Another Year Missing…Where is Trudy Appleby?

Trudy Appleby went missing August 21st 1996 from her neighborhood in Moline, IL.  She was 11 years old.  She was seen by a neighbor leaving her driveway in a grey boxy-type car driven by a young man with dark wavy hair wearing a ball cap.  She was never seen or heard from again.  Trudy was my neighbor.   All she took with her was a swimming suit and a towel.

Flash forward 23 years…..23 long years.  We still don’t know where she is…although, there is a fairly good idea about what may have taken place.  Sadly, we have had to come to terms with the distinct possibility that she met with an awful fate that day.

In 2012, a dig was done in Colona, IL near the river.  Nothing pertinent was found.

In 2017, a witness came forward stating that she had been seen in the car of a now deceased individual by the name of William “Ed” Smith in a similar car.  They were on Campbell’s Island in East Moline, just feet away from that witness.  That was the last time she was seen.  Then in October 2017, a dig was done on an empty lot, and still, nothing definitive was found.

It is believed that Trudy left her home with a member if William “Ed” Smith’s family on the pretense of going swimming.   It is also believed that she met with a terrible fate that day, and was buried somewhere, and that someone still knows what happened and what was done with her.  Someone is keeping a horrible secret….for 23 years.

Most recently, a boat was seized by the local authorities.  It is believed to be the boat that transported Trudy on the proposed “swimming” outing.  It is being tested for dna.

This last 23 years has been a horrible nightmare…..Trudy’s mother died in 2014 never knowing what happened to her only child.  Her grandmother died shortly after.  Her grandmother kept a scrapbook full of articles covering Trudy’s disappearance.  That was all she had to hold on to.  Her family continues the search for the truth, as do her friends…even after 23 years.  Why?  Because she was a bright, beautiful, witty, loving, trusting child.  Trudy Appleby…more than just a name or a statistic….a real human being who no longer has a voice.  Someone took her voice from her, as well as her future.  So, now her family and friends are the voice for Trudy.  We all want whomever knows to come forward and tell us where her body is so we can bury her and lay her to rest.

You know something, it’s time to say something.  Call the Moline Police Department at 309-524-2140 or Moline Crime Stoppers at 309-762-9500.

 

 

Trudy Appleby…missing 22 years.

Another year has come and gone, and yet again, I am writing about Trudy Appleby.

Trudy Appleby was my neighbor girl.  She was bright, energetic, full of love, light, hope and happiness.  She was a regular in our house, and any given day you could find her skipping down the road to come visit.  The last time we saw Trudy was the evening of August 20th, 1996.  As she left, she said she would call my daughter the next morning and would see us all the next day.  That never happened.

Trudy Appleby went missing the morning of August 21st, 1996.  A neighbor saw her leaving the driveway in a grey car being driven by a white male, perhaps in his 20’s, with long, dark, wavy hair and wearing a ball cap.   She never returned home.

Missing flyers were printed and passed out everywhere anyone could think of.  Billboards of her missing flyer were put up along roads and highways.  We hoped she would be found within hours, then the hours turned to days, the days turned to weeks, the weeks turned to months, the months turned to years, and the years turned to decades.  It has been over 2 decades since Trudy disappeared without a trace…not a trace.  We all know little girls don’t go *poof* into thin air.

We are going on 22 years now that Trudy has been missing.  22 years of loved ones not knowing where she is, or who she was with.  22 years of searching for her, hoping she would come home, hoping she was alive and well, but thinking it was/is a good possibility that she may not be alive.  We all simply do not know what happened to her and where she is.  The not knowing…that’s awful.

Last year, the Moline Police Department released a name of a “person of interest” in the case.  It seems a witness finally came forward and stated she was seen later the morning of her disappearance in a car with a William “Ed” Smith in a neighborhood on Campbell’s Island.   Unfortunately, that witness did not have any other information to offer.  It took the witness 21 years to speak up about that.  Why wait so long?

Someone out there knows something.  Maybe more than one person knows.  Whoever was responsible for her disappearance had to have told someone what happened to her, and what was done with her.  Trudy was 11 years old.  She was someone’s daughter, granddaughter, niece, sister, cousin, friend.  She was a bright light in the darkness.  Her innocence was stolen, and our bright light has been snuffed out for the last 22 years.  Someone knows something, and you know who you are.  Yet you choose to harbor this terrible secret…and for what?  Who are you trying to protect?  It’s time to tell what you know…We want to bring our girl home.  Do the right thing for once in your life.  What if this were one of your loved ones?  Don’t think it can’t happen to one of your loved ones…it can.  It happened to one of mine.  It’s time to bring Trudy Appleby home.   Little girls don’t go *poof* into thin air.

Thoughts of a little girl.

Another year has come and gone, the search appears to be over, the news coverage is over.  Will another year go by without another mention of a missing girl named Trudy Appleby?  Please remember her every day, not just once a year in August.  Not a day goes by when I don’t think of her.
Thoughts go back to a day when a little spitfire of a girl appeared in our yard. What day it was exactly, I do not recall. Her name…Trudy. She lived down the street and wanted to know if any kids lived in our house. (Not shy, that one.) It did not take long for young Trudy to become a regular at our place, and it was not uncommon to look out the front door on any given day to see her skipping down the road to visit. She became very fast friends with my oldest daughter, and she was very good with my youngest daughter (who by the way adored Trudy). Trudy absolutely loved little ones. Trudy and my son on the other hand….they bickered almost like they were actual siblings, constantly teasing…. perhaps because they were so close in age. A more spunky little girl there could not be….full of life, sharp as a tack, full of love, and always and forever seeing the good in people. She wore a yin yang necklace all the time because she would say for all the bad in the world, there is more good. A special little girl, that one. Then, one day, as suddenly as she appeared, she disappeared. August 21, 1996 was the exact day I do recall and this left such a feeling I cannot describe. The entire neighborhood (who grew to absolutely adore this little girl) watched and waited…for something, anything. We looked out the doors, hoping to see “our girl” (as she is known to some of us) skipping down the road to visit. We looked everywhere we went, hoping to catch a glimpse of her, but that never happened. A big empty hole was left in our hearts, our neighborhood, our lives. Now, 16 years later, we are watching and waiting still, and thoughts go back to a day when a little spitfire of a girl appeared in our yard and such a feeling I cannot describe.
Remember the missing.
Trudy Appleby disappeared August 21,1996 from the Quad Cities area in IL.