Lead in Trudy Appleby case comes up empty on Campbell's Island

Moline Police led the search on the island Monday Afternoon

EAST MOLINE, Ill. - "It's been 21 years I've been waiting," said Dennis Appleby, the father of Trudy Appleby.

Emotions were running high on Monday for the family of Appelby, who has been missing since August of 1996.

Moline Police say a tip led them to the 500th block of Island Avenue on Campbell's Island in East Moline on Monday.

"We dug very deep, over 5 feet deep into the ground to look for evidence," said Moline Police Detective Michael Griffin. "We recovered items that will be processed for evidence. We did not find any human remains. We did not find anything that we can specifically say was related to Trudy Appleby."

Police say the lot was the former home of David Whipple, the son-in-law of William Ed Smith.
Smith was named a person of interest in the case.
In August, Whipple told police he saw Trudy get into his father in law's car on the day of her disappearance. 

Dennis Appleby says he's convinced that Whipple has more information about Trudy's disappearance.

"He knows. And, sooner or later, he's gonna give it up," said Appleby. "And, he doesn't want me to come and talk to him. Because, I won't play nice."

"It's time to come forward," added Det. Griffin. "It's time to give Dennis, and Ray, and the rest of their family, it's time to give them their peace."

Peace that the family of Trudy won't receive until they get the answers they've been seeking for more than 21 years.

"I don't know the lady in the age-progressed photo, the 31-year old girl, I don't know that girl," said Ray Eddleman, Trudy's uncle. "I still know, and I miss the 11-year old in the picture. And, that's who I want justice for."

"Her grandma's gone now, her mom's gone now, she's gone. It's time to put this thing to an end," said Appleby. "And, one of those two have the answers. It's time to give up off of it before we absolutely pin them to the wall. Because, it's close. We're getting close."


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