The mummified remains of a Pontiac, Michigan woman were found in the back seat of her car, about six years after her death, CNN reported on Friday.
Authorities said a contractor found Pia Farrenkopf’s body in the vehicle, which was parked in her garage with the key halfway in the ignition.
“I’ve been doing this 37 years,” Oakland County Undersheriff Mike McCabe was quoted as saying. “Never seen anything like this before.”
The cause of Farrenkopf’s death has not been determined, but authorities said it remained a secret in part because her bank account, which reportedly contained around $54,000, was set up to make automatic payments for her bills. After the money ran out of her account, the bank holding her mortgage foreclosed on the property. But the outside of the house showed no signs of mistreatment because a neighbor would cut her lawn every week, and the post office collected her mail. Her employer last reported seeing her in September 2008.
Nearby residents told WXYZ-TV that Farrenkopf, who would be 49 today if she were still alive, was reclusive, but traveled often. One neighbor, who chose to remain anonymous, said she had not seen any activity at the house in three years.
“You’d think because of her job, and we heard she had a son, so you’d think someone would’ve come looking for her,” another neighbor, Caitlyn Talbot, was quoted as saying. “She was probably there for a couple of days, then she’d leave for a week, then she’d come back. Then she’d leave for a month and come back.”
Watch CNN’s report, aired on Friday, below.