A Michigan woman's mummified body was discovered inside the garage of her foreclosed home. Although it is unclear how long she was dead, authorities are estimate it was at least six years. A repair man, working for the foreclosure company, made the grisly discovery.
Authorities are unsure how the woman's death went unnoticed. However, they noted several coincidences which may have shrouded her death.
A native of Germany, the unidentified woman reportedly worked in the automotive industry and traveled for work. Neighbor Caitlyn Talbot said the woman would regularly leave home for weeks at a time. When she was not working, she often traveled abroad to visit her family and friends.
Out of kindness, her neighbors regularly mowed her lawn. As reported by CNN, the condition of the lawn and the home led neighbors to assume the woman was simply traveling.
In her absence, the woman's bills, including her mortgage, were automatically withdrawn from her bank account. Nobody questioned the woman's whereabouts until her bank account was drained and her bills went unpaid.
When the money ran out, the bank foreclosed on the home. As they prepared the home for sale, a repairman responded to the property to fix a hole in the roof. While he inspected the garage and home, the worker was horrified to discover the woman's mummified body.
Authorities said the woman was in the back seat of her vehicle, which was parked in the garage. As the key was in the ignition, it is not clear why she was in the back seat.
Deputy medical examiner Dr. Bernardino Pacris performed an autopsy and took samples for a toxicology test. Pacris said he did not find any signs of trauma. However, he cannot determine the cause of death until he receives the toxicology report.
Oakland County Undersheriff Mike McCabe said he has "never seen anything like this before." Officials noted the presence of black mold inside the home. However, it was never broken into or vandalized. Witnesses said the woman's mail must have stopped, as it was not piled up inside the box.
McCabe verified that authorities were dispatched to the woman's home in 2007 for a welfare check. The officers who responded to the home reported that there were no signs of trouble. It is unknown whether the officers looked inside the garage.
Dr. Pacris said it is unusual to find a mummified body, as the process depends on numerous climate and environmental factors.