No one noticed she was in the garage for 6 years (UPDATE: IDed)

See update below.

What’s the hazard of autopaying your bills? People still think you are alive.

Woman’s auto-payments hid her death for six years –

For years, the payments went out of the woman’s bank account.

At some point, her bank account ran dry. The bills stopped being paid.

After its warnings went unanswered, the bank holding the mortgage foreclosed on the house, a common occurrence in a region hit hard by economic woes.

The woman’s mummified body was sitting in the backseat of her car, parked in the garage. The key was halfway in the ignition.

Authorities say they believe the woman died at least six years ago. They’re still trying to figure out what happened.

The woman, who authorities aren’t identifying until they’ve informed her family, paid her bills from her bank account through auto-pay….

It’s an odd story for sure. And lots of questions arise – how come none of her co-workers report her missing when she stopped coming in to work? Wouldn’t the awful smell at least be a clue?

Police did do a check up after one of the neighbors called the authorities, not having seen the woman for a while. When nothing out of the ordinary showed up during a house visit, the police didn’t think anything more of it. If only they had checked the garage back then…

The woman kept to herself most of the time it seems, judging from her neighbors and she traveled a lot in her job as well.

During the 6 years the woman’s been dead, the house was never broken into and the grass was taken care of by another neighbor who mowed her lawn for her.

Police has ordered a toxicology report to see if they can determine a cause of death as there seems to be no sign of physical trauma.

UPDATE (21-July-2014) The remains have been identified.

Officials ID body found after 5 years in Pontiac garage | The Times Herald |

Officials have confirmed that the mummified remains of a woman found in the garage of a suburban Detroit home in March were those of the woman who lived there alone.

Authorities this week notified the relatives of Pia Farrenkopf that she had been positively identified using DNA testing. Oakland County Deputy Medical Examiner Dr. Bernardino Pacris said the cause and manner of death could not be determined because the body was mummified.

  11 comments for “No one noticed she was in the garage for 6 years (UPDATE: IDed)

  1. John Nowak
    March 7, 2014 at 11:36 AM

    So she didn’t file Federal taxes for six years, and police never visited the place?

    Steve Martin’s sketch about how to make a million dollars without paying taxes suddenly looks a lot more plausible.

  2. Brigitte
    March 7, 2014 at 11:44 AM

    So She had 6 years of money in her bank account to pay all these bills????? And what about friends????

  3. One Eyed Jack
    March 7, 2014 at 12:24 PM

    During the 6 years the woman’s been dead, the house was never broken into and the grass was taken care of by another neighbor who mowed her lawn for her.

    I find that extremely hard to believe. Who tends their neighbor’s yard for 6 years without seeing them even once during that time?

  4. John Nowak
    March 7, 2014 at 3:25 PM

    I’m 50, and my savings would cover my rent for about 30 years.

    Of course, my lease would run out before then.

  5. Angela
    March 7, 2014 at 4:07 PM

    That is the exact question that I have had…that in and of itself is really suspicious. Will be interesting to see if there is any follow-up on this story. Something sure doesn’t sound right.

  6. Overkill
    March 7, 2014 at 5:06 PM

    I was thinking the same thing Jack.

    Seems strange that a neighbour would care enough to mow someone’s lawn, but seemingly care so little as to not notice the person was missing for so long.

  7. March 7, 2014 at 5:30 PM

    I find that odd too. But it seems like this woman was a bit of a reclusive and anti-social, so perhaps she avoided other people as much as she could.

    There are a lot of questions surrounding this story (as it is with similar stories of people being dead for years in their home without it being noticed)

  8. ZombyWoof
    March 8, 2014 at 12:21 PM

    I’m surprised that neighbor just kept on cutting the lawn without complaining that she never said “thank you” to him at all.

  9. Chris
    March 8, 2014 at 9:16 PM

    He probably did it because she was often out of town, and perhaps did not really care for it herself. More than likely he did not like messy yards, since it could affect the value of his own home.

    When I was in college I housesat a house for one summer. And while I tried very hard to replace the grass on a slope with shrubs and do general weeding, I did not have access to a lawn mower. I came home one day and saw a neighbor had mowed the parking strip in front of the house.

  10. March 11, 2014 at 8:25 PM

    New mystery in Pontiac: How could mummified body vote in 2010?

    Her name was Pia Farrenkopf . Pontiac city records indicate Farrenkopf registered to vote in 2006 and had not voted until 2010, but officials point out that could have been an administrative error and she may not have actually cast a vote.

  11. Terrence Lee
    March 17, 2014 at 2:46 PM

    It’s all well and good that her rent was paid automatically, but what about her other bills? And wouldn’t the post office stop delivering mail once her mailbox filled up? Six years of junk mail is quite a bundle!!

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