Michigan Woman’s Death Unnoticed For 5 Years Because Her Bills Were On Autopay

houseLast week, a woman in Michigan who was found dead in the backseat of her Jeep, which was parked in her garage. No neighbors remembered seeing her around since maybe 2008, and the bank started foreclosure proceedings. A contractor making repairs on behalf of the bank found the homeowner, who lived alone and was estranged from family. How could such a thing happen?

It turned out to be a strange perfect combination of thoughtful neighbors, a job requiring lots of travel, automatic bill payments, a nice cushion of savings, and strained family relationships. Reporters pieced together that the woman was laid off from her job in finance at Chrysler in the fall of 2008, and co-workers there were the last people to see her alive.

Her mortgage and utility payments all came automatically out of her bank account, which investigators say had about $54,000 in it at the time of her death. Property taxes were part of her mortgage payments. No one noticed that anything was amiss until the money ran out. Mail was forwarded to a P.O. box, but her bills remained paid. Her car was last registered in 2008,

Neighbors were used to having the woman leave on extended business travel, often to Germany, since Chrysler was then part of Diamler-Benz. She “kept to herself,” as people always say about neighbors they don’t know very well. Neighbors kept her lawn mowed to be nice and keep the street looking nice, even though they assumed that maybe she had moved away.

The woman’s sister, who lives in Boston, admitted that the whole family wasn’t close, but couldn’t even get hold of her when their mother died. The phone kept ringing and ringing…presumably still connected because it was on autopay.

PONTIAC: Woman’s mummified body found in Pontiac garage, neighbors said woman ‘kept to herself’ [Source Media]
“I think there was foul play,” says sister of woman found dead in her garage after six years [WXYZ]