We’ve been following the story out of Michigan of the woman who disappeared into her own house for more than five years, with no one noticing her absence because all of her bills were on auto-pay. As investigators try to figure out what happened to her, they’ve found another mystery: she appears to have voted in 2010, even though the evidence shows that she died in 2008.
Hold your Chicago jokes. The most obvious answer is that someone made a clerical error, but investigators haven’t ruled out more sinister possibilities. The woman probably didn’t show up at the polls herself, though. Experts pointed out to the Detroit Free Press that people who don’t vote often are more likely to show up during a presidential campaign year, not for a gubernatorial election, which 2010 was in Michigan. The deceased had registered to vote locally in 2006, but records show that she didn’t make it to the polls until 2010, two years after her presumed death.
The last time that the woman was seen in public was in October 2008, when she received a traffic ticket for not carrying proof of insurance. Her car’s tags were last renewed in 2008, and neighbors and colleagues don’t report seeing her after that. She missed a court hearing regarding that ticket in January 2009.
There was still gasoline in the tank of her Jeep, and while the keys were in the ignition, they were in the “off” position and the key partially pulled out. The woman was found in the backseat of the Jeep, with her body mummified due to the lack of air circulation.
That said, the body still hasn’t been definitively identified as the homeowner, a former Chrysler employee named Pia Farrenkopf. Authorities are still looking for old dental records for comparison with the body found in her Jeep. The body shows no signs of trauma or anything suspicious. Her sister, who lives in Boston, told the media that she suspects foul play, but the siblings clearly weren’t very close.
The ranch house itself is being treated as a biohazard, infested with black mold after years of neglect.
New mystery in Pontiac: How could mummified body vote in 2010? [Detroit Free Press]