Remains discovered in Illinois lake not connected to missing woman

MONTGOMERY, Ill. – Illinois State Police investigators announced Thursday that human remains found near a lake in Litchfield don’t appear to be connected to Denita Hedden, who has been missing from Macoupin County since January.

The skeletal remains were found near Lake Lou Yaeger in Litchfield late Wednesday afternoon. Police said a utility worker found the remains while clearing brush near the lake. Authorities said they were unable to tell if the remains were those of a man or woman. Police were back searching the area Thursday looking for additional evidence that has since been sent to the Illinois State Police crime lab for analysis.

Hedden had been missing since her 37th birthday on January 25. Police said she was last seen leaving her Royal Lakes home around 11 p.m. that night. Hedden, a mother of four, was reported missing two days later. A person of interest was later identified by the Major Case Squad, but the identity of that person has not been released.

Illinois State Police said there appears to be no connection between the two cases.

“Since the early stages of this investigation we’ve been in constant contact with the Major Case Squad and the Macoupin County Sheriff’s Office,” said Master Sgt. Calvin Brown, Illinois State Police. “At this time, there appears to be no apparent relationship to the remains found at Lake Lou Yager and the investigation into the disappearance of Denita Hedden. However, our investigation continues.”

State investigators refused to take any questions at the news conference. They said they did not want to jeopardize their investigation by saying any more than a prepared statement.