[Warning: Potentially Triggering Content]
An Illinois man by the name of Richard Maedge disappeared from his home back in April 2022. He told his wife Jennifer Maedge he’d be home early from work, but by the time she got home all she found was her husband’s car, keys, and wallet — but the man himself was nowhere to be seen.
When Jennifer reported her husband missing, per FOX59, the Troy Police Department began their search at the home. They described the home at the time as a “hoarder” area, with a “sewer-like” smell. But they found no trace of the 53-year-old. According to the Bellevue News-Democrat, the smell coming from the home was so strong that even their neighbors and mailman picked up on it. Law enforcement returned when the wife reported the smell but were still unable to find anything. A plumber told her the smell was coming from one of the sewer pipes in the basement and covered it up. After that, the smell dissipated, and they didn’t think any more of it.
No one saw Richard for eight months, believing he had disappeared without a trace. All the while Jennifer told Fox 2 St. Louis she could still feel her husband’s presence in the home — which offered her a great deal of comfort while they searched for him. Sadly, she was more right than she knew.
Right before Christmas, Jennifer went searching for her holiday decorations in the home, leading her to open a closet which was somewhat hidden under the stairs — only to find her husband’s body inside. According to the local coroner, the man’s body was in a “mummified state” — but showed no signs of foul play or further injuries.
Richard’s death has since been ruled a suicide. So, so sad…
While speaking with the local outlet, Jennifer spoke about what the loss is for her and Richard’s family:
“There are no words in my mind that I can say. He’ll be deeply missed.”
The late maintenance worker’s sister spoke to BND recently, though, and she’s up in arms that police didn’t do more. She demanded:
“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.”
Richard’s widow maintains the police would’ve never known the secret closet was there because it was hidden so well. But didn’t she know it was there? Why didn’t she tell them? And couldn’t cadaver dogs have found him in a matter of seconds? We mean, the sister is right — police couldn’t have been looking very hard, right?
See Jennifer’s full interview from right after she found him (below):
Such a sad situation. Our hearts go out to Richard’s family and loved ones as they navigate this unthinkable loss.
If you or someone you know is contemplating suicide, help is available. Consider contacting the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline at 988, by calling, texting, or chatting, or go to 988lifeline.org.