Michigan woman dead for six years found only after money runs out

Police tape surrounds the house on Savanna Drive, March 6, 2014, where a woman in her 40’s was found dead in the back seat of her SUV in her garage in Pontiac, Mich., where she may have been there as long as six years.

(Reuters) - For six years the bills were paid, the grass was cut and no one noticed the body of the dead woman sitting in the back seat of a car in a garage of a residential Pontiac, Michigan, neighborhood.

Her mummified body was finally found this week by someone dispatched to check on the property that fell into foreclosure after the money ran out of her account and the mortgage payments stopped, police said on Friday.

"It is kind of the perfect storm for a mysterious set of circumstance and a challenge because of the extreme degradation of the body," Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard said in a telephone interview.

The woman has not yet been positively identified, but it is thought she is a person who stopped working in 2008 and had set up all of her bills to be paid automatically from her bank account.

She is also thought to have worked as a contractor in the financial department for a major automobile company.

A neighbor cut her lawn, her mail was sent to the post office and there was no family living nearby, Bouchard said.

"The last withdrawal from her account was in March 2013," he added.

Neighbors said the woman had family in Germany and would be gone for days or weeks at a time. When she was back home, she kept to herself, local broadcaster WXYZ reported.

"Nobody came over there to check on the lady. It's weird. And it's actually scary," a neighbor who wished to remain anonymous told the local TV station.

A cause of death was under investigation.

(Reporting by Jon Herskovitz, editing by G Crosse)