May 25th was National Missing Children’s Day. Trudy Appleby was an 11 year old girl that disappeared August 21st, 1996 from her home in Moline, Illinois. She was last seen leaving her driveway that morning in a grey/silver older model car with an unknown male. Her home was near 41st St and 21st Ave in Moline. She has never been seen or heard from since. Each year, a vigil is held at her family’s church in hopes of keeping her story out there, so that someone will come forward.
Last year, a witness came forward and placed Trudy with William “Ed” Smith, who drove a similar vehicle. They were seen near his residence on Campbell’s Island in East Moline that same morning. Trudy knew this man and his family, and it is suspected she was planning on going swimming with them that day. She never returned, and her whereabouts is unknown after the witness saw her in the vehicle. There are no further reported sightings. She simply “vanished”. William “Ed” Smith died on December 23rd, 2014.
It is suspected that Trudy Appleby is no longer alive and did not survive that fateful morning. It is believed that someone knows exactly where we can find her.
Trudy Appleby was my neighbor girl and very much like one of my own children.
Anyone with any information regarding this case is encouraged to contact their local authorities, or the Moline Police Department in Moline, IL. Make the call….help us bring Trudy home….so we can lay her to rest.