Richard Maedge died by suicide, according to a report from Madison County Coroner Steve Nonn that was released Thursday.
Maedge’s wife, Jennifer, reported him missing on the afternoon of April 27, 2022. She told Troy police she last spoke with him the day before. Richard Maedge called his wife and said he was leaving work early. When his wife arrived home, Richard Maedge 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 him.
Kelly Rogers, the county’s chief deputy coroner, said police described the residence as a “hoarder home.” While searching the house, police noticed a “sewer-like” odor inside the residence.
Jennifer Maedge called the police again sometime later to report an odor. Troy police searched the home a second time and, while they did not find any remains, noticed the odor was the same.
The family contacted a plumber, who described the odor inside the house as sewer gas, Rogers said. The plumber placed a cap on one of the sewer pipes in the basement, which seemed to eliminate the odor at the residence.
Jennifer Maedge found her husband’s body on Dec. 11, 2022, nearly eight months after his disappearance. She told police she’d gone to a concealed closet area to retrieve a tote containing Christmas decorations. Richard’s body was inside that storage space.
In a phone interview with KTVI, Rogers explained that Maedge’s body had advanced beyond decomposition and was in a mummified state. A body reaches the mummification phase when the fluids are dried up or removed from the skin. Rogers said that a mummified body may not have a strong odor, which would explain why it took so long for Richard Maedge to be found.
The autopsy showed no further injuries and no foul play was involved in Richard Maedge’s death.