Wife didn’t spot husband’s body for 8 months after killing himself in their home

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    A woman took eight months to find her husband’s mummified corpse after he killed himself in their “hoarder” home.

    Jennifer Maedge first reported her husband Richard missing from their Illinois, United States, home in April 2022.

    When visiting their home, police twice reported a “sewer-like” smell inside their “hoarder home”.

    It wasn't until December 2022 that Jennifer found her husband’s body hanging in a concealed, rarely-visited storage area inside a closet in their bedroom.

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    The coroner released a report on Thursday (March 2) that revealed Richard had died by suicide, adding that his body had passed the stage of decomposition and become mummified by the time he was discovered.

    “There were no other injuries found during the autopsy examination or evidence found that would indicate anything nefarious regarding Mr. Maedge's death,” the coroner said.

    The police coroner toldKTVImummified bodies don't give off odours, which may explain why Richard’s body went undiscovered for so long.

    Jennifer told police officers Richard vanished on April 27, 2022, after he called her to say he was leaving work early.

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    He was nowhere to be seen when she got home, despite finding Richard's car parked out front, and his keys and wallet in the house.

    Police began searching for the father of three, initially doing a pass through the crowded house.

    After police reported a “sewer-like smell” in the house, Jennifer contacted a plumber, who capped one of the sewer pipes at the house.

    Following this, Jennifer reported that the smell had subsided.

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    Richard's sister, Marilyn Toliver, criticised the police department, publicly saying it could have done more to find him.

    In response, the force released an exhaustive list of the measures they took to find Richard, which included extensive searches of the property surrounding the area.

    Jennifer said that despite the amount of time it took for police to find her husband's body, she was thankful that police eventually found her husband’s corpse, saying: “Even though we didn't want the outcome that we had, it's still an outcome that we can put him to rest."

    For emotional support, you can call the Samaritans 24-hour helpline on 116 123, email [email protected], visit a Samaritans branch in person or go to the Samaritans website.


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    • Missing Person
    • Inquests
    • Police
    • United States

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