Metro-East News

Facebook group launching search party for missing Macoupin County woman police believe dead

Denita Hedden, mother of four still missing

Police are still investigating Denita Hedden's disappearance from the Royal Lakes area. She was last seen on Jan. 25, which was her birthday. A relative visited a two psychics who said they know where Hedden is.
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Police are still investigating Denita Hedden's disappearance from the Royal Lakes area. She was last seen on Jan. 25, which was her birthday. A relative visited a two psychics who said they know where Hedden is.

A Facebook group dedicated to bringing awareness to missing people in Illinois has taken up Denita Hedden's case, and is organizing a volunteer search party April 14.

Volunteers are being asked to arrive at the Brittany Shooting Park at 11374 Prairie Dell Road in Bunker Hill at 10 a.m. April 14 to check in and be assigned a location.

Macoupin County Sheriff Shawn Kahl said organizers from the Missing Persons Awareness Network had contacted him and will be largely searching areas that law enforcement had already searched.

"They might want to extend it out a little further," Kahl said. "I think they've got some ideas they want to do."

Hedden has been missing since her birthday on Jan. 25. The Brittany Shooting Park is near her last residence in Royal Lakes and her family in Gillespie. Hedden is a white woman, is 5 feet tall and weighs 110 pounds. She was last seen wearing a maroon hooded jacket and blue jeans.

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

Kahl said there are no new developments in the case. The sheriff's department has told the Hedden family that Denita Hedden is likely dead and they suspect foul play.

"If you own property, even outside that area (of Royal Lakes), just check it. Just go out on your own and check it, and if there's anything suspicious give us a call," Kahl said.

The founder of the Missing Persons Awareness Network works out of a personal knowledge of having a family member missing. Gia Marie Hoffman, of the northern Illinosi community of Grant Park, said her father was missing for five days before he was found dead of a suicide.

"Awareness, knowledge and prevention, that's our mission," Hoffman said.

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.

"We just want to go out there and search," Hoffman said.

Volunteers can sign up for the search ahead of time by calling Hoffman at 312-620-0788. Anyone with information about Denita Hedden can call the Macoupin County Sheriff's Department at 217-854-3135.

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