A throng of police, both on the ground and in the air, converged on Macoupin County on Tuesday morning in a massive effort to locate a missing Royal Lakes mother of four.
Denita Hedden, 37, was last seen in the area of Royal Lakes on Jan. 25. Hedden was reported missing by an acquaintance and, and police have called her disappearance “suspicious.”
The Major Case Squad of Greater St. Louis was involved in a search of the area Tuesday. Madison County Sheriff’s Lt. Kris Tharp, who was serving as deputy commander of the Major Case Squad, said a large contingent of first responders also participated in what he called a search-and-rescue operation.
Tharp said he and the others involved were praying that the community would get involved and let police know if they know anything about what may have led to Hedden’s disappearance. He said anyone with information about her whereabouts can call the Major Case Squad at 618-585-3510 or the Macoupin County Sheriff’s Office at 217-854-3135, Ext. 1.
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“It’s only through community involvement that we get these kinds of cases resolved,” Tharp said.
Tharp also cautioned against residents getting alarmed over the large presence of police and first responders. He said the operation, which started at 8 a.m., was scheduled to run until dusk.
“This search is being conducted pursuant to an ongoing investigation into the disappearance of Denita Hedden,” Tharp said.
He pointed out that no inference should be made regarding Hedden’s disappearance based on the large-scale police operation.
“Its purpose is to assist investigators in locating Denita Hedden and finding answers to her sudden and abrupt disappearance,” Tharp said.
Police warned that the police presence could cause traffic problems.