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Vigil to Mark 18th Anniversary of Trudy Appleby's Disappearance

This week marks 18 years since Trudy Appleby was last seen outside her Moline home, and her friends and family are preparing to mark the difficult occasion with a vigil Wednesday night.
/ Source: KWQC-TV

This week marks 18 years since Trudy Appleby was last seen outside her Moline home, and her friends and family are preparing to mark the difficult occasion with a vigil Wednesday night.

"Any and everybody is more than welcome to come, whether they knew her or they didn't know her," said Amber Dunlap, Trudy's childhood friend.

In a year when the community has come together in force to help solve other missing person's cases in the QCA, Trudy's loved ones are calling on the community to help them finally get some closure.

Nearly two decades after her disappearance, the Trudy Appleby case remains an open investigation.

She was last seen August 21, 1996, getting into a silver or gray vehicle with an unknown male. She was 11 years old, just shy of her 12th birthday.

Now, as her 30th birthday approaches, her family and friends are still waiting for answers about what happened to her.

"I pray everyday that somebody comes forward with the actual truth," Dunlap said.

"There's human trafficking right through Davenport, East Moline, it runs all the way through here. She could be most anyplace other than, outside the quad cities, outside to across the country - we don't know," Trudy's mother, Brenda Gordon, said.

For her loved ones, not knowing where she is is a pain they live with every day.

"I don't think any of us has slept through a whole night in the last 18 years," Dunlap said.

"I mean none of us that knew her can turn the TV on and if there's something about a missing person we just automatically freak out," she added.

When Dunlap heard the news of Davenport resident Carrie Olson's disappearance last winter, she joined in to help search local parks for clues.

"I was hoping that we would find something just so her family could have that closure," she explained.

But, each missing persons case that's closed is bitter sweet for Trudy's loved ones. When Olson's body was found in April, Trudy's family and friends say they were relieved for Olson's family, while still waiting for closure themselves.

"Kind of sad, but I don't know," Gordon said, pondering her emotions as the Olson case unfolded.

"I don't know. Really weird," she finally concluded.

Still, even as Trudy's family and friends prepare to hold yet another annual vigil, they say they'll never give up. They know someday she will be found.

"We still have hope. We're not giving up hope," Gordon said.

"I'm just hoping that we don't have to wait. 18 years is long enough," Dunlap said.

The vigil for Trudy Appleby will be held Wednesday, August 20, 2014 at the First Baptist Church, 121 Avenue of the Cities, East Moline. This is the first year the vigil will be held at that church, which is in the same complex as the Jewel-Osco.

The vigil will begin at 7 p.m.

Her family and friends say the more people that come out, the better.

"We could support each other," Gordon said, "Just to let the public still know that we are out there looking for her."

Anyone with any information that could help finally solve this case is asked to call Moline police, Crime Stoppers, or your local FBI office.