Large-scale searched planned for missing woman

Large-scale searched planned for missing woman

ROYAL LAKES (April 12, 2018) – A group of community members is partnering with the Missing Persons Awareness Network to conduct another large-scale search for Denita Hedden, 37, of Royal Lakes, who has been missing since late January. They are seeking volunteers to help with the search, which will be conducted Saturday, April 14, based out of Brittany Shooting Park, located at 11374 Prairie Dell Road, Bunker Hill. The search will be conducted no matter the weather.

Participating in the search will be certified search and rescue teams, volunteer EMS and law enforcement workers. Anyone over the age of 18 is encouraged to participate; volunteers must have photo identification and proof of any certification, if applicable. To register as a potential volunteer, call or text (312) 620-0788 and leave your name, number, and any certifications or badges you have or equipment you can bring, such as ATVs, boats, registered drones, etc.

All volunteers will be required to attend a pre-search briefing, which will cover the focus of the search, signing in, and what to do if suspect items are discovered. The briefing will be held at 10 a.m.

Each volunteer will be assigned a designated search area and a team. No one will be allowed to go out in a group of fewer than six people. Searchers are encouraged to bring food and drinks to take with them during the search; walking sticks; flashlights and batteries; a fully charged phone; extra clothes in case of a weather change; and blankets or lawn chairs for taking breaks.

Those who would like to help but cannot participate in the search may donate food, drinks or equipment for the searchers, such as flashlights, batteries, blankets, lawn chairs, etc.; they may also volunteer to staff the food tent.

Foul play is suspected in Hedden’s disappearance, and searches were conducted in February by the Major Case Squad of Greater St. Louis. Hedden was last seen on Jan. 25. She is a white female, five feet tall, weighing approximately 110 pounds. She was last seen wearing a maroon Nike hooded sweatshirt, blue jeans, brown boots and hoop earrings.

Anyone with information about Hedden’s disappearance may contact the Macoupin Montgomery Counties Crime Stoppers at (800) 352-0136. A GoFundMe account has been set up to support Hedden’s children; it had collected $500 as of press time. To donate, visit