New billboards seek to break case of missing Moline girl

(Moline Police)
(Moline Police)(KWQC)
Published: Jul. 17, 2018 at 4:39 PM CDT
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A billboard that does not mince words went up Tuesday in two East Moline locations.

Next to a photo of a Moline, Illinois girl missing since 1996 appear the words, “YOU know something, it’s time to say something.”

Moline Police are convinced the case of Trudy Appleby could be broken open if only one of multiple people not named would speak up.

“There are several people with critical information regarding Trudy Appleby but they continue to hide behind a shroud of secrecy,” Moline Police said in a media release.

“We are asking the public’s assistance in removing their shroud of secrecy and bring Trudy home.”

Appleby was 11 years old when she went missing on August 21, 1996, and the case is still unsolved 22 years later.

It is believed the last sighting of her was in East Moline on Campbell’s Island.

Moline Police in 2017 named William Edward Smith, who is now deceased, as a person of interest, but no suspects have been named.

Detectives believe one or more persons “participated in the crime and the subsequent cover-up” regarding Appleby’s disappearance, according to the media release, and they believe “someone with the last bit of information will drive past the billboards, come forward and complete this puzzle.”

The two billboards are located in East Moline at 19th Street and 5th Avenue, and Highway 5 near Barstow Road.

Anyone with information on Trudy Appleby’s disappearance is asked to call Crime Stoppers of the Quad Cities at (309) 762-9500 or Moline Police at (309) 524-2140.