Mummified Body Found in Car After Six Years

Mummified Body Found in Car After Six Years

A Michigan woman's mummified body has been found insider her car, with auto-payments hiding her death for six years.

In Pontiac, Michigan, a mummified body of a woman was found sitting in the back seat of her car, parked in her garage. with the key halfway into the ignition. Authorities surmise the woman, believed to be Pia Farrenkopf, has been dead for six years, with her bills paid from her bank account through auto-pay, which "hid" her death for years. Once her accounts dried up, and the bills stopped being paid, and after warnings were left unanswered, the bank holding the mortgage foreclosed on the house and not until this week, when a worker was sent by the bank to repair a hole in the roof, was her body found.

Neighbors didn't notice anything unusual and they claim the woman, whom they describe as of German descent, traveled a lot and kept to herself. The house itself had no signs of anything wrong, according to Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard. One of her neighbors mowed her grass regularly and her mail didn't pile up since the post office was collecting it -- nothing insider her home or car pointed to any cause of death, Bouchard states. Caitlyn Talbot, Farrenkop's neighbor, mentions that even if the house didn't have an owner for years, it was never broken into. However, authorities have said that the house appears to have black mold inside and that detectives who entered the structure wore hazardous material suits.

Authorities are awaiting a toxicology report that will take four to six weeks to process before determining the cause of death, and the medical examiner found no signs of trauma to the body, according to Oakland County Undersheriff, Mike McCabe. As for the body's mummification, Bouchard states that the woman's body was inside a closed vehicle inside a closed garage, and thus, was not exposed to outside air or other factors that might aid in decomposition. Dr. Bernardino Pacris, the county deputy medical examiner who conducted the autopsy, said that the woman's skin was still intact, but that the internal organs had decomposed. Pacris notes that in the mummification process, human skin develops a parchment-like consistency and leathery texture; and while finding a body in this state is unusual, "once in a while, we see this."

Farrenkop's estranged sister has been contacted, with authorities relying on dental records to correctly identify the woman, Pia Farrenkopf would be 49 years old this year if she was still alive.

Personally, it's kind of scary and worrying that a person can die for years without anyone noticing due to how automated everything in the world is.

Source: CNN

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Must have had a nice job so her bills were paid for 6 years! Speaking of 6 years, are you surprised the organs decayed?

Still, it's a better death than having your face chewed off by cats. Still scary that you can die for 6 years and not a single soul misses you!

Well, now I know what my ultimate fate will be: dying with nobody noticing I'm gone. I guess I'll have to rig up a neon sign to a heart rate monitor that will activate upon my death and says 'The occupant of this house is dead. Please contact the local corpse disposal services.'

It kind of a interesting but gross way to mummify youself in this day of age!

The neighbour who kept mowing her grass is pretty stupid if you ask me.

"Hey, nobody has gone in or out of that house in years. Nothing suspicious about that, but the grass keeps getting taller, and since she's being so lazy, I'll cut her lawn for her. Every couple of weeks for six years. I don't care that she's never thanked me in six years, I'll keep helping her out. I'm such a thoughtful and caring person."

Seriously, how do you not notice there's something wrong with the neighbour? I've noticed every house on my block has something living in it at least once a month. You take a glance out your window, and you say "Hey, there's that asshole neighbour again. I'm glad I don't have to mow his lawn for the 100th time.". I still can't get over that. Why the fuck would you mow somebody else's lawn for 6 years?

This is crazy, scary, and depressing. Another reason to not live alone.

Authorities are awaiting a toxicology report that will take four to six weeks to process

Clearly those guys are slacking, Hodges could do a full tox report in just one scene transition.

rasputin0009:
The neighbour who kept mowing her grass is pretty stupid if you ask me.

"Hey, nobody has gone in or out of that house in years. Nothing suspicious about that, but the grass keeps getting taller, and since she's being so lazy, I'll cut her lawn for her. Every couple of weeks for six years. I don't care that she's never thanked me in six years, I'll keep helping her out. I'm such a thoughtful and caring person."

Seriously, how do you not notice there's something wrong with the neighbour? I've noticed every house on my block has something living in it at least once a month. You take a glance out your window, and you say "Hey, there's that asshole neighbour again. I'm glad I don't have to mow his lawn for the 100th time.". I still can't get over that. Why the fuck would you mow somebody else's lawn for 6 years?

Some people just do things to be nice. I mowed my neighbour's lawn and did general garden stuff for her for a few years because she was pretty old and couldn't do it herself. It's not unreasonable to think that the person mowing the lawn did the same or that maybe they were doing their own lawn and didn't want to live next to a house with a jungle outside it.

omega 616:
Must have had a nice job so her bills were paid for 6 years! Speaking of 6 years, are you surprised the organs decayed?

If you're not using any electricity, not using your phone, buying any fuel or gas then not a lot of money would prbably last a long time.

I don't think this is scary as such, just very sad that she evidently had no one left in the world but herself, normally somebody comes looking for you.

rasputin0009:
The neighbour who kept mowing her grass is pretty stupid if you ask me.

"Hey, nobody has gone in or out of that house in years. Nothing suspicious about that, but the grass keeps getting taller, and since she's being so lazy, I'll cut her lawn for her. Every couple of weeks for six years. I don't care that she's never thanked me in six years, I'll keep helping her out. I'm such a thoughtful and caring person."

Seriously, how do you not notice there's something wrong with the neighbour? I've noticed every house on my block has something living in it at least once a month. You take a glance out your window, and you say "Hey, there's that asshole neighbour again. I'm glad I don't have to mow his lawn for the 100th time.". I still can't get over that. Why the fuck would you mow somebody else's lawn for 6 years?

To some people (especially in suburban areas) their property value is everything and a neighbour having an unkempt back/front garden can effect the property value of your house and in fact everybody in the street if its a gated community type deal.

That's probably why the neighbour decided to take it upon themselves to keep the garden in order.

Not to do a favour for their neighbour but to keep their own house's value higher.

fix-the-spade:

omega 616:
Must have had a nice job so her bills were paid for 6 years! Speaking of 6 years, are you surprised the organs decayed?

If you're not using any electricity, not using your phone, buying any fuel or gas then not a lot of money would prbably last a long time.

I don't think this is scary as such, just very sad that she evidently had no one left in the world but herself, normally somebody comes looking for you.

You have a mortgage (the reason she was found was 'cos she wasn't paying it) and those aren't cheap! My rent is 80 a week for a rinky dink 1 bed place and that's 25 grand for the 6 years! Then you have crap she probably left on, tv on stand by, running freezer and fridge, phone chargers, microwave, AC etc.

Water I will give you, if she isn't drinking, flushing or bathing then it's not like you can be charged much for it (beyond the silly "well you have water pipes and those degrade so we will charge you for water erosion or some shit".

fix-the-spade:

I don't think this is scary as such, just very sad that she evidently had no one left in the world but herself, normally somebody comes looking for you.

Yeah, this. It's surprising there was enough money to last that long, but even more so that she presumably had no family or friends who would check why they hadn't heard from her for months and then years. Sad, I hope she was solitary by nature rather than lonely :-/

That's pretty damn terrible. I wonder if it was Carbon Monoxide suicide? (probably got that wrong, brain gone on holiday)
It's not uncommon for people to have loads in a savings account that the bills come out of, and she might have had reduced bills because of her age.
That's not really what's important here but it's still strange.

It's sad no one realised she was gone. At least nosey neighbours will peek into your window sometimes and know you're still there. I understand if she travelled a lot, but after a year you'd wonder why you never saw them, and I'm surprised the person mowing her grass didn't know on the door to check on her.

I feel really sorry for the person who discovered her.

It happens a lot more often than you'd realize. I work at a police department as well and sometimes we find deceased who have been dead for months, and sometimes into years. It is crazy how much people want to keep to themselves and won't report someone suddenly dropping off the face of the Earth. If they didn't have friends or family, it is easy for someone to die and just have no one notice.
We have neighbors who call up every three seconds about a dog barking, or their neighbor looking at them funny. However if that same neighbor suddenly disappears for years, they don't say a word.

Okay.. So why was she in the BACK seat??

As "weird" as this all sounds... I kinda want to see a movie that dwells in these kind of instances...

I understand that not all neighbors get "super nosy" and would, sometimes, look to see how their fellow neighbors are doing within their own home (especially nowadays, at least), so that wouldn't be the main focus of the movie overall... I would imagine the movie would try to picture how someone, like that women, would be able to set up something that would cause the delay in finding their own dead body... Besides, based on what was given out, it did seem like this was planned out in advance, even if the neighbors, themselves, did not truly put two and two together...

Anyway, this still startles me a bit, considering that it seemed like she did not have anyone left in her life to keep herself from leading to the present situation, but simultaneously, I haven't seen a movie that would focus on situations like this and, if they have, I'm not sure if it would have the same impact as the "real deal" if I do end up seeing it for the first time...

It's times like these that I'm glad I do have people in my life that would prevent me from getting away with something like this... It shows that, when the time comes, I will not be dying alone...

Abbot and Costello and The Scooby Doo gang could not be reached for comment. Back to you linda!

Moral of the story: don't use auto pay?

Hah, trust it to a German to have their life so efficient and in order that they can die and it still runs fine for 6 months.

But seriously it's kind of sad that there was literally nobody she was close enough to her to notice her death.
The fact she was found in a car with the key in the ignition, in a closed garage, makes it even sadder.

It seems weird to say but hopefully it was a heart attack or stroke or something.

omega 616:
Must have had a nice job so her bills were paid for 6 years! Speaking of 6 years, are you surprised the organs decayed?

Still, it's a better death than having your face chewed off by cats. Still scary that you can die for 6 years and not a single soul misses you!

Sounds a little like it was a perfect mix of being estranged from her family and friends, had enough money to pay the bills, and had services set on auto so nothing ever seemed off. I would imagine most people would be noticed sooner.

rasputin0009:
The neighbour who kept mowing her grass is pretty stupid if you ask me.

"Hey, nobody has gone in or out of that house in years. Nothing suspicious about that, but the grass keeps getting taller, and since she's being so lazy, I'll cut her lawn for her. Every couple of weeks for six years. I don't care that she's never thanked me in six years, I'll keep helping her out. I'm such a thoughtful and caring person."

Seriously, how do you not notice there's something wrong with the neighbour? I've noticed every house on my block has something living in it at least once a month. You take a glance out your window, and you say "Hey, there's that asshole neighbour again. I'm glad I don't have to mow his lawn for the 100th time.". I still can't get over that. Why the fuck would you mow somebody else's lawn for 6 years?

to add to the other people who have already quoted you, but in areas like detriot suburbs, the population is shrinking pretty quickly there, to the point that there is on average one or two empty houses in many neighborhoods.

you know what empty houses mean in places like detroit? Meth houses, squatting houses, drug/gun storage, sex houses,etc...

people tend to upkeep the neighborhood to avoid stuff like that happening so people think someone is living in that house.

That being said though, 6 years is a pretty fucking long time. not to mention all the mail that was held at the post office for her, even if all her bills were paid electronically you can't tell me 6 years worth of not picking up any sort of mail might seem suspicious.

omega 616:

You have a mortgage (the reason she was found was 'cos she wasn't paying it) and those aren't cheap! My rent is 80 a week for a rinky dink 1 bed place and that's 25 grand for the 6 years! Then you have crap she probably left on, tv on stand by, running freezer and fridge, phone chargers, microwave, AC etc.

Water I will give you, if she isn't drinking, flushing or bathing then it's not like you can be charged much for it (beyond the silly "well you have water pipes and those degrade so we will charge you for water erosion or some shit".

property values vary greatly depending on location, and in a place like detroit there are some houses that sell for hundreds of bucks because of how low they are in value. I'm sure she didn't live in a horrid area but assuming with how old she was she already probably had that house decently paid off, so her monthly bills probably weren't that high. (not to say that 6 years isn't a long time, she had quite the cushion built up.) I wonder how this will all work, assuming she had written a will, if any of that money she "paid" will be refunded to whoever the money was SUPPOSED to go to and such.

She was undiscovered for even longer than Joyce Vincent, She was left in her flat for three years after her death and no-one noticed anything out of place, there was an interesting documentary called Dreams of a life that used investigative journalism to find out who she was and how she became so isolated that no-one noticed her death. It was pretty sad really, how she struggled to stay employed and suffered health problems before dying watching TV (which stayed on for the whole 3 years and was on when she was found) and wrapping Christmas presents.

I have questions;

If this was accidental death, heart attack etc, why was she in the back seat with the door closed and keys only half in the ignition?

If this was suicide of the carbon monoxide variety, wouldnt the evidence be right at the scene for the police to make such a hypothesis quickly? Such as pipe to window, blocked exhaust and keys in properly with empty fuel tank/battery.

What happens to all that succulent cash the bank has been syphoning from a dead lady the past 6 years?

I am sensing a suburban civilian conspiracy at work here. Must dig deeper!

gmaverick019:
That being said though, 6 years is a pretty fucking long time. not to mention all the mail that was held at the post office for her, even if all her bills were paid electronically you can't tell me 6 years worth of not picking up any sort of mail might seem suspicious.

Usually a mailbox can fill in 1-3 weeks or months, after that they take the mail and put in note saying that your mail service has been suspended, instead of keeping it in the post office, and mail to that address automatically gets labeled return to sender. So there probably was no mail going to the house.

omega 616:
Must have had a nice job so her bills were paid for 6 years! Speaking of 6 years, are you surprised the organs decayed?

Still, it's a better death than having your face chewed off by cats. Still scary that you can die for 6 years and not a single soul misses you!

Well, when a lot of people get old they wind up more or less alone. It's not unheard of for something like this to happen, it's mostly the length of time that is interesting.

That said this sounds like something setting up a horror story or a mystery story. It's great that the police haven't found much that's unusual except for some mould, but it doesn't explain why she'd be in the back seat of her own car, as opposed to the front seat where should would drive. If she was just getting something that she put in the car the door wouldn't be closed and she wouldn't be sitting there.

The only way I could see that happening is if she was jumping into the car to get away from someone (or someTHING muhwahahaha!) and the back door was closest to where she entered the garage, OR perhaps more likely if someone was going to drive her someplace in her own car, which in of itself is odd.

If she was murdered that would be an okay place to put the body to prevent the stench of decay from reaching the neighbors, but if your thinking long term like that one has to ask why you wouldn't just dissolve the body with
caustic in the bathtub or something and send it down the drain. I suppose what was done here was quicker if it was murder.

For those that don't know industrial caustic is an ingredient in things like Draino which can be used to dissolve meet, skin, bones, etc... generally intended to clear blockages in garbage disposals and such. While it would work slowly for something like this, if you use something with a high degree of caustic you can literally melt a large amount of organic material like a dead body, including the bones, and literally dump it into the septic system. At least that's how I was officially taught (purely for academic purposes of course) to dispose of a body if I ever had to and had time (as opposed to trying to burn it, or hide it someplace where it wouldn't be found). I've never had to try and put that into practice of course, so I haven't tested it, but it seems like a fairly common sense thing if your murdering a recluse. Of course they might not have known they were this secure when it happened if it was a murder, and as I said this takes time (it's not like using actual acid like in spy movies and stuff).

Well thats a long time to not notice somone is dead. and noone missed her. thats really the strangest part to me.
This is why i always pay all my bills manually every month, even if it costs me more. if i ever get into problem at least the bank will come looking for me.

omega 616:

You have a mortgage (the reason she was found was 'cos she wasn't paying it) and those aren't cheap! My rent is 80 a week for a rinky dink 1 bed place and that's 25 grand for the 6 years! Then you have crap she probably left on, tv on stand by, running freezer and fridge, phone chargers, microwave, AC etc.

Water I will give you, if she isn't drinking, flushing or bathing then it's not like you can be charged much for it (beyond the silly "well you have water pipes and those degrade so we will charge you for water erosion or some shit".

I think the most worrying thing here is that you pay 80 pounds a week for a 1 bed place. that sounds grossly overpriced. I currently have an apartment that is 46 square meters in size, a average 2 room apartment wihch is great for a single person and can accomodate a couple easily. I got a 17 year morgage with a bank, paying ~350 LTL per month. According to currency prices i just googled (supposedly todays) that would be around 87,5 pounds per month. These payments also take ~1/3 of my monthly pay, which is fair enough.

It really wouldnt be much payment if your not really living even if youl eft stuff on. Fridge/freezer actually takes the majority of its electricity because you keep opening it to take stuff out and put them in. If left untouched the consumtion would probably be 3 times less or more. there is also vacation mode that she may have turned on if she was planning to leave, that puts it into very low power state only barely keeping up the products cool.
TV is an unknown factor, for one my TV is unplugged and in the basement, but she may have one set up, however who the hell keeps their phone charges plugged in? why would you do that? And microwaves does not take any electricity when its not on you know. there is no "Standby" for microwaves.

Water not being used would only leave a "cosntant price" (which here is less than 1 pound). they ask for it becuase they have to lay down and upkeep the lines towards your house and those burst sometimes and stuff. Heating i guess wasnt an issue as it probably was in area that doesnt freeze during the winter, elsehow unheated house would had its water pipes burst during winter on first year.

rasputin0009:

Seriously, how do you not notice there's something wrong with the neighbour? I've noticed every house on my block has something living in it at least once a month. You take a glance out your window, and you say "Hey, there's that asshole neighbour again. I'm glad I don't have to mow his lawn for the 100th time.". I still can't get over that. Why the fuck would you mow somebody else's lawn for 6 years?

Money? She was decribed as somone that travels a lot, so she could easily had a deal with the neighboar to mow the loan for her when she is away and she would transfer some money to his account, and then she set it to do it automatically as that is actually cheaper than manual payments (bank knows when to expect transfer = bank can plan its expenses, so its beneficial to the bank to automate it) and the money may have kept being transfered and he may have thought shes just traveling all the time. after all she did "kept to herself" most of the time.

 

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