Death of Elderly Tahoe Twins Spins Mystery

Detectives in South Lake Tahoe search through photos in hopes of finding relatives of two elderly twins who died together, yet alone.

By Lori Preuitt
|  Thursday, Mar 8, 2012  |  Updated 8:36 PM PDT
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What happened to 73-year-old twin sisters found dead inside the home they shared in South Lake Tahoe.  It appears they were inseparable, even in death.  Those twins spent their childhood in the limelight but became incredibly private in their elderly years.  So private, the mystery has led investigators to the Bay Area.  Jodi Hernandez has the story.

What happened to 73-year-old twin sisters found dead inside the home they shared in South Lake Tahoe. It appears they were inseparable, even in death. Those twins spent their childhood in the limelight but became incredibly private in their elderly years. So private, the mystery has led investigators to the Bay Area. Jodi Hernandez has the story.

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UPDATE: Through the media exposure, investigators have made contact with a first cousin in Portland. Detective Matt Harwood says the twins also have a second cousin in Walnut Creek. Harwood said he hopes the Bay Area cousin is able to make the trip to Tahoe soon to collect the women's belongings.

Read update here.

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The sheriff's department in El Dorado County broke protocol this week and released the names of two deceased residents without notifying their relatives.

The problem is they can't find any relatives of the twin sisters who were found dead inside their South Lake Tahoe home last week.

The bodies of Joan and Patricia Miller, 73, were discovered on Feb. 27, according to the sheriff's department. Authorities say they most likely died within a short time of one another of natural causes. They had been dead for several weeks before they were discovered, according to reports.

The sheriffs haven't been able to locate the next of kin of the women.  Apparently throughout their lives, they always listed each other on all official forms. 

Investigators have some facts they gathered from people who knew them in Tahoe and are hoping they lead to family members.

They say the two were born in Portland Oregon, never married and were dependent on one another for their entire lives.

They came from a family who made a living in the entertainment business, including a mother who played piano. Among the items found in the home was a photo of the twins as young girls sitting on Bing Crosby’s lap, according to the LA Times.

Detectives said the twins were also in the entertainment business themselves when they were young. They performed with singer Spade Cooley on "The Hoffman Hayride" show every weekend at the Santa Monica Pier. Their performances were broadcast live on KTLA television in the 1950s.

They also may have a sibling here in the Bay Area and may have other relatives up in Portland.

Anyone with information regarding the Patricia and Joan Miller is asked to contact Detective Matt Harwood at 530-573-3015.

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