Anthropologist to examine mummified remains from Detroit garage

DETROIT — A University of Michigan anthropologist is to perform an autopsy Tuesday on the mummified and unidentified remains discovered last week in the garage of a Detroit house.

The body is so decayed that a specialist is needed to discern its gender and age as well as the cause of death, said Wayne County Medical Examiner’s Office spokesman Lloyd Jackson.

"They don't know the sex or approximate age, so that's why they need an anthropologist," Jackson said Monday.

The decomposed body was found Thursday face down in the backseat of an early 1990s Plymouth Acclaim inside the garage. Authorities have described the finding as a skeleton of brown, leathery bones dressed in pants, shirt and a sweater.

The discovery was made by a man interested in buying the residential property who was checking out its detached garage. The garage is behind the two-story bungalow on the 19900 block of Spencer.

Tenants who lived at the home told police that the property's owner said they couldn't use the garage, so they never went inside.

A woman who answered the front door of the house on Monday declined to comment for this story.

A nearby resident said she was shocked to hear of the discovery and has no idea whose body it could be. The resident, who only gave her name as Cookie, said that until last week she had never seen the garage open or noticed any sort of odd behaviors or smells emanating from inside.

The neighbor recalled how her dogs did inexplicably start barking for a period of time, but she isn't certain whether the barking was related to the body decomposing in the nearby garage. The neighbor described the house's previous occupants before the current tenants as a mother and son who moved out about four or five years ago.

Property records show the house and garage on Spencer last sold for $21,000 in 1986 and is in the name of Emanuel Martinez, who also is listed with an address in Warren. Attempts by the Free Press to reach Martinez were unsuccessful.

Follow JC Reindl on Twitter: @JCReindl


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