When a man suddenly disappeared, his wife reported him missing. Eight months later, his whereabouts were finally revealed when the woman found her husband’s body in their home, leaving many to wonder how she didn’t notice that there was a corpse in the house.
Jennifer Maedge didn’t know what to think when her husband suddenly disappeared without a trace one afternoon. Hoping to get help in discovering her husband’s whereabouts, Jennifer reported her husband missing. The Troy Police Department responded, searched the house, and launched an investigation, but authorities were unable to locate 53-year-old Richard Maedge.
According to Jennifer, she had spoken to Richard before his disappearance when he called to tell her that he was leaving work early, she told the police. However, when Jennifer arrived home, Richard was nowhere to be found, even though his car was parked outside and his wallet and keys were also left behind, Fox 59 reported. Unfortunately, the police found no trace of Richard in their search.
Eventually, the police asked the public for help in locating Richard Maedge after his wife reported him missing, but no one seemed to have any information regarding the man’s whereabouts. However, that all changed later that year when Jennifer decided to put up some holiday decorations nearly eight months after Richard had disappeared and soon discovered that her husband hadn’t gone anywhere.
While looking for a tote of holiday decorations in a storage space of their marital home after the search for Richard had been called off, Jennifer Maedge stumbled upon the dead body of her husband. Disturbingly, he had died in the home nearly 8 months prior and his body had gone unnoticed. Of course, with a dead body comes odor, but it was overlooked.
Richard’s body was in a “concealed closet,” where the decorations had been stored, and the odor had been dismissed as “sewage.” Although Jennifer, her neighbors, and even the cops who searched the home had reported a foul odor coming from the home for months prior to the gruesome discovery, the smell was overlooked and reportedly believed to be sewage. The police even said they noticed a “sewer-like” odor inside the residence while searching the house, but it was disregarded.
Jennifer called the police again sometime later to report an odor, and the Troy police searched the home a second time. While they did not find any remains, they noticed the odor was the same, but it was never overwhelming, Jennifer said. Even so, sometime between the time when Richard went missing and when his body was found, Jennifer called a plumber over the foul odor in the home.
The plumber described the odor inside the house as sewer gas. The smell appeared to subside after the plumber placed a cap on one of the basement sewer pipes, further leading Jennifer to believe the smell was indeed sewage. Sadly, after the gutwrenching discovery, the mourning wife realized the smell was coming from Richard’s corpse, which had “decomposed to the point of mummification,” the NY Post reported.
Kelly Rogers, the county’s chief deputy coroner, explained that the man’s body had decomposed to the point it was in a state of mummification because the fluids in the body had dried up completely, The Blaze reported. Rogers also explained that a mummified body may not have a strong odor, which would explain why it took so long for Richard Maedge to be found.
Further explaining how the body and the odor were overlooked for so long, when the police initially searched the house, looking for the missing husband, they described it as a “hoarder home,” which made it difficult to conduct a complete search for the missing man. Following an autopsy, Richard Maedge’s death was ruled a suicide, according to a report from the county coroner. The autopsy showed no further injuries and no foul play in the man’s death.
Unfortunately, this story is a stark reminder that those experiencing a mental health crisis need help before it’s too late. If you are struggling with suicidal thoughts or are experiencing a mental health crisis, you can dial the 24/7 National Suicide Prevention hotline at 988 or go to SuicidePreventionLifeline.org. In addition, disorders such as hoarding are often an indicator of a very serious underlying issue and shouldn’t be ignored. If you or someone you love is struggling, please seek help. A simple Google search can reveal additional resources available to you in your community.