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Detectives find relatives of dead 1950s TV twins

March 7, 2012 |  9:24 pm

Patricia and Joan MillerAuthorities said Wednesday that they have contacted relatives of the Miller sisters, who appeared in TV shows in the 1950s.

The women were found dead last month, and officials took the unusual step of publicizing their deaths in hopes of finding relatives.

 Sheriff’s officials had been struggling to find a family member to notify about the deaths of Patricia and Joan Miller.

In their last decades, the sisters were recluses, isolated in their Lake Tahoe home, sheriff’s officials said. It's likely they were dead for several weeks before their bodies were found, said El Dorado County Sheriff’s Det. Matt Harwood.

Over the last two days, officials have received numerous calls and emails. Then, investigators got in touch with three distant cousins, according to the Associated Press.

The 73-year-old twins were found after volunteers arrived at their home for a welfare check Feb. 25 and did not get an answer.  Deputies entered the home and found the sisters' bodies, one in her bedroom, the other in a hallway just outside. Foul play has been ruled out.

Medical examiners were performing tests to determine an exact time of death.

Since then, detectives have combed through pictures and documents trying to find a relative to notify. They found a photo of the twins as young girls sitting on Bing Crosby’s lap and another of the pair in tap shoes.

Detectives learned they appeared regularly on the weekly television show "The Hoffman Hayride" in the 1950s and that they entertained troops at several military bases.

But they have found almost nothing about the twins' family.


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Photo: An undated photo provided by the El Dorado County Sheriff's Department shows twin sisters Patricia and Joan Miller. It is unknown which sister is which. Credit: El Dorado County Sheriff's Department