Jennifer Maedge, 49, reported her husband, Richard Maedge, 53, missing on April 27.
Despite police searches, Richard was not found until December 11 when Jennifer discovered his mummified remains in a closet in their Troy home.
Jennifer was searching for Christmas decorations to celebrate the holidays in his absence when she found her husband’s body.
Jennifer shared with People magazine that she had been contemplating the best way to celebrate the holidays without knowing the whereabouts of her husband.
She had decided to put up some Christmas decorations to honor her husband and to put her more in the Christmas spirit.
Jennifer admitted that the previous year’s holidays were hard to celebrate while her husband’s disappearance was still unsolved.
She described Richard’s death as a suicide, and Madison County Coroner Steve Nonn confirmed that there were no signs of foul play.
Jennifer stated that Richard had mental health issues in the past and had sought help for it.
She also shared that he had told her he would get help when he knew the breaking point.
She expressed disbelief that he would take his life and had never verbalized it to her.
Chief Deputy Coroner Kelly Rogers reported that the smell of sewer gas had been noticed by police during their search. A plumber who checked the stench placed a cap on a pipe in the basement, which helped clear the air.
Rogers described the residence as a “hoarder home.”
Jennifer disputed the use of the term “hoarder” and described Richard as more of a pack rat.
She explained that he didn’t want to get rid of anything.
Jennifer shared that the smell had not taken up the whole house and was very confusing.
She attributed the confusion to the many different smells in the house from her four dogs and a cat, and her sinus issues at the time.
Rogers explained that it may have been difficult to pinpoint the source of the smell because Richard’s remains were in a mummified state.
Jennifer shared that she had been trying to keep an optimistic outlook just in case Richard happened to be alive.
Jennifer expressed that she always knew that there was a positive and a negative of being alive and being dead throughout the whole entire thing. She felt guilty that she had thought he was dead if he had been alive.
Jennifer shared that Richard would not want her to dwell on his loss or passing, and she needed to figure out how to move on.