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Authorities identify mummified remains of woman in Detroit suburb

(Reuters) - A woman whose mummified remains were found in her garage in a Detroit suburb up to five years after her death has been identified through DNA tests, an official said on Friday.

Pia Farrenkopf had set up her bills to be paid automatically through a bank account, a neighbor cut her grass and her mail was sent to a nearby post office while her body sat for years in the back seat of a vehicle in her Pontiac, Michigan, garage.

Her body was finally found in March when someone was sent to check on the house, which had fallen into foreclosure after the account ran down and mortgage payments stopped.

Robert Gerds, administrator for the Oakland County medical examiner's office, said Farrenkopf's family was notified Tuesday of the positive identification and her body has been released.

A cause of death has not been determined, nor when she died, though investigators were able to confirm that she was seen alive as recently as early 2009, Gerds said.

"This has brought some closure for our family, knowing we may finally lay Pia to rest," a posting on a Facebook page dedicated to her by a niece said Tuesday.

Farrenkopf stopped working in 2008 and the last withdrawal from the account was in March 2013, Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard said in March. He said her mail went to a post office, a neighbor cut her lawn, and she had no nearby family.

(Reporting by David Bailey; Editing by Eric Beech)

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