Autopsy reveals cause of death of missing Illinois man; Coroner explains how woman’s body didn’t notice

MADISON COUNTY, Illinois — An autopsy released Thursday explains what happened to a Troy, Illinois man who was found dead at his home months after he was reported missing.

According to a report by Madison County Coroner Steve Nonn, Richard Maedge died after taking his own life.

Maedge’s wife Jennifer reported him missing on the afternoon of April 27, 2022. She told Troy Police she last spoke to him the day before. Maedge called Jennifer and said he was leaving work early. When Jennifer got home, Richard was gone, but his car was parked outside and his wallet and keys were left behind.

Troy Police initially searched the home but found no trace of Richard.

Kelly Rogers, assistant county coroner, said police described the residence as a “hoarder home.” Upon searching the home, police noticed a “drain-like” odor in the apartment.

Jennifer Maedge called the police again some time later to report an odor. Troy Police searched the house a second time and found the smell to be the same, although they found no remains.

The family contacted a plumber, who described the smell in the house as sewer gas, Rogers said. The plumber put a cap on one of the sewer pipes in the basement, which seemed to eliminate the odor in the apartment.

Jennifer found her husband’s body on December 11, 2022, nearly eight months after his disappearance. She told police she went into a hidden closet area to retrieve a bag of Christmas decorations. Richard’s body was in that storage room.

In a phone interview with FOX 2, Rogers stated that Maedge’s body had progressed beyond decomposition and was in a mummified state. A body enters the mummification stage when the fluids have dried or are removed from the skin. Rogers said that a mummified body might not have a strong odor, which would explain why it took so long to find Richard Maedge.

The autopsy revealed no other injuries and no foul play was involved in Maedge’s death. Autopsy reveals cause of death of missing Illinois man; Coroner explains how woman’s body didn’t notice

Sarah Y. Kim

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