Search icon


16th Apr 2024

Woman didn’t discover mummified corpse of husband in wardrobe until eight months later

Charlie Herbert

Woman didn't discover mummified corpse of husband in wardrobe until eight months later

She found his body whilst searching for Christmas decorations

A woman in the US found the mummified corpse of her husband in a wardrobe eight months after she reported him missing.

Richard Maedge, 53, was reported missing by his wife, Jennifer, on April 27, 2022. After this, police searched their home in Troy, Illinois, twice as part of their investigation into his disappearance.

They reported that the property was a “hoarder home” and smelt “sewer-like” but found no sign of Richard.

Then, on December 11 that year, Jennifer found her husband’s body hanging in a concealed storage area in a closet in their bedroom.

She had been searching for Christmas decorations when she made the harrowing discovery.

A coroners report released last month said Richard was believed to have died by suicide, and that his body had become mummified after passing the stage of decomposition.

The police coroner explained to local news that mummified bodies don’t give off odors, which may have played a part in him remaining undiscovered in the house.

Jennifer had reported Richard missing after he called her to say he was leaving work early. But when she returned, he was nowhere to be seen despite the fact his car was parked outside and his keys and wallet were in the house.

The police performed their initial search of the property, but found no sign of Richard or any clues to his whereabouts.

Some time after the first search, Jennifer said the foul odor in her house remained and police searched the house again.

Speaking to the Belleville News-Democrat about how she found her husband, Jennifer said: “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.”

Police have said they suspect now foul play in Richard’s death, with the coroner reporting that “no injuries were found during the autopsy examination or evidence found that would indicate anything nefarious regarding Mr Maedge’s death.”

Related links:

Man disappears without a trace after sinkhole eats up his bedroom