A coroner has explained the reason why a wife didn't notice her husband – who had been missing for eight months – was dead inside her wardrobe.

The horrifying story began back in April 2022 when Jennifer Maedge, from Illinois, US, reported her husband of 19 years Richard Maedge as a missing person.

Troy Police Department searched the property and discovered a strange "sewer-like" odour, but assumed the smell was down to the fact Jennifer and Richard lived in a "hoarder home".

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So at the time it seemed that Richard was indeed missing and a police report at the time claimed "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.

Both Jennifer and Austin say they searched the house at least twice and called upon a plumber who claimed to have "fixed the smell".

However, the mystery surrounding Richard's disappearance was soon solved in the lead up to Christmas last year.

Jennifer went to retrieve some Christmas decorations from a closet that she rarely visited due to the mounds of rubbish inside.

When she went to search for the decorations, presumably to lift the family's spirits after a depressing few months, she made the horrific discovery.

There buried deep among the piles of rubbish, was her husband's mummified 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 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.

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"There were no other injuries found during the autopsy examination or evidence found that would indicate anything nefarious regarding Mr Maedge's death."

Although the suicide was confirmed, people still could not believe she had overlooked a dead body in their home, despite claiming to have extensively searched twice.

That said, Kelly Rogers, the country's chief deputy coroner, provided some clarity on the situation.

Speaking to KTVI, she explained 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."

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