Mummified woman in Detroit suburb likely dead 6 years

By: ABC News Email
By: ABC News Email
The woman’s body was found Wednesday by a contractor who was working on the property after it had been foreclosed on.

(Pia Farrenkopf high school photo)

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Detroit (ABC) -- The discovery of the mummified body believed to be a suburban Detroit woman who had not been seen for six years has left neighbors and her family questioning what happened.

While the Oakland County, Mich., police have not officially identified the woman, ABC News affiliate WXYZ-TV in Detroit identified the home’s owner as Pia Farrenkopf. It is believed to be her body that was found in the home’s garage this week.

The woman’s body was found Wednesday by a contractor who was working on the property after it had been foreclosed on. The body was found in a the backseat of a car in the garage and the car key was turned in the off position in the ignition.

On Thursday, the county medical examiner performed an autopsy but found no trauma.

“She’s been dead years,” Administrator for the Medical Examiner’s Office Robert Gerds told The Associated Press. “Everything is pending right now. It’s still under investigation.”

Farrenkompf’s sister, Paula Logan, told WXYZ-TV that she doesn’t believe that her sister would have taken her own life.

“I think there was foul play. I think someone might have been in that garage,” Logan said.

While toxicology tests are pending, there is a chance that a cause of death might never be found for Farrenkompf.

According to WXYZ-TV, because the body had been mummified, evidence in the blood or tissue would likely be too damaged.

“If someone is poisoned, that would be in their blood and muscle,” Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard said. “We don’t have blood or muscle.”

Farrenkompf’s bills were paid automatically out of her $54,000 savings. She was fired from her job at a financing firm for Chrystler in September 2008 and her coworkers are the last people to have seen her alive, according to police.

Her neighbors told WXYZ-TV they thought the home owner often traveled for months to weeks at a time and they thought she had moved away years ago.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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