Woman's body found in garage of her foreclosed home in Pontiac years after her death

(WXYZ) - The Oakland County Sheriff's Office says an autopsy has been performed on the body of the woman that was found in the back seat of her Jeep years after her death.

Update: "I think there was foul play," says sister of woman found dead in her garage after six years.

The Oakland County medical examiner told deputies that there was no trauma to the body and that a cause of death is still pending. 

It’s been years since anyone living on Savanna Drive in Pontiac saw their neighbor.

"It’s been about three years since any activity has been at that house," said one neighbor who wished to remain anonymous. 

"When’s the last time anyone has seen her? About six years ago," said another neighbor, Caitlyn Talbot. 

Caitlyn said everyone thought the owner moved.

But on Wednesday, neighbors found out the owner has been right there the whole time, inside the garage, dead in the backseat of her Jeep.

Deputies believe the woman was 49 years old. 

"Nobody came over there to check on the lady. It’s weird. And it’s actually scary,” said the neighbor who wished to remain anonymous. 

Neighbors say the woman was in her 40s, from Germany, and worked for one of the Big Three automakers.

"You’d think because of her job, and we heard she had a son, so you’d think someone would’ve come looking for her," said Caitlyn. 

But nobody came looking. She traveled a lot for work, so no one thought anything was weird when they didn’t see her.

"She was probably there for a couple of days, then she’d leave for a week, then she’d come back. Then she’d leave for a month and come back," said Caitlyn. 

Caitlyn said the home is going into foreclosure and it was a contractor working on the house who found her dead.

Another neighbor said about 8 years ago, Pontiac Police kicked in the front door to do a welfare check on the woman. Officers didn't find her, but found her dog and cat alive and took them to an animal shelter. The neighbor says they believe she returned later. 

About 2 years ago, that same neighbor called the city after hearing the house was going to be torn down. He said the city told him there was just a complaint about the roof. The neighbor says he then complained about the roof to the mortgage company's property restoration division and that's when they sent out a crew to make repairs.

"She didn’t really talk to anyone. I’m sure she was a nice lady. She really kept to herself. We never really heard anything from her," said Caitlyn. 

The owner has been dead for so many years that our sources say her body was mummified. Investigators say her license plates expired in 2008 and that they found keys in the Jeep's ignition, but they were in the off position.

The Oakland County Sheriff's Office says her home has what appears to be black mold and detectives entered the home with hazardous material suits on Thursday. 

We spoke with Pia's sister by phone.  Her sister is still living in the Boston area where she said they were born and raised. They have eight other brothers and sisters.   Most of the brothers and sisters have passed, and so have their parents.   She said everyone stayed nearby except Pia who moved away to Pontiac. 

The sister said Pia didn’t work for an auto company.  She said Pia worked for a bank that sent her all over the world for work for months at a time.  She said she has been trying to get in touch with Pia in recent years but the phone would just ring and ring.  The sister said she has heard from news reports that the neighbors thought Pia had a son, but the sister said that as far as she knows, Pia never had a son.

I also spoke by phone with Edward Carroll.  Carroll married Pia's mother about three years ago.  Carroll tells us by phone from Georgia that Pia’s mother died about a year and a half ago from cancer.  He married her mother about three years ago.  It was a second marriage for both.  A marriage he said they wanted Pia to be at, but she never answered their letters and she never answered the phone.

“I tried to find her through the Internet and everything and I never could find her.  And I wrote a letter a couple times and I think some of them came back,” said Carroll.  “Her mother hadn’t heard from her for years and years.  A lot of her children, in fact, her oldest child, she hadn’t seen her probably in 30 years,” he said.



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