Illinois woman finds husband’s body in home eight months after he disappeared

A woman found her missing husband dead in a closet with their Christmas decorations, eight months after he disappeared.

Jennifer Maedge, 49, from Illinois, had reported her husband Richard Maedge, 53, missing on the afternoon of April 27, 2022, with police launching an investigation to find him.

However - despite law enforcement searching the couple's home - his body was discovered there eight months later when Jennifer found him while searching for her Christmas decorations.

Richard's death was ruled as suicide by the county coroner's report, which was released on Thursday per the New York Post.

Richard's body was discovered on December 11 when his wife of 19 years went looking for some decorations for her Christmas tree, with Jennifer telling the St Louis Post-Dispatch at the time: "I decided to put the Christmas tree up, and I was looking for a tote of Christmas ornaments, and that’s when I discovered him. He had committed suicide."

The man's body had decomposed to the point of mummification after eight months, having been hidden behind many clothes in an under-stairs cupboard.

Jennifer, her neighbors, and even police officers had reported a foul smell coming from the home for several months, but put it down to it being sewage and said it was never an "overpowering" odor.

Despite an initial search of the house, Richard's body had not been found at the time as it was difficult for police to do a thorough search as they described the property as a "hoarder home".

Richard's sister Marilyn Toliver had criticized the police in the wake of his body being found, saying in an interview in December via the St Louis Post-Dispatch: "I need answers from the police chief. I need answers from the mayor. How is this even possible?

"Mistakes were made, and I want answers. If it means filing a complaint and going all the way to the governor, I will. I’m not going away. I’m just now beginning to say stuff out loud. I should have been screaming from the beginning, but I was suckered in by the police department saying they were doing their job and looking for him."

Following Richard's disappearance, his son Austin Maedge had claimed his father may have been depressed due to a "family drama" he was experiencing at the time, which Marilyn claimed was because she and he were fighting a legal battle against their other sister to get guardianship of their father, Ed Maedge, who had dementia and died in August.

She explained: "We were in a serious family conflict. It was terrible."

Jennifer had revealed that she last spoke to Richard on April 26, when he told her he was leaving work early as he wasn't feeling well, and arrived home to find his car parked next to the house but no sign of him, and believed he may have "needed to get away for a while".

Richard Maedge leaves behind his wife and sisters, as well a two sons, Austin and Zack Maedge, stepdaughter Amber Maedge, and three grandchildren.

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