Originally posted at 11:18 a.m. Feb. 5, 2014. Edited to add video and additional details.
By Penny Arévalo
Naples, California — Investigators today were trying to understand the deaths of 58-year-old identical twin sisters -- one of whom hanged herself -- in the Naples home they shared for about 30 years.
Valerie Blackler hanged herself in the home in the 100 block of Syracuse Walk, according to coroner's Assistant Chief Ed Winter, but investigators have yet to determine how her sister, Diane, died.
“It's just such a tragedy,” neighbor Marilyn Bittle told the Long Beach Press-Telegram. “There's so many questions. What was the cause of such drastic action.”
Diane Blackler's body was found in her bed, according to published reports.
Frank Donadee, who writes a blog about antique collecting and antique collectors, featured the sisters, whom he calls the “Gynotwins” because of their profession, in an article.
The hunt for treasures, they explained, was a way to get away from their jobs as nurse practitioners, which they adored but also found stressful. Donadee wrote:
“We get bad news every day,” they explained. Just the Friday before the Long Beach Show, they diagnosed a 32-year-old woman with cervical cancer, and a 24-year-old with HIV/AIDS. ... Shopping at flea markets and buying baubles helps them escape from the seriousness of their work.
Nancy Pratt of the Long Beach Beach Police Department said there was no sign of foul play in the two-story home and no indication anyone else was involved.
Long Beach police found the bodies Saturday about 5:50 p.m., based on concerns expressed by neighbors, who noticed some lights left on around the clock. The mail carrier stopped delivering mail because it was piling up, a neighbor told The Los Angeles Times.
The women could have been dead for as long as two weeks, according to published reports.
Neighbors described them as polite but private.
--City News Service