Coroner explains how woman didn't notice her husband's body in their home for 8 months

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By VT

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A coroner has explained how a woman could live in the same house as her dead husband's body for eight months without noticing he was there.

Wife Jennifer Maedge reported her husband Richard Maedge, 53, from Illinois, missing in April 2022 after he phoned her to say he was leaving work early due to feeling unwell.

When she came back home, she discovered her husband's car on the driveway as well as his wallet, keys, and cards  - but there was no sign of Richard, which raised some alarm bells.

Jennifer then informed the police about the disappearance, and they arrived at their property - which was described as a "hoarder home," per The Mirror - but could not find the father-of-three.

Eight months later, Jennifer discovered Richard's dead body after she opened a cluttered closet under the stairs to get her Christmas decorations out.

"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," she said, as cited by the outlet.

According to the publication, a coroner's report revealed that her husband had tragically died by suicide at the time he initially went missing.

Many have wondered why it took so long for Jennifer to realize that she had been living in the same place as Richard's body, given that decaying flesh usually gives off an overpowering smell.

Officers came to search her home twice after reports of a strange odor and put the smell down as the tons of rubbish inside the home. A plumber even fixed one of the sewer pipes outside to help get rid of the smell.

However, Kelly Rogers, the county’s chief deputy coroner, explained to KTVI (cited by PEOPLE) that perhaps Jennifer was able to overlook the fact Richard was still in the house because his body had advanced beyond decomposition to a mummified state.

So, by the time the husband's body was discovered, the fluids had dried up or been removed from the skin, which means that the body did not have a powerful odor.

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Richard's sister Marilyn Toliver slammed authorities for not finding her brother sooner despite attending the home and reports of an unusual smell.

"I need answers from the police chief. I need answers from the mayor. How is this even possible?", she told the St Louis Post-Dispatch. "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," she added.

However, cops in Troy, Illinois, responded to Marilyn by stating that they had undertaken comprehensive searches at the home and in the surrounding areas to locate Richard.

The coroner's statement also concluded: "There were no other injuries found during the autopsy examination or evidence found that would indicate anything nefarious regarding Mr Maedge's death."

If you or someone you know is struggling or in crisis, help is available. Call or text 988 or chat 988lifeline.org 

Featured image credit: Catherine McQueen / Getty

Coroner explains how woman didn't notice her husband's body in their home for 8 months

vt-author-image

By VT

Article saved!Article saved!

A coroner has explained how a woman could live in the same house as her dead husband's body for eight months without noticing he was there.

Wife Jennifer Maedge reported her husband Richard Maedge, 53, from Illinois, missing in April 2022 after he phoned her to say he was leaving work early due to feeling unwell.

When she came back home, she discovered her husband's car on the driveway as well as his wallet, keys, and cards  - but there was no sign of Richard, which raised some alarm bells.

Jennifer then informed the police about the disappearance, and they arrived at their property - which was described as a "hoarder home," per The Mirror - but could not find the father-of-three.

Eight months later, Jennifer discovered Richard's dead body after she opened a cluttered closet under the stairs to get her Christmas decorations out.

"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," she said, as cited by the outlet.

According to the publication, a coroner's report revealed that her husband had tragically died by suicide at the time he initially went missing.

Many have wondered why it took so long for Jennifer to realize that she had been living in the same place as Richard's body, given that decaying flesh usually gives off an overpowering smell.

Officers came to search her home twice after reports of a strange odor and put the smell down as the tons of rubbish inside the home. A plumber even fixed one of the sewer pipes outside to help get rid of the smell.

However, Kelly Rogers, the county’s chief deputy coroner, explained to KTVI (cited by PEOPLE) that perhaps Jennifer was able to overlook the fact Richard was still in the house because his body had advanced beyond decomposition to a mummified state.

So, by the time the husband's body was discovered, the fluids had dried up or been removed from the skin, which means that the body did not have a powerful odor.

[twitterwidget||https://twitter.com/thelastshow/status/1632865386780672002]]

Richard's sister Marilyn Toliver slammed authorities for not finding her brother sooner despite attending the home and reports of an unusual smell.

"I need answers from the police chief. I need answers from the mayor. How is this even possible?", she told the St Louis Post-Dispatch. "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," she added.

However, cops in Troy, Illinois, responded to Marilyn by stating that they had undertaken comprehensive searches at the home and in the surrounding areas to locate Richard.

The coroner's statement also concluded: "There were no other injuries found during the autopsy examination or evidence found that would indicate anything nefarious regarding Mr Maedge's death."

If you or someone you know is struggling or in crisis, help is available. Call or text 988 or chat 988lifeline.org 

Featured image credit: Catherine McQueen / Getty