Woman finds husband's body in their home 8 months after he disappeared

A woman got the shock of her life when she discovered her missing husband's body eight months after he disappeared - inside their home in a closet where their Christmas decorations were kept.

Jennifer Maedge, 49, from Illinois, had reported her husband Richard Maedge, 53, missing on April 27, 2022, after he vanished in the afternoon.

Police had launched an investigation to find Richard, but despite searching the couple's home, failed to locate him.
Richard wasn't found until eight months later on December 11, 2022, when Jennifer found his body by accident while she was looking for her Christmas decorations.

Richard's death was ruled as suicide by the county coroner's report which was released in March, according to the New York Post.

Jennifer told the St Louis Post-Dispatch that she discovered her husband of 19 years in the closet while looking for decorations for her Christmas tree, explaining: "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 [died by] suicide."

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

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

Police had revealed that they didn't discover Richard's body when they searched the house initially as it was described as a "hoarder home", making it difficult to do a thorough search.

Richard's sister Marilyn Toliver had criticized the police after his body was discovered in his own home, 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."

Jennifer had last spoken to Richard on April 26 when he told her he was going to leave work early as he wasn't feeling well, and said she came home to see his car parked next to their property but no sign of Richard himself, and she believed he may have "needed to get away for a while".

Richard's son Austin Maedge had also claimed after his father's disappearance that his dad may have been depressed because of "family drama" at the time.

Marilyn claimed the issue in question were because she and he were fighting a legal battle against their other sister to gain guardianship over their father, Ed Maedge, who had dementia and died in August, adding: "We were in a serious family conflict. It was terrible."

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

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