What happened to Trudy Appleby? Missing from Moline, IL since August 21st 1996

3 weeks from today will mark 21 years since Trudy Appleby disappeared. Trudy lived down the street from my house, and she spent a lot of time here with us. The day I met her, she was jumping in my yard. We had recently moved into this neighborhood. I opened the door, and she said “My name’s Trudy, you got any kids?” The rest was history. August 20th, 1996 was the last time she was at my house, rollerblading out front, eating hot dogs and mac & cheese, talking about school and just hanging out. She said when she left “See you tomorrow!” Well, tomorrow arrived and we did not see her again. She disappeared the morning of August 21st, 1996, last seen leaving her driveway in a grey or silver car driven by a young man described as a young white male in his 20’s, with dark curly hair, wearing a ball cap. The car would have exited the neighborhood at 41st St and 21st Ave. She has never been seen or heard from since.  She was 11 years old at that time. We hung hundreds of posters, the news was here, the police were all around. People searched, but nothing. We found no trace of her.

What happened to Trudy? I wish I knew. In almost 21 years, nobody has come forward with the answer to that question. Last year the police announced that they believe they may know who was responsible for Trudy’s disappearance, and that they just needed someone to come forward. Now, I have been saying this for 21 years…somewhere, someone knows exactly what happened to her. Little girls do not just go *poof* into thin air.

For crying out loud…her mother went to her grave not knowing what happened to her only child. Her grandma died not knowing what happened to her granddaughter. To whomever knows what happened (And mark my words, someone knows to this day): How would you feel if this was your child? I’m sure you have your own children by now, or perhaps even grandchildren. Imagine looking for your lost child, sibling, cousin, friend, grandchild, for almost 21 years, never knowing if he or she were safe or not, alive or not. Imagine not being able to hug someone, not being able to talk to someone….Imagine the only thing you have to remember that missing person by is a bench with his/her name on it. That is all we have of Trudy…a bench with her name on it. Do the right thing….end the nightmare. Call the authorities….Tell the truth….that is all we want. We need to bring Trudy home. What happened to Trudy Appleby?

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My Dolly Parton in a Storm Dream

In this dream, my family is driving to our vacation spot in the Smoky Mountains, when suddenly, we are caught in this torrential storm.  It is raining so hard, and the wind is blowing so bad that I can’t see to drive, so we have to pull off the road.  We pulled off near a house, and knock on the door.  To our surprise, Dolly Parton answers.  I said “Dolly Parton?”  She said “Why, yes sugar, it’s me.”  I explained our dilemma and she graciously said we could ride this awful storm out with her.  She said it was gonna be a doozie of a storm, so we may want to bring in our belongings, because we may be staying a little while.  And boy was she right.  We stayed all day and all night.  She sang songs and read stories to the kids, and got everyone hooked up in the guest bedrooms.  The next morning she made bacon, eggs and grits for everybody.  Then, as soon as the storm passed, we got to tour her property, and then we were on our way with free passes to DollyWood.  It was a great dream.