Coroner explains how wife didn't notice missing husband's body was in wardrobe for 8 months
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Warning: This article contains details that some may find upsetting
A coroner has explained how it's possible that a woman didn't notice her missing husband's body was in her wardrobe for eight months.
The shocking story came to light earlier this month, which started back in April 2022 when Jennifer Maedge, from Illinois, US, reported her husband Richard Maedge as a missing person.
A police report at the time claimed that 'Maedge was last seen leaving his residence wearing blue jeans and blue t-shirt'.
His son Austin also said he last saw his father at work when he went to get a key to a storage unit.
When the Troy Police Department searched the property, they discovered a strange 'sewer-like' odour, but chalked it up to it being a 'hoarder home'.
Though they searched the house at least twice, a plumber claimed to have eventually 'fixed the smell'.
But the story took a horrifying turn in December last year, when Jennifer went to retrieve some Christmas decorations.
Richard's wife of 19 years explained that she rarely visited the closet as it was always stuffed with tonnes of rubbish - a morbid detail when taking into consideration what happened next.
Buried deep inside was her husband's corpse.
Speaking to the St Louis Post-Dispatch, 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. He had committed suicide."
Troy Police confirmed that Richard had taken his own life, saying they suspected no foul play in the man's death.
The conclusion was backed by an autopsy report from coroner Steve Nonn of Madison County Coroner’s Office.
"The area in the concealed room was only big enough for one person to occupy it," he said.
"Upon opening the door to the concealed storage area, she would then find the decedent’s body and called 9-1-1.
"There were no other injuries found during the autopsy examination or evidence found that would indicate anything nefarious regarding Mr Maedge's death."
Despite the outcome, people were left scratching their heads as to how someone could overlook a dead body in their home.
However, Kelly Rogers, the country's chief deputy coroner, has provided some clarity on the situation.
Speaking to KTVI, she explained that their examination of the corpse found that it was in an advanced stage of decomposition.
By the time he was found, his body had become mummified, which means the fluids have dried up or are removed from the skin and therefore the smell wouldn't have been as strong.
Richard's family continue to grieve their loss, with Jennifer telling Fox 2: "Even though we didn't want the outcome that we had, it's still an outcome that we can put him to rest."
If you’ve been affected by any of these issues and want to speak to someone in confidence, please don’t suffer alone. Call Samaritans for free on their anonymous 24-hour phone line on 116 123
Featured Image Credit: Fox 2/Facebook/Illinois Missing Person
Topics: US News