Metro-East News

Foul play involved in Southern Illinois woman's disappearance, police say

Search continues for missing Macoupin County woman

Denita Hedden, 37, was last seen in the area of Royal Lakes on Jan. 25. Heddin 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 o
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Denita Hedden, 37, was last seen in the area of Royal Lakes on Jan. 25. Heddin 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 o

Major Case Squad investigators believe foul play was involved in the disappearance of a Royal Lakes woman, who has been missing for almost three weeks.

Denita Hedden was last seen on her birthday at about 11 p.m. Jan. 25 in the 700 block of Catalpa Avenue in Royal Lakes, according to a news release from the Major Case Squad. Investigators have been searching for her since then, covering large portions of southern Macoupin County in their search.

Evidence recovered during the investigation led officials to believe foul play was involved in her disappearance, according to the news release. A person of interest was identified by officials, and information has been submitted to Macoupin County State's Attorney Jennifer Watson.

"The Major Case Squad of Greater St. Louis wants to emphasize the importance of Macoupin County property owners, farmers, and residents, inspecting their property for anything unusual in the interest of finding Denita," the press release stated.

"Investigators implore local residents traveling county and rural roadways to report anything unusual they may encounter or observe. This request is made not only to those residing in the immediate vicinity of Royal Lakes, but also areas which may extend beyond perceived search boundaries. Even if first responders and search teams have been in your area please take a moment to check your surroundings."

Police and first responders launched a massive search for 37-year-old Denita Hedden, who was last seen in the area of Royal Lakes on Jan. 25. Heddin was reported missing by an acquaintance and, and police have called her disappearance “suspicious.

Hedden is white, 5-foot tall and weighs about 110 pounds. She was last seen wearing a maroon Nike hooded sweatshirt, blue jeans and brown boots.

The Major Case Squad has spent 12 consecutive days searching for Hedden. They've searched more than 22,400 acres of rural terrain and 70 road miles on land and in the air.

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