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Authorities search Gillespie Lake in Denita Hedden case

GILLESPIE TOWNSHIP, Ill. – Five months into the search for Denita Hedden, Gillespie police got a tip which led Investigators to Gillespie Lake.

“We did sonar and we did get drones up in the air and we did do a dive in the water, so there were guys in the water…and then we also have contacted the Major Case Squad,” said Macoupin County Sheriff Shawn Khal.

Hedden disappeared on January 25, her 37th birthday. She was last spotted near Royal Lakes, just 13 miles from the water where crews were searching.

Sheriff Khal said his team found something that may be evidence, but they’ll have to send it off to the lab before they know for sure.

“It’s something I really can’t talk about at this point in time, because I can’t really confirm whether it’s tied in with the Denita Hedden case or not, but it was something that we kind of felt strongly that we need to come out and check it out and it could possibly be tied with that case,” he said.

“But hopefully, near future, we might have some more answers to what we came out here for here today.”

Monday’s search was just a small piece of the extensive investigation into Hedden’s disappearance, which that authorities said has spanned nearly 23,000 acres in southern Macoupin County.

Hedden’s family and investigators said they’re going to keep pushing forward until they find out what happened to her. Sheriff Khal said information from the public can play a key part in solving the mystery.

“It doesn’t matter what it is, we still come and check it out. I mean, even if the people may not be tied in and may be a little ridiculous, we'll still come and check it out,” he said.