Twin sisters, known for their debilitating symptoms of obsessive compulsive disorder, have been found dead in Colorado in what police say was a possible suicide pact.
Sara and Amanda Eldritch, 33, were found dead of gunshot wounds Friday in a vehicle near Canon City’s Royal Gorge Bridge, some 130 miles from their home in the Denver suburb of Broomfield, reports the Canon City Daily Record.
They were the first people in the state to receive deep brain stimulation to treat their OCD compulsions, which included taking 10-hour showers and using up to five bottles of rubbing alcohol daily to disinfect their skin, per 9 News.
Both had contemplated suicide since age 13 and, prior to their 2015 surgeries, described feeling “at war with their own existence,” according to the hospital that treated them.
The hope was that careful stimulation of electrode wires placed on their brains, connected to battery packs in their chests, would stifle overactivity in the brain to reduce anxiety, reports the Gazette. And it appeared to work.
“I feel like I can identify my anxiety. I can actually see where it’s coming from. And I feel like I can deal with it,” Sara Eldritch told the hospital in 2016. But the pair—who appeared on CBS’ The Doctors in 2017—told 9 News that not all of their compulsions had been stifled: If forced to leave their shared home, the sisters stopped eating and drinking to the point of dehydration so they wouldn’t have to use public bathrooms.
Still, “we’re trying to feel like useful members of society,” Sara said.
The Fremont County Sheriff’s Office said the twins died in a suspected suicide pact, but offered no other details.
Suicide crisis hotline: 888-724-7240 or up2sd.org
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