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Wednesday 1 October 2014

Dead woman's body found sitting in a car six years after direct debits ran $54,000 bank account dry

Her death went unnoticed because all her bills were paid and her lawn regularly cut by a neighbour

Published 08/03/2014 | 17:40

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A woman’s body that was degrading in the back of a car for over half a decade has been found lying in a garage in the US neighbourhood of Pontiac, Michigan.

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As her bills were paid by direct debit, her mail sent to the post office, and her grass regularly cut by a neighbour for six years, the woman’s remains were only discovered in the Jeep Liberty after her bank account ran out of funds and someone was sent to check why mortgage payments had stopped.

 

The woman has not yet been formally identified but is believed to be 49-year-old Pia Davida Farrenkopf, the last owner of the house.

 

She was found clothed in a heavy jacket and jeans, which led investigators to suspect that she died in the winter, according to the Detroit Free Press.

 

The key was in the ignition, but switched to the off mode, according to Undersheriff Mike McCabe.

 

The death is being treated as a homicide at this time, and police say suicide by carbon monoxide is the likely cause.

 

Medical examiners hopes to find dental records to formally identify the corpse.

 

It is thought that the woman stopped working as a contractor in the financial department of the Chrysler car firm in 2008, when set up direct debit payments from her bank which at one time contained $54,000.

 

“It is kind of the perfect storm for a mysterious set of circumstance and a challenge because of the extreme degradation of the body,” said Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard.

 

“The last withdrawal from her account was in March 2013,” he added.

 

Edward Caroll, who married Farrenkopf’s late mother three years ago, told local broadcaster WXYZ that Ms Farrenkopf was estranged from her family and did not answer her invitation to the wedding.

 

"I tried to find her through the Internet and everything and I never could find her.  And I wrote a letter a couple times and I think some of them came back. Her mother hadn’t heard from her for years and years," he said.

 

Neighbours said the woman had family in Germany and would be gone for days or weeks at a time. When she was back home, she kept to herself, WXYZ reported.

 

“Nobody came over there to check on the lady. It's weird. And it's actually scary,” a neighbour who wished to remain anonymous told the local TV station.

 

Kashmira Gander, Independent.co.uk

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