TROY, Ill. — A man whose wife reported him missing was found dead almost eight months after his disappearance. He was found in his own home, a location that had been searched by law enforcement officials, multiple media outlets are reporting.
Officials said Richard Maedge was reported missing in April by his wife, who said she had spoken with him when he was leaving work. When she got home, she saw his car outside and his wallet and keys inside the home, but no sign of her husband, KTVI reported.
Police searched the house, which they described as a “hoarder home,” but did not find Maedge anywhere.
Maedge’s wife, Jennifer Maedge, called the police a second time to report an odor. Officials search again and found nothing, but did notice the smell.
Jennifer Maedge then contacted a plumber who capped a sewer pipe in the home’s basement, blocking the smell.
Months later, Jennifer Maedge went to a concealed closet to retrieve a bin of Christmas decorations and discovered her husband’s body, KTVI reported.
Madison County chief deputy coroner, Kelly Rogers, said that Richard Maedge’s body was in a mummified state. When a body is dried out, it may not release a strong odor and Rogers said that may have contributed to police not finding his remains.
Officials believe Richard Maedge took his own life.
While Jennifer Maedge supported the police in the investigation, other family members claim officers didn’t do enough to find Richard Maedge’s body initially, according to the Belleville News-Democrat.
Marilyn Toliver, Richard Maedge’s sister, said police should have searched harder for her brother, the Belleville News-Democrat reported.
Troy Police Chief Brent Shownes said last week that his department took several steps to find Richard Maedge, including conducting several searches of the home and the surrounding areas, using K-9 for tracking, deploying a search-and-rescue team with several cadaver dogs, requesting phone carrier GPS information and responding to the call of a strong odor, finding a sewer pipe, the newspaper reported.