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Mystery Surrounds Mummified Woman Found in Car at Michigan Home

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For at least six years, a woman’s body sat undisturbed in the backseat of a Jeep, parked in the garage of her suburban Detroit home.

No one reported her missing. The grass was cut and the mail was collected. Bills were paid automatically from her bank account.

Her macabre — and unknown — demise was discovered Wednesday after the home in Pontiac, Mich., had fallen into foreclosure and the bank hired a worker to patch a hole in the roof, the Detroit Free Press reported.

The woman’s mummified body showed no signs of trauma, although the internal organs had decomposed, the Oakland County medical examiner said Thursday. Dental records will likely be needed to verify her identity, although she’s believed to be about 49 years old, Oakland County Undersheriff Michael McCabe told The Detroit News.

A cause of death was still unavailable.

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“No one has seen the woman for years, so it was assumed she just moved away and the house was vacant,” McCabe said.

The case remained under investigation Friday, and authorities were still trying to understand how she ended up in the backseat of the car — with the key halfway in the ignition — and why it took so long for anyone to find her. McCabe said she lived alone and may have been self-employed, at one point having about $54,000 in her bank account.

Neighbors told police they believed she was from Germany, and often went on extended out-of-town trips. Some people thought she had moved back permanently, and one neighbor continued to mow the lawn for her.

— Erik Ortiz

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