It’s always sad when someone dies. It’s even sadder when no one notices.
In Michigan, the death of a woman living alone in Pontiac, a suburb of Detroit, went unnoticed for six years, according to a report from a local TV station.
The woman, who is not being identified by authorities pending notification of family that did not notice she died around 2008, was found in the back seat of a Jeep in the garage.
Was it suicide? Keys were in the ignition, but police say the ignition was in the off position.
Was she trying to stay warm in her vehicle? She was wearing a heavy coat and could have been using the Jeep’s heater and was unaware of carbon monoxide levels.
An autopsy is being performed to determine the 49-year-old woman’s cause of death.
The body, which showed no signs of trauma, was “mummified,” according to unnamed sources.
The Detroit Free Press identifies the victim as Pia Farrenkopf and said she had $54,000 in the bank when she died. Her bills were set to be paid automatically and that kept creditors away for a while.
When the yard became overgrown, a neighbor maintained it for years.
“She didn’t really talk to anyone. I’m sure she was a nice lady. She really kept to herself. We never really heard anything from her,” said one neighbor.
Her body was discovered only after the home was foreclosed on and a worker sent to make repairs peered through a hole in the roof and saw the body Wednesday.
A sister, contacted by the TV station, said the family was originally from Boston, but most everyone was dead. She said Pia worked for a bank and frequently was in Germany for extended periods.
Pia’s mother married a Georgia man about three years ago, but died from cancer about 18 months ago, according to the TV station article.
The stepfather, Edward Carroll, said he tried to contact Pia and tell her of the marriage and her mother’s death.
Pia never responded to a wedding invitation.
After the mother’s death, Carroll said Pia’s phone would ring but no one ever answered. Letters were returned.
“I tried to find her through the Internet and everything and I never could find her,” said Carroll. “Her mother hadn’t heard from her for years and years. A lot of [the mother's] children, in fact, her oldest child, she hadn’t seen her probably in 30 years.”
Time to turn off the autopay and visit friends and family.