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Woman's automatic-bill-pay hides her death: Mummified woman dead for 6 years

Woman's death hidden for six years as bill auto-pay keeps her bills paid.
Woman's death hidden for six years as bill auto-pay keeps her bills paid.Getty Images

A woman’s automated bank payments hid the fact that she was dead for six years, which may be considered a gruesome side effect of technology today. As automated payments came out of the woman’s bank account, the monthly bills were all paid on her Michigan home and no one knew the difference, until six years pass by and the bank account runs dry.

According to CNN News on March 7, the woman, who neighbors said was somewhere in her 40’s, traveled a lot, so folks around her home were not used to seeing the woman often. A neighbor did a good deed for the woman living alone and mowed her lawn every week, so the house looked kept from the outside.

The bank foreclosed on the house after her bank account ran dry and the numerous attempts by the bank to get a hold of the woman went unanswered. Still, nothing seemed out of place, the woman was told to vacate the premises via numerous letters and the bank thought that she did.

The bank set a workman into the home to fix a hole in the roof this week and that workman made a gruesome discovery. He found the woman’s mummified body in the backseat of her car in the garage.

The woman’s body was sitting in the backseat of her car and the key was halfway in the ignition. Authorities believe the woman has been dead for about six years. The investigation is on-going as law enforcement tries to figure out what happened.

Oakland County, Michigan Undersheriff Mike McCabe said after his 37-years in law enforcement, he has “never seen anything like this before.”

It was the automated payments taken out of her bank account that gave the electronic grid the idea that she was still alive. If she had lived paycheck to paycheck like many do today, her body probably would have been discovered much sooner.

Neighbors said that the woman, who spoke with a German accent, traveled for long periods of time. Due to this fact, nothing seemed out of place to the people who lived in the houses around her. She would go away for a week, then come back home. The woman would take off for a month and return back home, which was a scenario repeated the entire time she was living there said one neighbor.

Another neighbor did call the police for a well-being check back in 2007 after not seeing any activity at the home for a long period of time. The police went to the home and not finding anything out of order, so they left.

The neighbors just thought she was in Germany for a prolonged period of time. When officials from the sheriff’s office arrived at the house they were in haze-mat suits, as there was some type of black mold growing inside the home.

The coroner said it doesn’t appear as if foul play was involved in the woman’s death, although cause of death has not been determined. The county’s deputy medical examiner, Dr. Bernadino Pacirs, said the woman’s skin was still intact, but her internal organs had decomposed.

The body actually mummified and the medical examiner did say this is unusual, although it is seen once in a while. The house, which basically sat furnished and vacant for six years, was never broken into.

The scariest part of this story is how this could happen. The woman, although very dead, was kept alive through automated technology. For six years she was thought to have been alive because her bills were being paid through the automatic payment system that banks offer. This incident has a cold, dark feeling to it and it somehow feels like a glimpse into the future.