Trudy Appleby’s family begs people who know something to come forward

Published: Aug. 21, 2018 at 11:46 PM CDT
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Tuesday marked the 22nd anniversary of Trudy Appleby’s disappearance.

Police say she was last seen on Campbell’s Island in East Moline. And they believe someone knows something about her disappearance.

“I don’t know every detail of what the investigation is trying to get to but seems to me like somebody’s hiding something,” said Ray Eddleman, Appleby’s uncle. “I doubt that this is one person that’s holding this. I think that this has got to be a couple of people, two or three people, maybe not in a family, maybe in a group of friends.”

Eddleman says the days leading up to Aug. 21 are difficult. But the date itself, is a burdensome reminder.

“Aug. 21 is just a reminder that another year has come around with no answers,” he said. “And that the person that’s holding the key to it, is choosing not to come forward.”

This year, Appleby’s disappearance coincided with a story making national headlines. The body of 21-year-old Mollie Tibbetts is believed to have been found. The Brooklynn, Iowa woman had been missing for nearly a month. And it brought raw emotion to Appleby’s family.

“My heart really goes out to Mollie Tibbetts’ family,” Eddelman said with tears in his eyes. “When I seen that in the news today, it just broke my heart because I know that her family has been hurting like we have for 22-years.”

And he continues waiting for the day it will be his turn to grieve.

“The heartache that they’re feeling today, is the one that I fear. I truly do, I truly fear finding out the truth, but I got to know it.”

Eddleman agrees with police. Someone, he says, knows something. And Tuesday night, he had a message for them.

“Gee whiz after 22 years if it hasn’t eaten you alive by now what more is it going to take? I mean I don’t know how else to ask you,” he stated staring straight into the camera.

Eddleman’s mom and sister do not get to see how Trudy’s story ends. But he says, he’s determined to get answers.

“I’ll be damned if it’s not going to end before I’m gone.”

Over the past year, there have been developments in the search for Appleby.

In October 2017, police dug up land on Campbell’s Island, and named William “Ed” Smith, a deceased East Molin man, a person of interest.

In July 2018, police posted billboards in East Moline and handed out missing person fliers on Campbell’s Island. Both were attempts to prompt someone to come forward with information.

So far, the then 11-year-old Moline girl, remains a missing person.