The Facebook posts break your heart.

“I only lived here for 9 years before they took me. I loved it here, but never knew what evil awaited for me on that day in August 1996.”

“The night before they took me, I rollerbladed in the cul-de-sac with my friend Amber, neither of us could’ve ever known that would be the last time we would see each other.”

“I loved going on vacation and was about to go on vacation with my dad. He was taking me out west and I had saved up $200 to take with me on the trip. On the day they took me, I left that money in my bedroom. When my dad saw it, he knew I didn’t run away, he knew right away that they took me. “

Today is the 26th anniversary of the disappearance of Trudy Appleby. She was reported missing from her home in Moline by her father in 1996. In the days leading up to her disappearance, she had asked her father to go swimming with a friend who lived on Campbell’s Island. Her father did not let her go, but phone records show the 12 year old may have gone ahead with her plans.

The Moline Police Department still considers this an active case, so their Facebook posts today are part of what they call a #trudytakeover. All posts are written from her point of view, giving readers glimpses into her short life, from her birth in Utah to her last night playing with friends. “Beginning tomorrow at 8 a.m. we will have a Trudy Appleby takeover of our social media. All of our posts will be written in a 1st person perspective, her perspective. We are going to let her tell you her story,” the department said in a post on Saturday.

In 2017 the Moline Police Department announced that a witness observed Trudy with William “Ed” Smith in a late model silver Chevrolet four door near Smith’s residence on Campbell’s Island on the day Trudy disappeared. Smith was listed as a “person of interest” by the Moline PD but is now deceased. In 2020, David Whipple and Jamison “Jamie” Fisher were also named as persons of interest. Whipple died earlier this month.

“I miss my friends, I want to come home, please make that call so I can come home. Call Crime Stoppers of the Quad Cities 309-762-9500 or message the police on here and help me come home.”