The Illinois State Police says human skeletal remains were found on Wednesday afternoon in Litchfield near Lake Lou Yaeger, but there is no identification of the remains and additional details were scarce at the time of publication.
Multiple agencies and officials convened on the scene near the Lake Lou Yaeger spillway on Wednesday afternoon and search parties continued through publication time on Thursday looking for additional details. Trooper Heath Bryan of District 18 Illinois State Police said through a press release Thursday morning the race, sex, or age of the remains were unknown.
Illinois State Police Trooper Bryan said Litchfield Police Department contacted Illinois State Police Zone 6 Investigations out of Collinsville after finding the remains. The Missing Persons Awareness Network said it could be the the remains of Denita Hedden, the woman from Royal Lake missing since her birthday on January 25. The St. Louis Major Case Squad said foul play is expected in Hedden’s disappearance. Hedden, 37, is a mother of four and was last seen leaving her Royal Lakes home on Jan. 25.
It was unclear at the time of publication who found the remains, but authorities at the scene said a worker.
The Major Case Squad of St. Louis held an extensive land and air search in February canvassing over 35 square miles in Macoupin County. The Missing Persons Awareness Network held a search for Hedden earlier this month on April 13, but weather and poor cell service impeded the search. Another search by the group is planned for this Saturday. The Missing Persons Awareness Network was at Litchfield Wednesday evening speaking to the family and media.
A press conference is scheduled for Thursday afternoon at 4:30 p.m. at the Litchfield Police Department.