Society

Neighbors Discover What Happened To Elderly Twins Who Weren't Seen Leaving Home For 3 Years

| by Charles Roberts

Two 63-year-old twin men were found dead in their Chattanooga, Tennessee, home after reportedly dying together three years earlier. 

Andrew and Anthony Johnson lived in the same home for decades. They were seen by neighbors occasionally mowing the lawn, gardening in surgical masks or going out for groceries, The Associated Press reports. Nobody ever spoke to them. 

"I didn't even know their names," neighbor Linda Maffett, a retiree who lived across the street, said. 

In 2011, officers conducted a welfare check for the twins’ family, but found no signs of forced entry, foul odors or foul play. Authorities also found a note from the postal service stating it believed the residents had moved and that it stopped mail delivery to that address.

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Police left without entering the home, with relatives suggesting the brothers might have secretly moved. Some neighbors assumed the house was vacant since the twins regularly kept it dark and shuttered.

Three years later, authorities obtained a key to the residence from a family member and gained permission to enter the home. Upon entry, police found the skeletal remains of the twins, who were decomposing in recliners in their living room. 

An autopsy indicated the men died in 2011, and did not reveal trauma or violence. 

Police did not initially speculate on the cause of death, as toxicology tests were ongoing. 

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The men were reportedly an enigma to neighbors and investigators, who "lived a hermit lifestyle," according to WRCB. 

Since the brothers both had valid driver's licenses, insurance and even records of owning their own business, there was no indication of mental illness.

In the years since the men died, their grass kept getting cut, but it is unknown who had been doing so. 

Maffett said she never saw the twins speak to each other. On one occasion, when she went to help one of the brothers who had fallen on his front porch, he told her his sibling was deaf.

"I really felt bad that it happened and I didn’t have the courage to go barging over there and knock on the door when I had that gut feeling," Maffett said.