Illinois State Police investigators announced Thursday afternoon during a press conference at Litchfield Police Department that the discovery of human skeletal remains found in Litchfield near Lake Lou Yaeger on Wednesday does not appear to be related to the disappearance of Denita Hedden, a missing Royal Lakes woman.
Authorities announced that around 4:45 p.m. on Wednesday, April 25, Illinois State Police Zone 6 Investigations was contacted by the Litchfield Police Department regarding skeletal remains. Investigators clarified that the remains were discovered by a utility worker who was clearing brush on a hillside approximately one hundred yards from the lake’s shoreline.
The area was searched and processed until dark before being secured overnight by the Litchfield Police Department. Further searches of the area were conducted on Thursday to locate any additional items of concern.
“This search included numerous investigators from multiple agencies, emergency management personnel and canine assets,” Illinois State Police Trooper Heath Bryan said in a press release. “All items recovered have been sent to the ISP Forensic Laboratory for further examination and analysis. At this time, there is no time frame on when this analysis will be completed.”
Hedden, 37, has been missing since her birthday on January 25. The St. Louis Major Case Squad said foul play is expected in Hedden’s disappearance. She is a mother of four and was last seen leaving her Royal Lakes home on Jan. 25.
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.