Last week, a construction contractor discovered the mummified body of Pia Farrenkopf in the backseat of Farrenkopf's Jeep, which was parked in her garage. Strange as that is, the story gets weirder: Farrenkopf, who police say died sometime in 2008, registered for and voted in the 2010 elections.
According to records in Oakland County, Mi., Farrenkopf, whose body still hasn't been identified by the Medical Examiner's Office, voted in the November 2010 gubernatorial election in Michigan. Officials, however, say it's possible the vote might have been an administrative error.
Investigators are attempting to use dental records to positively identify Farrenkopf, whose death is being treated as a homicide.
As for how her body went undiscovered for so long: She lived alone, a neighbor mowed her lawn every so often, her mail was returned to senders or sent to a P.O. Box, and all of her bills, including her mortgage payments, were automatically withdrawn from her bank account each month.
When the approximately $54,000 in her savings account ran out, her home was foreclosed on by her bank, who sent a contractor to evaluate the property. That's when her body was found.
"All these things kind of led to the perfect storm of no one saying, 'What's going on there?'" Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard told the Detroit Free Press, adding that Farrenkopf likely died in "late 2008."
Farrenkopf worked for Chrysler until September 2008, when she was laid off. Investigators are still awaiting the results of her autopsy, though suicide by carbon monoxide poisoning is unlikely.
"The key was in the ignition. The ignition was not on," Bouchard said to the Detroit Free Press. "The key was partially out."
"If someone is poisoned, that would be in their blood and muscle," said Bouchard. "We don't have blood or muscle."