PONTIAC (WWJ) – Oakland County Sheriff Mike Bouchard says police are still working to clarify the details surrounding a mummified body found parked in a car in the garage of a Pontiac home.

Bouchard says voter records show a woman with the name of the homeowner Pia Farrenkopf cast her ballot in 2010.

Bouchard believes that was a clerical error.

“There had never been a vote by the presumed person we are talking about – ever – except that one,” said Bouchard. “There hadn’t been one any other time, the whole time she lived here, before or after.”

But the voting records are raising more questions than answers after a contractor found the body of a woman, believed to be homeowner Pia Farrenkopf, as he cleared the foreclosed property.

Her body, which sources say was positively identified by a Farrenkopf’s sister,  was found March 5 in the back seat of her Jeep Liberty, parked in the attached garage of her home in the 1600 block of Savanna, near Walton Boulevard and Silver Lake Road in Pontiac.

Bouchard believes the body had been in the car since 2008.

Farrenkopf’s sister in Massachusetts says she asked officers to check on her sister when she couldn’t get a hold of her years ago.

“We are going to take DNA from the sister and try to make a positive identification, if in fact this is the person we believe it is, that’s one of the primary focuses to know who we have,” Bouchard said.

Sheriff’s officials say the only record of a welfare check is in 2007 and it came from a neighbor.

According to police, the electricity was still on in the house, but there was no heat. The home also has a large amount what appears to be black mold, police said, and is a HAZMAT situation.

The Oakland County Sheriff’s Department is investigating the circumstances behind Farrenkopf’s death. An autopsy didn’t reveal any signs of trauma, police said, and a cause of death is pending. Investigators said the Jeep keys were in the ignition, which was in the off position – likely ruling out the possibility of carbon monoxide poisoning.

They believe she died in 2008.

Investigators are awaiting toxicology results, which could take weeks, but are treating the woman’s death as a homicide.

An investigation is ongoing.


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