Woman Goes Searching for Christmas Ornaments in Hideaway Closet, But Finds Her Missing Husband’s Remains Instead

On April 27 of last year, Jennifer Maedge reported her husband – Richard Maedgemissing after not seeing him for an entire day. She received a phone call from him on April 26 and he explained that he was leaving work early that day. When she returned home, his vehicle was parked in the driveway. 

It seemed like a normal day and all signs were pointing to him being home, but she quickly realized he was nowhere to be found – despite his keys and wallet being left behind in the house. After not being able to contact him or find him, she reported him missing and the police began searching for him right away. 

The Troy Police Department conducted an initial search of the home – which was described as a ‘hoarding house’ – and even brought in the K9 unit. A follow-up search ensued shortly after, but there was no sign of the husband and police had no indication of any foul play – by the wife or anyone else. 

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After some time passed, the wife started to complain of a foul odor coming from inside the home. Troy Police conducted yet another search of the home and found an open sewer pipe in the basement. After having a plumber cap off the sewer pipe, the foul odor subsided and no further complaints were made. 

Over the next few months, police continued their search and even expanded that search into nearby residences, abandoned properties, surrounding land, wooded areas, and also contacted nearby medical facilities, hospitals, and other facilities that might’ve seen or heard from him in the event of an emergency. 

Not only that, but Troy Police conducted numerous in-person and over-the-phone interviews with family members, friends, co-workers, and employers. They reviewed surveillance footage of his workplace, convenience stores where he had loyalty cards, bank records, dental records, and so much more. 

Further explaining how thorough police were, they received more than 30 tips from nearby locals who had seen Richard around that time or thought they saw him. Unfortunately, none of those leads and none of the information they gathered resulted in Richard turning up – that is, until his wife finally found him. 

After Missing for 8 Months, Richard Was Home All Along

With Christmas 2022 looming, Jennifer Maedge felt it was time to start putting up Christmas decorations – despite having no answers as to where her husband was and if he was ever coming back. That’s when she went into a ‘hideaway closet’ that was ‘behind a clothes cupboard under a staircase in the home.’ 

She went in looking for Christmas ornaments for the tree, but was mortified when she found Richard’s dead body instead – a body that had been there for 8 months. And since the body was in a mummified state, it didn’t smell as bad as you’d think – which is why it was so easy for the wife and police to miss. 

On Thursday, a report released by Madison County Coroner Steve Nonn revealed that the husband had died by suicide and there were no signs of foul play. The body was found on December 11 – just two weeks before Christmas – and the family held an intimate funeral service for him sometime in January. 

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While Jennifer understands why his body was missed, despite several searches of the home, her sister has been deeply critical of the police’s handling of the situation. Nonetheless, Jennifer Maedge is ready to move on and begin her life without her husband – something she has done for 8 months, but now it’s real.

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