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July 30, 2014

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Officials identify mummified remains in Michigan

Updated Friday, July 18, 2014 | 8:40 a.m.

PONTIAC, Mich. (AP) — Officials have confirmed that the mummified remains found in the garage of a suburban Detroit home in March were those of the woman who lived there alone.

Authorities this week notified the relatives of Pia Farrenkopf that she had been positively identified using DNA testing, the Detroit Free Press reported (http://on.freep.com/1nSnfJg ). Oakland County Deputy Medical Examiner Dr. Bernardino Pacris said the cause and manner of death could not be determined because the body was mummified.

Investigators said in March that they believed the remains were Farrenkopf, a self-employed financial trouble-shooter who would have turned 50 this year.

A message posted Tuesday on a Facebook page set up by a relative said arrangements were being made to lay Farrenkopf's remains to rest.

Her body was found in the rear seat of her Jeep, inside the garage of her Pontiac home. Officials said she could have been dead for more than five years and that there was no evidence of foul play. They sought help from dentists who may have treated Farrenkopf, but couldn't secure the necessary records.

Oakland County authorities say Farrenkopf paid her mortgage and other bills automatically through a checking account that once had a balance of $54,000. The money ran out last year, and the Pontiac home went into foreclosure. A contractor sent by the lender discovered the body.

Farrenkopf, who was single, traveled the world and had family in Massachusetts. Besides Michigan, Farrenkopf also lived in Massachusetts, Arkansas and overseas.

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Information from: Detroit Free Press, http://www.freep.com