Twin sisters who gained fame after becoming the first people in Colorado to receive a pioneering surgery for obsessive compulsive disorder were found dead with gunshot wounds in Cañon City, the Fremont County Sheriff’s Office said.
Sisters Amanda and Sara Eldritch were found Friday in a vehicle parked near a rest area at the Royal Gorge Bridge and Park. They were 33 years old. Their identities were confirmed by the sheriff’s office Monday.
The sisters, who lived in Broomfield, were the first people in Colorado to receive deep brain stimulation — a surgery commonly used for patients with Parkinson’s disease — to treat their often-debilitating symptoms of OCD.
In a spring 2016 publication printed by Littleton Adventist Hospital, where they received the surgery, the twins said they began to feel at peace with their existence after receiving the treatment a year earlier. Sara Eldritch told the hospital that after the surgery, “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.”
But before the surgery, the story said, “they felt at war with their own existence. And in a desperate cry for help as adolescents, they tried taking their own lives.”
For the sisters, coping with the disorder meant living with compulsions, such as taking 10-hour showers, 20-minute hand-washings and using dozens of bottles of rubbing alcohol to disinfect everything they touched.