ROYAL LAKES, IL – Dozens of detectives with the Major Case Squad worked Wednesday out of the Bunker Hill Police Department as they searched for Denita Hedden.
Authorities considered her disappearance to be suspicious and say the fact that she has not had contact with any of her family and friends raises serious concerns.
The small community of Royal Lakes is praying for the safe return of 37-year-old Denita Hedden, a mother of four children’s ages 10, 12 15 and 17. Hedden was last seen on January 27th when she was reported missing.
Today officials with the Major Case Squad released a statement that said Hedden was at a casino in the St. Louis area with a friend on January 25th. Detectives say she returned home later that evening and was seen leaving her home around 11 p.m.
On Tuesday more than 100 first responders assisted the Major Case Squad in the search for Hedden around the Royal Lakes area in Macoupin County. Wednesday the search was on a much smaller scale as crews search through a heavily wooded area. So far, 35 square miles have been searched by land and air encompassing more than 22,000 acres of rural terrain and 70 road miles.
Investigators say they found some items during their search, but none were connected to Hedden’s disappearance.
Investigators say she borrowed her roommates truck to go celebrate her birthday and the truck was returned but she has not been seen since. Her family has been supportive of the search and hopeful she returns home safe.
Hedden was wearing a maroon hoodie sweatshirt with orange sleeves and blue jeans when she vanished. She is described as 5-foot-tall, weighs 110 pounds, brown hair and brown eyes.
Police are asking anyone with information to call the Major Case Squad which is based at the Bunker Hill Police Department or CrimeStoppers.