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DNA Likely to ID ‘Mummified in Michigan,’ But How She Died May Be Unanswered

Oakland County sheriff says officials may never be able to establish whether Pia Farrenkopf died of natural causes, suicide or homicide.

Oakland County authorities say evidence collected at the home of Pia Farrenkopf suggest she died in early 2009. The mummified remains of a woman believed to be Farrenkopf were found in her home March 5. (Photo: "Mummified in Michigan" Facebook page)
Oakland County authorities say evidence collected at the home of Pia Farrenkopf suggest she died in early 2009. The mummified remains of a woman believed to be Farrenkopf were found in her home March 5. (Photo: "Mummified in Michigan" Facebook page)

The mystery surrounding the likely death of Pia Farrenkopf may never be fully unraveled.

Oakland County authorities say they’re confident a DNA sample obtained from Farrenkopf’s sister will establish Farrenkopf as the woman whose mummified remains were found in a suburban Detroit garage earlier this month, MLive reports.

Identification could take several months. Authorities had hoped for a more expedient process – dental records – but their plea for a dentist who may have treated Farrenkopf went unanswered.

But how she died – natural causes, suicide or homicide – may never be known because here wasn’t enough tissue remaining on the badly decomposed body to perform a thorough autopsy to determine the cause of death, Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard said.

"It's going to be a challenge to get much beyond what we already have," he said.

Farrenkopf’s sister, Paula Logan, said she last saw her in 2007. Farrenkopf received a traffic citation in Pontiac, where she lived, in October 2008. The last call on her now-disconnected phone occurred in early 2009, the same time as her last bank transaction, according to the MLive report.

After that, her life is a blank slate.

Other evidence collected at Farrenkopf’s home after a contractor discovered the mummified remains have turned up little information to help solve the mystery of her death.
Sue Czarnecki March 21, 2014 at 12:36 PM
This story is SO bizarre .....
niteman March 21, 2014 at 12:51 PM
I can only say: I am glad that I have always had close relationships with my brothers and sisters. It's beyond sad that some folks hardly stay in touch with their own blood...I'd be embarrassed to admit that I was a sibling to this woman after what occurred. Yeez....
Donna Reed March 22, 2014 at 10:46 AM
I agree with niteman. IMAGINE a sister not speaking to her sister in SEVEN years? I don't care WHAT went on between them.....don't you at least WONDER about them..and TRY to make contact? One can ALMOST excuse the neighbors..( though even that's a little hard to do)..but geez.....didn't she mean SOMETHING to SOMEONE? How sad this story is.......
Sofia Nikollbibaj March 24, 2014 at 04:21 PM
WOW! I am so glad my family (American with eastern european roots) has always been close and instilled in us since a very young age that family always comes first. I feel really sad for whatever happened to this woman :(

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