Troy man was missing 7 months before he was found dead at his home. His sister blames the police. –

A Georgia woman circulated photos and information on facebook for seven months about the disappearance of his brother in Troy, Illinois, begging the public to help find him.

As it turns out, the 53-year-old may never have left his home.

Richard Maedge’s body was found on Sunday, December 11, in a storage room with a door hidden behind clothes in a cluttered closet under a staircase, according to Jennifer Maedge, his wife of 19 years.

“I decided to put up the Christmas tree and I was looking for a bag of Christmas decorations, and that’s when I discovered it,” he said Tuesday. “…She had committed suicide.”

Marilyn Toliver, the sister of Richard Maedge, now blames the Troy Police Department for what she says was a shoddy investigation. She noted that officers were called to her Oak Street home at least twice, first after Jennifer reported Richard missing on April 27 and then when she noticed a foul odor.

The family celebrated Richard Maedge’s funeral Monday at the Friedens United Church of Christ in Troy. That night, Marilyn Toliver and her husband, Van Toliver, went to the Trojan Town Hall Meeting to complain.

“I need answers from the police chief,” Marilyn Toliver said in an interview Tuesday. “I need answers from the mayor. How is this possible?

“Mistakes were made and I want answers. If that means filing a complaint and going to the governor, I will. I’m not leaving. I’m only now starting to say things out loud. I should have been yelling from the start, but the police department tricked me by saying they were doing his job and looking for him.”

Troy police officer Brent Shownes did not immediately respond to requests for comment, nor did Troy Mayor David Nonn.

An X marks the location on East Oak Street in Troy, where Richard Maedge lived with his wife, Jennifer. His body was found in the house on December 11. The case is under investigation.

case under investigation

Last week, Shownes reported in a press release that Richard Maedge had been found dead around 7:30pm on December 11. He declined to provide details, saying the case was under investigation.

The Madison County Coroner’s Office then performed an autopsy, according to Chief Deputy Coroner Kelly Rogers.

“We are still waiting for the results (of toxicology and other tests),” he said Tuesday. “It would be premature for us to issue a cause of death without everything in front of us.”

Marilyn Toliver said that even neighbors and the postman had reported that the house smelled bad and that her sister-in-law initially thought her freezer had broken down. Jennifer Maedge said a plumber called it an “ammonia smell” and police told her she might have sewer problems.

Jennifer Maedge doesn’t blame police, saying officers wouldn’t have known about the hidden closet when they searched the house and that the smell was “never overpowering.”

After Richard Maedge went missing, his son, Austin Maedge, said his father may have been down over “family drama.”

According to Marilyn Toliver, she and her brother were fighting a legal battle against their other sister to gain guardianship from their father, John Maedge, who suffered from dementia. John Maedge died in August.

“We were in serious family conflict,” said Marilyn Tolliver, 62, a bank teller who lives in Bainbridge, Georgia. “It was terrible.”

Richard Maedge, who was found dead on December 11, is shown in happier times with his sister, Marilyn Toliver, who lives in Georgia. On the right, a missing person flyer that he had posted on Facebook.

Durango parked on the street

Richard Maedge was employed by Challenge Unlimited, an Alton-based organization that provides training and job opportunities for people with disabilities. She previously worked at the Winchester munitions plant in East Alton.

Jennifer Maedge, 49, a carer, said she last heard from her husband on April 26, when he told her he was leaving work early because he wasn’t feeling well. When she got home, her Dodge Durango was parked on the street next to the house.

“I thought maybe he just walked away, maybe he just needed to get away for a while,” Jennifer Maedge said Tuesday.

In the months that followed, Marilyn Toliver posted dozens of notices about her brother’s disappearance on Facebook and set up a GoFundMe campaign, writing that Jennifer Maedge was struggling to make the mortgage payments. The campaign raised $1,515 of a goal of $5,000.

Marilyn Toliver said she and her husband repeatedly called the Troy Police Department with questions and advice and never got the impression that the detective was looking so hard for Richard Maedge.

At the Troy City Council meeting Monday night, Van Toliver asked why only patrol officers, not detectives, searched Maedge’s home. On Tuesday, he called the case “suspicious” because he believes the smell should have drawn attention.

“My brother was missing for 229 days,” added Marilyn Toliver. “He seems unacceptable to me.”

Earlier this year, Austin Maedge described his father as a huge St. Louis Blues and St. Louis Cardinals fan who liked to watch the games at a local bar.

born richard maedge in Belleville, according to his obituary on the Richeson Funeral Home in Troy website. She had two sons, Austin and Zack Maedge, a stepdaughter, Amber Maedge, and three grandchildren.

“He was the last ‘Mr. Fix It’, very creative with mechanical design and repair,” the obituary read. “He enjoyed watching Blues Hockey, Cardinals Baseball and NASCAR. He loved his family and the times they spent together.”

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