Friends and family members of Trudy Appleby speak out

Published: Aug. 21, 2019 at 11:01 AM CDT
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Wednesday marks 23 years since Trudy Appleby first went missing and the Moline Police Department tells us, this is not a cold case.

“With Trudy's case, we get tips almost daily if not every other day. So the case is still relevant and alive in the hearts and minds of the community around here,” says Detective Michael Griffin.

The 11-year-old was last seen on Campbell’s Island in East Moline on August 21st of 1996.

Her neighbor at the time, Kelly Carlson, says, “She was with us the night before she disappeared, rollerblading, eating hot dogs and mac and cheese, and when she left she turns to us and says, I'll see you tomorrow and we never saw her again.” Carlson’s daughter was best friends with Appleby and they both still have very vivid memories of their time spent with her.

“What I am hoping for is that this will be the last vigil. That'd be nice,” says Appleby’s uncle, Ray Eddleman. “What I am hoping to come out of tonight and what I am hoping to get across is I need, I am demanding that the people are responsible, I can't say your name... I'll hold that off... but you know who you are... I'm demanding that you come forward and I've tried everything else.” Eddleman adds, “If the money wasn't enough, contact me. Contact Crime Stoppers or the Moline Police Dept. Tell me what you want in exchange for the information.”

While the Moline Police Department has gotten the answers they’re after over the past two decades, things today are different. Detective Griffin explains, “We're hoping that people start to come forward. We've been able to talk to many people over the years and the relationships that the offenders had in 1996 are different than they have now and we're hoping to find people that they have fractured relationships with that divulged information to them about what happened to Trudy, what they did with Trudy, and we're hoping to find Trudy to give her the proper burial that her and her family deserve.”

If those answers don’t surface this year, they won't be giving up anytime soon. Eddleman, who’s done all he can to get answers for over the past two decades, says this is getting old. “My father and mother have one gravesite left next to Trudy's mother that we've saved for Trudy. I am just waiting for you. You know who you are.”

You can read more about her disappearance

The vigil in her honor will be at 7:00 p.m. at the First Baptist Church in East Moline, 167 Avenue of the Cities in East Moline.