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Woman’s Auto Payments Kept Her Death Secret For Six Years

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mummified-woman-detroitBy Andrew Scot Bolsinger

A worker sent to repair the roof on a foreclosed house discovered the owner’s body mummified in her car on Thursday.

The Michigan resident had apparently died in her car, keys still in the ignition six years earlier, according to police estimation of the scene, CNN reported.

Nobody had noticed her absence. For several years the bills were paid on automatic deposits from her account. When the money ran dry, creditors took action, including foreclosing on the home. But none bothered to check the residence itself.

“Still, nobody noticed what had happened inside the house. Nobody wondered out loud what had become of the owner,” CNN’s report states.

After the worker discovered the corpse and police were called, the long-ignored home became a hotbed of activity.

“I’ve been doing this 37 years. Never seen anything like this before,” said Undersheriff Mike McCabe of Oakland County, just outside Detroit.

Police identified the woman, who would be 49 years old if alive today, as Pia Farrenkopf.

McCabe said neighbors told police the woman was known to be gone a lot. Most chalked up her absence as returning to Germany, where they assumed she was from. The house had never been broken into and a neighbor had even cut the grass all this time, reports stated.

Police reports said that officers had visited the house once in 2007 when neighbors wondered if she was OK. Finding nothing, they left.

Authorities are awaiting a toxicology report, which will take four to six weeks, before determining the cause of death. The medical examiner found no signs of trauma to the body, McCabe told CNN.

The enclosure of the car served to protect the body from decompensating, though the internal organs had decomposed according to the coroner.

source:  cnn

Andrew Scot Bolsinger won more than two dozen press awards during his journalism career. He is a freelance writer, author and operates, which is focused on prison reform. He can reached at



  1. ericaf

    March 9, 2014 at 3:22 pm

    We are no longer our brother’s keeper. Sad but true. We barely know who lives next door or even their names. Probably suffered carbon monoxide poisoning in the car from being tired and just driving into her garage and forgetting to turn off the car. (Ex did it, I found him asleep)luckily I heard the garage open and thought he was taking long to come inside . He just parked.Sad.

  2. Truthbeliever

    March 11, 2014 at 9:07 am

    Kept her death secret? It sounds like they had no idea she was deceased.

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