postcard that claimed the sisters were the only remaining members of their family after their mother's death and their brother died at war.
Calls Tuesday to several longtime residents and social groups in the area turned up little, as many(...)More.