Missing Illinois Man Whose Body Was Found By His Wife 8 Months Later Inside Closet Died by Suicide: Autopsy

Missing Man
Richard Maege.Troy Police Department

Richard Maege was reported missing in April 2022 by his wife. She found his body inside a closet in December while looking for Christmas ornaments.

A missing Illinois man whose body was found by his wife inside their home eight months after he went missing died by suicide, according to a recently released autopsy report.

Richard Maege, 53, was declared missing on April 27 by his wife, Jennifer. She found his mummified body in December, as she was looking for Christmas decorations inside a hidden closet.

An autopsy by Madison County Coroner Steve Nonn determined Maege took his own life, according to a forensic report released Thursday.

Police said they repeatedly searched the Troy house shared by Maege and his wife, but found no evidence of the man. Authorities described the home as a "hoarder" situation.

His wife said she reported him missing after finding his car in the driveway and his keys and wallet inside the house.

Investigators initially detected a "sewer" smell, but couldn't find its origin, authorities said. Jennifer Maege later reported a foul odor and police returned to search again, but found nothing. The woman also contacted a plumber, who came and capped a sewer pipe, which seemed to stop the smell.

But on Dec. 11, she told police she had gone into a hidden closet to retrieve a tote container of Christmas decorations and found her husband's body.

The coroner said mummified remains have no smell, and that may have contributed to the delay in finding the man's body.

There was no evidence of foul play or wrongdoing, the autopsy report said. The cause of death, outside of saying it was a suicide, was not released.

Related Stories