PONTIAC (WWJ) – The niece of the woman whose mummified body was found in the garage of her foreclosed metro Detroit home has set up a Facebook page in her aunt’s memory.
Nina Logan said she created the “Mummified in Michigan” memorial page to pay homage to her aunt, Pia Farrenkopf. Logan said she didn’t really like the name of the page, but she wanted people to be able to connect it with the case.
“I knew you would be able to relate it with the headlines they are using in the news,” Logan said in a posting. “I wanted to draw those of you who were reading the story to this page so I could explain to you who Pia Davida Farrenkopf was.”
Farrenkopf’s body 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. The discovery was made just after 5 p.m. by a contractor who was working at the home, which is going through foreclosure.
Investigators believe Farrenkopf died in late 2008 or early 2009. 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.
Farrenkopf has yet to be officially identified by authorities, who are awaiting dental records to make a positive match. Investigators are awaiting toxicology results, which could take weeks, but are treating the woman’s death as a homicide.
Logan said part of her reason for setting up the Facebook page is because there is so much misinformation floating around about her aunt.
“She is not a German immigrant nor is she even German. She is Belgian and Irish and she is from South Boston Massachusetts,” Logan wrote. “She is the sister of 9, daughter of the late Marie Farrenkopf Carroll, and aunt of 32.”
Logan said Farrenkopf fell out of touch with her family on the east coast due to the amount of traveling she did for work and the fact that she liked her privacy.
“When her mother and sister passed we tried desperately to contact her and let her know but the phone would just ring and ring,” Logan wrote. “Little did we know she was lying dead in her Jeep in her own garage, with multiple people entering and exiting the vehicle and property due to foreclosure process.”
Logan described her aunt as a “happy, healthy, energetic, intelligent woman with plenty to live for.” She’s hoping anyone with information or who knew her aunt to come forward or leave a message on the page.
“This page is for those of you who care to know who my aunt was. For those of you who have a kind heart and want to offer kind words. For those of you who knew Pia and can help us try and figure out what happened,” she wrote. “We believe this was a murder and we want answers.”
The Oakland County Sheriff’s Department is investigating the circumstances behind Farrenkopf’s death.
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.
Police say Farrenkopf lived in the home by herself and had all of her bills — including her mortgage and utilities — automatically withdrawn from her checking account. Once her account was depleted and the mortgage payments stopped, the home went into foreclosure. Mail also never piled up at the house because Farrenkopf apparently picked it up at the post office.
Oakland County Undersheriff Mike McCabe told reporters that officers visited Farrenkopf’s home for a “wellness check” in 2007, but found “nothing out of the ordinary.” He said Farrenkopf was never reported as a missing person.
Reports say Farrenkopf last reported to work in September 2008, and received a ticket in Pontiac for not having proof of insurance in November 2008.
Click here to visit the Mummified in Michigan Facebook page.