More than 30 years since they were last seen in Alberta, two Lethbridge sisters have been located in the United States, said police.
Anna and Kym Hakze’s mother reported them missing in 2003, after she failed to see or hear from either of them in more than a decade.
Their mother has since passed but their brother is hoping for a reconciliation. What makes sister so close? It was obvious these two had an exclusively mutual understanding of just how dysfunctional their family was.
IT SOUNDS LIKE AN EPISODE FROM THE Twilight Zone: In 2012 two elderly spinster twin sisters who worked in the entertainment industry as youths have died and left officials scrambling to find their next of kin.
Joan and Patricia Miller, both 73, were discovered in their South Lake Tahoe home on Feb. 27, according to the sheriff’s department in El Dorado County.
Homeowners in South Lake Tahoe are close-knit and the reclusive sisters have long been the talk of the town. Neighbors often wondered why two beautiful women shut themselves up for 40 years in the same town and are now baffled how they both died of natural causes within hours of each other.
The sisters grew up in Portland, Ore. before moving to the San Francisco area, where Joan Miller attended college. The women briefly appeared on a 50’s television show called the The Hoffman Hayride and also entertained troops at military bases. Patricia and Joan Miller sang and danced for Bing Crosby as the family made their living in the entertainment business and their mother played piano. A photo found inside their home shows them sitting on Bing Crosby’s lap, the Los Angeles Times reported.
The identical twins also performed with singer Spade Cooley every weekend at the Santa Monica Pier and the performances were broadcast live on KTLA television in the 50s. As they grew older the twins never married, had children or pets and became anti-social and withdrawn, even coming up with excuses not to speak on the phone if someone called.
They both even stopped sending an annual birthday card to a beloved childhood friend a few years ago and when the friend called to inquire about the missing card, Joan and Patricia seem disinterested in continuing the relationship.
Talking to neighbors was out of the question. According to Huffington Post, Betty Mitchell, 89, who supervised Patricia Miller in the social services office, said the women were inseparable. Mitchell said they were friendly and told stories often about their singing adventures. They had had performed at Yosemite National Park and when their mother came to visit from Oregon, they all dined at Mitchell’s home.
Mitchell said the sisters were also guarded, and when she urged them to join a community choir, they declined and never discussed their social lives.
“They kept things to themselves,” Mitchell said. “I don’t even know if they had siblings.”
In the past year, some people thought something was amiss at the Miller home. A neighbor spotted an ambulance at the house a year ago and assumed one had fallen ill. But rumors surfaced of possible malnutrition and concerned citizens asked police to check on them regularly.
When someone arrived Feb. 25 for a routine check, the twins did not answer the door. The next day, police forced their way in and found the bodies of the twins; one was in a downstairs bedroom and the other was in the hallway just outside.
There was no blood, no signs of struggle and their home was not unkempt. Even though autopsy reports are pending it was as if the two sisters, long each others only companion, could not live without each other.
Huffington Post also reported that El Dorado County Sheriff’s Det. Matt Harwood said “they weren’t taking care of themselves as they should or could have,”
Police don’t usually release the names of the dead without first informing their relatives, but the sisters’ shrouded lives made that impossible, he added.
“My perception is one died and the other couldn’t handle it.” said Harwood. “It appears purely natural, but we are still trying to piece it all together.”
May they both rest in peace and may the Hakze sisters now find some peace in their life too. There is no doubt that each other seemed to be a little but of childhood that they could never lose.