University professor performs autopsy on mummified body found in Detroit garage

Tuesday, January 3, 2017 - 6:59pm

An unnamed University of Michigan anthropologist examined the five-year-old mummified remains of an unidentified body Tuesday evening.

The body, found in a garage behind a Detroit house, was in the backseat of a ’90s Plymouth Acclaim, the Detroit Free Press reported. The skeleton was decayed to the point it became necessary for a specialist to be asked to perform the autopsy. Authorities said the remains consisted of brown, leathery bones fully clothed in pants, a shirt and a sweater.

"They don't know the sex or approximate age, so that's why they need an anthropologist," said Lloyd Jackson, Wayne County Medical Examiner’s Office spokesman, in a statement Monday.

A prospective buyer of the residential property found the body when he looked in the detached garage behind the house. The current tenants of the house told police of the property owner’s ban on using the garage and insisted they never went into it.

A spokesman for the Detroit Police Department told the Detroit Free Press the remains had likely been there for “quite some time” and the body has been inspected, though no specific information can yet be determined about the cause of death or identity of the person.

The discovery emerges after two recent similar cases in Michigan. According to the Free Press, a 78-year old Hazel Park resident was found mummified in his home in 2016, and a repairman in Pontiac discovered a mummy of a 44-year-old woman when he was hired to repair her foreclosed home in 2014.

Neither the University nor the Wayne County Medical Examiner’s Office were available to comment on the autopsy findings at the time of publication.