PONTIAC (WWJ/AP) – Authorities are asking Detroit-area dentists for help in identifying the mummified remains of a woman found in a car last week.
Investigators believe it’s Pia Farrenkopf, but the identity hasn’t been settled. The remains show evidence of a root canal and other extensive dental work, and Oakland County authorities believe dental records could quickly confirm a name.
But they don’t know the dentist who treated Farrenkopf.
“No one in this agency has definitive knowledge if the deceased had gone to a dentist in this area for any type of dental repair,” said Oakland County Medical Examiner L.J. Dragovich. “But if we can get some help from a possible contact with the dental professional, we can start the process of identification.”
The body was found March 5 in the back seat of Farrenkopf’s 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. She may have been dead for more than five years. There is no evidence of foul play.
Talking to WWJ Newsradio 950 on Tuesday, Oakland County Sheriff Mike Bouchard said Farrenkopf’s sister in Massachusetts claims she asked officers to check on her sister when she couldn’t get a hold of her years ago.
However, Bouchard said the only record of a welfare check is in 2007 and it came from a neighbor.
Without dental records, authorities would have to turn to DNA from Farrenkopf’s family.
“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.
That process could take months.
TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.