corpse was discovered by a man who was house shopping and
ventured into the home's garage on Thursday afternoon, spotting
the body inside an early 1990s-model Plymouth sedan, police and
coroner's officials said.
How long the body had been in the garage and the circumstances
of the individual's death remained unknown, said Lloyd Jackson,
a spokesman for the Wayne County Medical Examiner's Office.
"It was there for a long period of time," Jackson said. "It's
mummified, so it's probably been over a year, at least."
Medical examiners visually inspected the corpse, which was found
dressed in a shirt, sweater and pants.
But the advanced state of decomposition, in which exposed tissue
has turned brown, taking on the appearance of tanned leather,
precludes a conventional autopsy, even obscuring whether the
person was male or female, Jackson said.
Coroners hope to resolve much of the mystery once an
anthropologist from the University of Michigan arrives next week
to conduct a special examination, including measurements of the
hip bones to determine its gender.
Jackson said investigators expect the anthropological autopsy
will also reveal the approximate age of the individual, as well
as something about the manner, cause and time of death.
For now, there is too little information to know whether foul
play was involved, and the case remains an open investigation,
The home where the body turned up was being rented by tenants
who told police they never used the garage and knew nothing
about the body's presence, Detroit police spokesman Dan
(Reporting by Ben Klayman in Detroit and Steve Gorman in Los
Angeles; Writing by Steve Gorman; Editing by James Dalgleish)
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