Denita HeddenROYAL LAKES - There will be another search and rescue operation, which will include both land, and air operations, on Wednesday, Feb. 7, 2018, in Royal Lakes, Illinois, and surrounding areas.

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Deputy Commander-Major Case Squad of Greater St. Louis Lt. Kristopher Tharp said this search is being conducted pursuant to the on-going investigation into the disappearance of Denita Hedden. Denita, a Royal Lakes resident, was reported to have been last seen in the area of Royal Lakes on January 25, 2018.

Tharp also said there will be a large contention of first responders participating in this operation, including, but not limited to, law enforcement and fire department personnel. Residents should expect a large volume of emergency vehicles which could potentially create a delayed commute for those traveling in the area.

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"The Major Case Squad of Greater St. Louis is respectfully requesting area residents remain patient with the first responder’s efforts and to avoid those areas affected," Lt. Tharp said. "There is no known public threat or reason for alarm. Residents can expect this operation to run from approximately 8:00 a.m. until dusk.

"The disappearance of Hedden is considered suspicious. No inference should be made regarding the status of this investigation based on this development. Its purposes are to assist Major Case Squad investigators in locating Denita Hedden and finding answers to her sudden and abrupt disappearance."

Lt. Tharp added that the Major Case Squad of Greater St. Louis would like to thank the community for its patience and continued support as investigators continue to probe into the disappearance of Denita Hedden.

In addition, the Macoupin County Sheriff’s Office and Major Case Squad of Greater St. Louis would like to thank and acknowledge the following organizations which assisted with Monday’s search effort: ILEAS Region 8 Mobile Field Force, Macoupin County EMA, Madison County EMA, Wood River Police, Madison County Sheriff’s Office, SIUE Police, O’Fallon Police, Fairmont City Police, Cahokia Police, Fairview Heights Police, Mascoutah Police, SWIC Police, Edwardsville Police, Montgomery County EMA, Dorsey Fire Department, Bunker Hill Fire Department, Bunker Hill Police, Jerseyville Police, Gillespie Police, SVFD, Hillsboro Police, Litchfield Police, Greenfield Police, Carlinville Police, Cottleville Fire K-9 (Missouri), Illinois State Police District 18, BHAAS, Roxana Police, Peoria County SAR, Tazewell County SAR, Macoupin County Coroner’s Office, Nokomis Police, St. Clair County Emergency Services, Staunton Police, Gateway Search and Rescue Dogs, ISP Zone 6, St. Clair County SAR, Jersey County Sheriff’s Office, SCIDTF, Christian County Sheriff’s Office, The Red Cross and Illinois State Police Air Operations, Illinois Law Enforcement Alarm System Region 8.

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