Police in Detroit, Michigan are stumped over the discovery of a mummified body and are calling in an anthropologist to determine the identity and cause of death. According to a Detroit News report, not even the rental tenants were aware a mummy was entombed in their garage for years.
Thanks to a savvy, prospective homebuyer, mummified remains were found inside the passenger compartment of a 1990 or 1991 Plymouth Acclaim vehicle, according to police investigators.
Lloyd Jackson is a spokesperson for the Wayne County Medical Examiner’s Office. He said a person inspecting a home in the 19900 block of Spencer made the startling discovery on Thursday.
A prospective home buyer found a mummified body inside of a Detroit garage https://t.co/xGPmTqcJeV
— New York Daily News (@NYDailyNews) December 31, 2016
At this time, police are not certain about a gender and manner of death. All is known is that the body has a brownish color, has been in the sedan for “years” and decomposition is in advanced stages.
Jackson’s office conducted a preliminary probe of the mummy with inconclusive results. Further, it has partnered with a University of Michigan anthropologist who will assist with forensic studies in hopes of filling in the blanks. More than likely, an examination of the corpse’s hips will help determine if the body is a male or female.
“At this point, they don’t know if it’s male or female, or cause or manner of death or anything like that. That’s when the anthropologist comes in and checks it out. They didn’t do an autopsy, they just did an inspection because that’s usually what they do when they get these bodies that have been really badly decomposed or mummified.”
Dan Donakowski, a spokesperson for the Detroit Police Department, said the residence was being leased to an unnamed family at the time the mummified body was found. Oddly, they never accessed that part of the home. Apparently, without offering a reason, the landlord instructed them that the garage was off limits and they were not to use the detached unit as storage.
“I know this is an open investigation and I know we’re going to do a thorough investigation on it, but we obviously have to find out what went on. A lot of the investigation is going to be geared to the findings of the medical examiner’s office so we can actually see what happened and we’re going to go from there,” Donakowski added.
Police say they have not talked to the proprietor but will seek and interview as part of the death investigation. Law enforcement impounded the car to gather more evidence in the mystery.
The incident loosely resembles another case in the state that remains unsolved as of this writing. In a Patch report, a contractor who was hired to work on a foreclosed residence in Pontiac discovered Pia Farrenkopf’s dead body.
What happens when automated bill pay outlives us? The afterlife of Pia Farrenkopf: http://t.co/MXentZ2iHw
— The New Yorker (@NewYorker) March 29, 2014
The worker made the grisly discovery of the mummified remains in the garage on the property. Police say she had been there for at least five years.
Local residents were at a loss over the woman’s death and thought she was a recluse. Nothing tipped anyone off about the woman’s demise because her monthly bills were paid on time using online banking. The payments to her creditors were on “autopilot.”
Revolving payments went on as scheduled for years until the $54,000 in her account “ran out,” according to records. That’s when the bank began foreclosure proceedings and the body was eventually discovered in a Jeep.
Although genetic material tests uncovered facts like gender and a positive identity, officials were not able to declare a manner and cause of death. Police say the body was so badly decomposed that it was not possible to test a tissue sample large enough to offer more insight into how Farrenkopf died.
[Featured Image by Prath/Shutterstock]