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Auto-payments hide death: A woman was dead for six years, but no-one knew

A woman's death was hidden for six years due to auto-payments.
A woman's death was hidden for six years due to auto-payments.

For over five years, the body of a woman in Michigan laid clothed in a winter jacket and sitting in the backseat of her jeep in the garage of the home in which she lived alone. As NBC12 reported on March 7, 2014, she lay dead in her garage and no-one even noticed because her auto-payments continued and she was never late on a bill.

She is believed to have been dead since 2008 considering that's when her Jeep's license plate expired.

Her bill payments continued to be automatically deducted from her bank account, and no-one in the neighborhood ever noticed that anything was wrong. With that, the woman, who was not identified, remained laying in her garage as auto-payments were able to hide her death.

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A few neighbors believed she may have moved out of the country, but her grass continued to be cut and mail and newspapers didn't pile up. Once the money in her bank account ran out, the house went into foreclosure, and that was when she was discovered.

“She had $54,000 in her account, and her bills were being deducted,” Undersheriff Mike McCabe said. “Eventually, the money ran out, and her house went into foreclosure.”

Earlier this week, a contractor from the bank went to the home and discovered the body. Making things even stranger is that her body was mummified.

An autopsy has shown that there was no trauma to the woman's body, but a cause of death is still pending. The deputy medical examiner said the skin was intact and there were no internal or external injuries, but the internal organs had decomposed.

She was dressed in clothing which makes it appear she died when it was cold outside. The key was in the jeep's ignition, but it was in the off position.

The woman's relatives on the East Coast may have been identified, but until the family was notified, the police were not releasing her name.

49-year-old neighbor Darryl Tillery said he can't believe no-one knew she was dead, but the grass was always cut and no mail piled up.

“It was pretty manicured,” he said Thursday from his home. “There was no indication there was a body in there, at all.”

Black mold had made its way through the inside of the house, but the electricity was still on.

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