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Missing man Richard Maedge found inside own home, family criticizes Troy PD

By Devese “Dee” Ursery and Pat Pratt

After learning the body of a man missing for seven months and found dead Dec. 11 was discovered inside the deceased’s own home, members of his family issued sharp criticism of the police investigation on Monday during the Troy City Council meeting. 

Richard Maedge, 53, was reported missing April 27. After more than seven months passed, Troy Police announced in a news release he had been found dead on Dec. 11. No location or other circumstances surrounding his death were given in the release and police said the investigation was still active.  

Family members on Tuesday told the Times-Tribune that Maedge was discovered inside a storage area beneath a stairwell of his own home on Hickory Street and believe he took his own life. 

During the Troy city council meeting on Monday, Van Toliver, brother-in-law of Richard Maedge, spoke to members, describing the Troy Police investigation of Maedge’s disappearance as a failure. 

“To me, I just find it unfathomable to see how a police department failed this badly,” Toliver said during the meeting. 

Toliver said family members repeatedly told police about a noxious smell inside the residence. He said he had spoken to the Chief of Police Brent Shownes and two detectives and they told him that the house had been searched three times. 

Toliver said Jenn Maedge, wife of the deceased, told him that detectives had never been in the house and that it was patrol officers that did the search. He was dumbfounded by the conflicting reports he and his wife, Marilyn were given, saying he believes that the police department let the family down. 

“I talked to Jenn, his spouse, and she said that detectives never searched the house, it was patrol cops,” Toliver said. “Me and my wife have called on numerous occasions complaining about the odor coming from the house and the flies.”

Chief Shownes, in his report during the meeting, mentioned that Maedge was found at 7:30 p.m. on Dec. 11, deceased. He didn’t release any new information and said that further information from the investigation will be released after the coroner’s report is complete.

A call to Shownes Tuesday was not immediately returned. In response to emailed questions about the investigation, the chief said it would be premature to release more information ahead of the medical examiner’s report. 

“It would be premature and guesses to release certain information now,” Shownes wrote. “I have to wait until the Madison County Coroner’s office completes their investigation in conjunction with Troy PD investigators and a press release will be sent out then.”



  1. Anonymous on January 12, 2023 at 1:35 pm

    Any news on the results of the autopsy and further testing? Anything to confirm suicide?

  2. Anonymous on December 29, 2022 at 9:10 am

    Maybe the body wasn’t there at the time the police searched. It might not have been a suicide. Might have been murder and the body was placed there after police searched. Nothing about this smells right.

  3. Anonymous on December 22, 2022 at 9:11 am

    How is it the POLICE’S fault when they LIVE THERE?? Literally every day. Follow the flies. It doesn’t take a detective for that.

    • Anonymous on December 22, 2022 at 7:31 pm

      There is something seriously wrong with the American police

  4. Anonymous on December 21, 2022 at 11:21 pm

    There needs to be a case review and investigation done by the State Police. If the police department feels they have done everything correctly, they should be requesting it.

    Our community deserves better and we should not just say this is too bad. We should be holding them accountable. This has got be one of the worst police investigations I have ever seen.

    • Anonymous on December 23, 2022 at 9:31 am

      I agree. People that are saying why didn’t the family find him, the wife did find him. It was by mistake that she did. It was not her responsibility to find him, she did what was required by letting the police know there was a smell in the home, that there are flies in the home. Why did she have to do the job of figuring out if it was a body somewhere on her property. Is there even dogs in your county that are trained to find decedents or traces that could have been put to use? I don’t understand why the family is being blamed. There needs to be an investigation done definitely.

    • Anonymous on December 27, 2022 at 7:01 pm

      Had a dead cat in my crawl space a few winters ago. Couldn’t reach into the small space and had to deal with the smell. In winter it was almost unbearable. No way they had a dead human, his size, and could stay I’m that home. There is way more going on here. Suicide, maybe. But NO way could they live with the decomp smell if a human all summer.

  5. Anonymous on December 21, 2022 at 3:10 pm

    This information came straight from Richard Madge himself I won’t prove my source to stay confidential but
    I got to know Rich for a period of 3–4 months during that time I learned a lot about him. if you knew him personally you knew of the legal battles he was facing and was set to deal with the consequences of his actions in court or face losing everything he owned. He went missing April 27 and was set to come to trial in May. During the time up until his disappearance he had also picked up a job at the Edwardsville Lowes location in hopes to help pay for those legal issues I’m assuming. “There’s a man at the Edwardsville’s Lowe’s that got to know him well Not sure of his name, but he has a white beard with big black glasses Middle aged white Male” He was quoted saying he hoped Richard received helped for his problems. He might know of something as well. Hope this information reaches the right people. I only put this here in hopes to help.

    • Anonymous on December 23, 2022 at 9:36 am

      The right people didn’t find the body of a man in his home, with his vehicle still there, an odor in the home, flies that come from maggots everywhere, tips from the family that he’s going through legal trouble. How will they get your tip placed in this comment section?

    • Anonymous on January 1, 2023 at 3:00 pm

      The above comment quote: “the legal battles he was facing and was set to deal with the consequences of his actions in court or face losing everything he owned”. Sounds somewhat misleading (even if unintentionally) and lends an air that Richard might have done something wrong or committed some alleged crime. To my knowledge the only legal battles Richard was facing was a civil family matter where he was attempting to render aid and help another family member.

  6. Anonymous on December 21, 2022 at 2:19 pm

    This makes me mad & I dont even know them! How can a body be in a house for so long & not be discovered. Shouldnt the PD know what a decomposing body smells like? And to just complain about an odor & flies on top of that!? I’d be all over that house trying to find an odor like that. Something doesnt sound right.

    • Anonymous on December 21, 2022 at 5:56 pm

      Well, his family couldn’t even find him in the house, so why blame police for this one? Family members complained about the smell but apparently couldn’t be bothered to look until they found the source.

      • Anonymous on December 22, 2022 at 11:36 am

        I agree with your opinion but would you want to be the one to find your spouse or family member? I wouldn’t. It’s a gruesome scene most people never experience. Don’t blame the family. They already feel guilt, I’m sure.

    • Anonymous on December 21, 2022 at 8:03 pm

      How did his wife live in that house with the smell of a decaying body?

    • Anonymous on December 21, 2022 at 10:02 pm

      Trust me, I’ve smelled decomposed babies before. You never forget the smell!

    • Anonymous on December 22, 2022 at 12:01 am

      Worse than that, his relatives and wife were in the home and noticed the odor. Why didn’t they locate the decedent?

  7. Anonymous on December 21, 2022 at 1:58 pm

    There’s something not right with this story. I’d be investigating homicide by wife.

  8. Anonymous on December 21, 2022 at 12:47 pm

    Why didn’t the family find him. If there was a dead body in my house I wouldn’t need the police to find it. There’s more to this story.

    • Anonymous on December 21, 2022 at 4:20 pm

      No surprise. Troy cops are good at pulling people over and being rude but not much else.

    • Anonymous on December 21, 2022 at 6:35 pm

      I agree.

    • Anonymous on December 21, 2022 at 6:48 pm

      There has to be more to this

    • Anonymous on December 22, 2022 at 3:25 am

      Thinking the same thing

  9. Anonymous on December 21, 2022 at 12:20 pm

    Something isn’t right here and blaming the police wouldn’t be my first choice…

    • Anonymous on December 21, 2022 at 9:15 pm


  10. Anonymous on December 21, 2022 at 7:56 am

    This is the most asinine thing I have ever heard of, besides the police not thoroughly checking the house…. There would have been such a rancid odor in that house that they would not even have been able to stay in there. It may have been under the steps in a cubby hole but, after several months of the body decomposing….. Something’s not right here

    • Anonymous on December 21, 2022 at 8:53 am

      How did the family NOT find him? Seriously…there is a family member missing and there is an awful odor coming from SOMEWHERE in the house?!? Duh! Look harder! This does not add up at all and I believe there is a murder to be investigated here. Also…there are conflicting dates on when he was found. It was definitely before 12/17, as stated in this article.

    • Anonymous on December 21, 2022 at 10:50 am

      Automatically blame the police and cry wrongdoing that’s healthy.

    • Anonymous on December 21, 2022 at 10:52 am

      Automatically blame the police and cry wrongdoing that’s heathy.

  11. Anonymous on December 21, 2022 at 7:55 am

    Troy police department are nothing but a bunch of vultures settings around on the side of the road waiting for revenue for seat belts and speeding violations not protecting the public…….revenue…revenue…revenue…poorly run

    • Anonymous on December 21, 2022 at 7:29 pm

      If they were vultures they would have found the body.

  12. Anonymous on December 21, 2022 at 7:48 am

    Whoever notice the smell and the flies also has to take some responsibility. You would think the police would have gone back to check out that lead If people actually reported it to them, but also anyone could have used tools to open the door. A simple call to the police saying we may have found him would have brought them running. Troy has a lot of good police that do their jobs very well.

    • Anonymous on December 21, 2022 at 10:20 am


    • Anonymous on December 21, 2022 at 10:20 pm

      They also have a few that don’t do their job. I’ve met him!

      • Anonymous on December 23, 2022 at 6:41 pm

        Must be referring to James Newcombe. He’s too busy making book author’s write false claims about how sexy he is and setting his next swinger’s sex party to be bothered with public interests.

  13. Anonymous on December 21, 2022 at 6:11 am

    Omg, that’s terrible. Such utter incompetence. So sorry for the family. Searching, wondering and all the time…

  14. Anonymous on December 21, 2022 at 12:35 am

    His wife should have found him way before the PD….come on she lived there not them…ridiculous

  15. Anonymous on December 20, 2022 at 11:33 pm

    Why didn’t his own family look in the cellar/basement? If there was a fowl odor, why not the son do his own investigation?

  16. Anonymous on December 20, 2022 at 11:24 pm

    Yes the police should of found him but I believe the family should of as well

  17. Anonymous on December 20, 2022 at 8:22 pm

    Someone needs be fired over this.

    • Anonymous on December 21, 2022 at 7:30 am

      Sommerhing smells Fishy

    • Anonymous on December 21, 2022 at 2:08 pm

      Why should somebody be fired? If I had a smell in my house? I would’ve had an exterminator come in thinking it was a dead animal or something and I would’ve investigated it and it’s far as when he went missing. I worked somewhere that they dropped off a flyer. Why didn’t they search the house top to bottom inside and out.
      I don’t believe this was a police mistake

  18. Anonymous on December 20, 2022 at 8:20 pm

    This is just disgraceful! How could this department, not been able to be more considerate, for the family of the deceased, let alone, the man himself. Terrible that he took his own life, but still, deserved to be delt with in a professional manner. Not just left to rot to the point neighbors were complaining of oder, and flies! Disgraceful!

  19. Anonymous on December 20, 2022 at 7:29 pm

    What if he’d still been alive when reported missing? Getting a time of death at autopsy is impossible now. Until we get a LOT of answers, the public will assume the worst, as they should.
    Troy PD may be getting their 15 minutes of fame soon.
    I feel much less safe in my own home now.

  20. Anonymous on December 20, 2022 at 5:47 pm

    Resignations are in order.

    • Anonymous on December 21, 2022 at 9:59 am

      Resignations and budget cuts. There’s a lot of 6 figure salaries in that Dept. Not to mention the ridiculous allowances for clothing and work attire!

      • Anonymous on December 22, 2022 at 3:20 pm

        I think people need to take a second and really think how much this doesn’t add up. If patrol in fact only looked in the home and not a detective why wasn’t a complaint filed early on? If they had in fact smelt something in the home, why did they only complain to the police instead of locating the smell or calling someone out to locate the smell like an exterminator or something? Why did they not inform the police during the investigation about a hidden nook in the house cause it had to have been hidden for it to have been overlooked. (It just doesn’t make sense for it to not have been a hidden nook.) How can anyone remain in a house with a decomposing body especially during the summer months? Why is the blame only being pointed at the police? They may have made some errors, however, that is yet to be proven though. This almost falls under the inocent until proven guilty. We need all the facts before judgment should be passed and people start demanding cutbacks and bashing the people who are here to protect us. Who stand and deal with more then regular civilians can understand. I think it is clear there is more information that needs to be mad epublic but the police holding off to make sure they have facts to present is smart. I am sure everything will come to light soon after the reports are made public.

      • Anonymous on January 7, 2023 at 12:21 pm

        Not to mention Barney Fife in the motorcycle.. like Troy needs a motorcycle cop.. I laugh my butt off every time I see him.. Go get them Barney

  21. Anonymous on December 20, 2022 at 5:16 pm

    Well why did the family not find him? I mean come on 7mo and a rancid smell? Something isn’t right🧐

  22. Anonymous on December 20, 2022 at 4:25 pm

    They are to worried about writing tickets out on 55!!!

  23. Anonymous on December 20, 2022 at 2:13 pm

    How could Van and his wife smell these odors when they live in Georgia and this happened in Illinois also multiple people have been in that house and no one noticed the smell or made comments about it. Also how did he attend this council meeting when he isn’t a resident of Troy and Marilyn hasn’t been a resident for more than 30 years.

    • Anonymous on December 21, 2022 at 7:58 am

      Van and his wife were here… I spoke with the wife

      • Anonymous on December 21, 2022 at 10:57 am

        They had come back periodically and had searches of the surrounding area organized. You don’t have to be a resident of a city to attend a city council meeting. Those meetings are open to the public. I believe the mailman also complained about the smell from the house.

        • Anonymous on December 21, 2022 at 11:12 pm

          This is on the police – first and foremost. They should have immediately searched every nook and cranny in that house to properly clear a potential crime scene.

          I do agree the family living there should have been able to pause and say, a loved one went missing and after some period of time the house started to smell and there was an increase in flies, if the police cannot properly investigate the issue in the house I will find someone that can.

          Where I am saddened is that many in this community watched the day by day posts and became engaged to help however they could. All those efforts were futile as the body was never further than home. I may have missed it, but I never saw the police holding joint press conferences with the family so the community could see the police engagement as they tried to solve the case.

          When the news broke that the body had been found the only thing the police could say is that they could not say anything. As days went by and that is all that was said, I looked at my wife and said, the police department is trying to smooth wrinkles out of something. Reporting that the body was found in the home and the cause of death was under investigation would not have jeopardized the investigation.

          If you look back at our police department leadership over the past 10 years, you will certainly see why we have the issues we do. I am not going to say the police are all bad or that the leaders were bad people or officers in their day. The leaders may have been good cops at the state level or outside our pd, but they were not qualified to lead a group of officers that has continued to get younger. Strong leadership is a combination of experience on the job and the ability to logically apply that experience through your officers by enabling them to learn and grow while respecting your leadership.

          The community should pause and put ourselves into this situation. All of us would be irate if our loved one’s missing case was handled like this. When things like this happen, the police chief and mayor should call for an external review by the state police. This is a healthy action. If something was done wrong, let’s address it and improve. Sometimes that may mean someone looses their job, but if that is what it takes to protect the community and build a better police/community relationship, we should demand it. If they are not open to this action, that should tell us all we need to know

          Finally-regardless of what happened to Mr. Maedge, there are family and friends that are in pain and as a community we must support them.

          To the family, I want you to know that I am heart broken for you and I hope time will lessen the sorrow you are experiencing. I also encourage you to remain steadfast and hold the police department accountable for any missteps so they can improve, for the communities sake.

          • Anonymous on December 23, 2022 at 9:42 am

            I agree, most definitely!

    • Anonymous on December 23, 2022 at 8:11 pm

      Richard’s funeral was held in Troy on the same day when the city had its meeting.