View Full Version : IL IL - Trudy Leann Appleby, 11, Moline, 21 Aug 1996

07-26-2006, 04:51 PM
This 11 year old has been missing since 1996.
Her father left for work and raised the alarm when he returned and could not find her. Meanwhile trudy had been seen getting onto a vehicle with a male driver between 930 and 10am that day and had taken some swi mming kit with her.

Trudys family strongly believe that David Whipple, the father of one of Trudys friends was involved in her disappearance although he has naver been publicly named.He was involved in charges of child molestation after she had gone missing but it is not clear who these charges were made by. Trudy often attended days out with this family. Usually to the river. Was this where Trudy was taking her swimming kit?

Be interested to hear your theories!

07-27-2006, 11:53 AM

Vital Statistics at Time of Disappearance

Missing Since: August 21, 1996 from Moline, Illinois
Classification: Non-Family Abduction
Date Of Birth: September 4, 1984
Age: 11
Height: 4'8"
Weight: 75 lbs.
Hair Color: Brown
Eye Color: Blue/Green
Race: White
Gender: Female
<LI>Clothing: Black bicycle stretch shorts, white socks
and blue deck shoes. NCIC Number: M-956021571
<LI>Case Number: NCMC822441

Details of Disappearance
Appleby's father departed from their family's residence to report to work at approximately 9:00 AM on August 21, 1996 in Moline, Illinois. A neighbor saw Appleby enter a silver or gray box-style vehicle near their home at approximately 10:30 AM. The driver of the vehicle is described as being his twenties at the time with curly brown hair. The suspect was wearing a baseball cap. Neither Appleby nor her suspected abductor have been seen again.

Authorities believe that Appleby may have known the vehicle's driver. Her family's residence was located off of the main road and was not visible from the street. She took a swimsuit and a towel before departing from her home. She left approximately $200 behind, which her father said she saved for an upcoming vacation. Appleby's parents believe that David Whipple, the father of one of her friends, was involved in her case. He was convicted of child molestation charges after Appleby vanished. Whipple took several of his family members to Credit Island near Davenport, Iowa on August 21. Appleby frequently accompanied Whipple's relatives to the river. Her parents theorize that she may have been injured in an accident or was the victim of foul play during the excursion. Investigators have been unable to determine if Appleby accompanied Whipple's family to Iowa. He has never been named as a suspect in her disappearance, but authorities said he remained a person of interest. Appleby's case remains unsolved. http://www.doenetwork.us/nampn/cases/appleby.html

age progession to 19:

trudy at time of disappearance:


07-27-2006, 12:02 PM
My prayers are with Trudy and her family.

07-27-2006, 08:10 PM
Does anyone have a picture of the friend's father who was a suspect? Um, I mean "person of interest".

07-28-2006, 08:25 AM
Nope 'fraid not. As far as I know he has hot been publicly deemed a suspect at all and has not been arrested. Its just the families gut feeling that he is involved.

09-06-2006, 08:10 AM
I can't imagine LE not investigating that man whose family Trudy would go swimming with. It makes sense that she would grab her swimming suit and towel and go with him if he stopped by or called to see if she wanted to go. He probably led her to believe that his family would be there too but he had other ideas when he picked her up. He has since been arrested for child molestation! Come on LE get this guy.

09-06-2006, 09:11 AM
Thats what I mean - he was arrested on unrelated child molestation charges after Trudys disappearance and was obviously a suspect by then -somebody must be covering him with an iron clad alibi, do you think? I believe his name is David Whipple but cant find anything on him.

11-08-2006, 09:11 AM
I am been trying for some time to identify a UID found in Arizona in 1999. I came across Trudy's poster and thought they look similar...age, stats, etc also seem to line up.

I sent this information to LE a couple of days ago, this morning I rec'd a reply.

Here is the info on the UID and autopsy picture side by side w/Trudy:

Located alive on January 26, 1999 in the vicinity of I-10 eastbound at milepost 173 in Pinal County, AZ.
The victim died the following day at the hospital.
She either fell, jumped or was pushed out of a moving vehicle.
Cause of death is undetermined.
Approximate Age: 13-18
Gender: Female
Height: 64 inches
Weight: 110 to 130 pounds
Race: White
Complexion: Light
Hair Color: Blonde (note, probably dyed, the roots are brown)
Hair (Other): 16
Eye Color: Blue
Identifying Characteristics: Tattoo of a blue "heart" on left side of chest.
Jewelry: Two gold earrings with black stones, one gold earring with clear stone, silver navel ring.
Primary Investigating Agency

Investigative Agency: Maricopa County Medical Examiner
Phone: (602) 372-1126
Website: www.maricopa.gov/medex/unidentified (http://www.maricopa.gov/medex/unidentified)

Here is a pic of Trudy and UID side by side

I can't get them to post! I usually have no problem with this!

Heres a link to the pics (http://www.************.xpt.net/index.php?act=ST&f=29&t=106&st=0#entry699)

Thanks so much Christine. I will get this info to my Sgt. who monitors information that comes in on Trudy. That is a very good photo of the victim. What a tragedy! I appreciate you placing them side by side. That really helps too. I will get back to you Christine.

11-08-2006, 07:16 PM
wow Christine...they do look alot alike. Good eye - the hair color would have thrown me off completely.

Keep us updated. If that is her, how many questions will arise as to what was going on for 3 years or so.

The un id'ed girl has a thread in the cold case file. did you post your pictures there?

11-14-2006, 09:59 AM
Hi Christine. I was the person that responded to your email. Sgt. Titus is my supervisor in charge of that case. He informed me that he has already been in touch with Maricopa County and our DNA in regard to Trudy did not match with their victim. Thank you for you assistance though. It is appreciated. You sound like a very dedicated citizen.

Captain Greg Heist
Moline Police Department

11-15-2006, 12:52 AM
Wasn't a boyfriend of her sister suspected at one time? Or is that a different case I'm thinking of?

11-15-2006, 12:10 PM
I think you're thinking of Amber Barker. http://www.charleyproject.org/cases/b/barker_amber.html

05-19-2007, 12:28 AM
I will never forget the look on Brenda Gordon's face as she tried to imagine what life would be like if Trudy Appleby had never disappeared. She couldn't image. Even trying was too painful.

Time doesn't heal all wounds. Nearly twelve years after her daughter went missing Brenda's pain seems so strong, so persistent it's as though she has lived August 21, 1996 every day for more than a decade.

As I studied tapes of candle light vigils and birthday gatherings my heart broke over and over for Trudy's family. Amazingly, the police say they still get leads.


08-22-2007, 08:20 PM
I get a "Google Alert" on any and all things related to Johnny Gosch. This was in my e-mail this afternoon:

I was unable to find a thread on Trudy Appleby, so I thought I'd post it here. If anyone knows of a Trudy thread, please request that it be moved.

I did a bit of searching and also found the following:

08-22-2007, 08:34 PM

08-22-2007, 08:40 PM


08-22-2007, 10:31 PM
When I saw the name, I knew exactly who this was. This is one case that I wonder so much about...

09-21-2009, 08:50 PM

28 Aug 09

The likelihood of a link between the unsolved case of a missing Moline girl and the case of a California girl who also was abducted but walked into a police station this week may be slim, but police will look into it, regardless.

Trudy Appleby was 11 years old when someone snatched her from her home on Aug. 21, 1996. Jaycee Dugard also was 11 and was abducted while walking to the bus stop near her home in South Lake Tahoe, Calif., on June 10, 1991.

Trudy's mother, Brenda Gordon, said such a success story, "just adds one more piece of hope for my family that could come home and that she's still alive."

Gordon said she has had to come to terms with her daughter's disappearance.

"The first few years I was heavily medicated and gained weight and it was pure hell," she said. "This time of year, you just stay in limbo. Christmas and Mother's Day, though, are hard.

"Other than that I try to keep as near to being Brenda as I can," she said. "My family does the same. We just try to carry on."

more at link

age-progressed pic

White Rain
05-07-2010, 09:28 PM
Bumping for Trudy...for some reason, she of all people, was on my mind today.

08-14-2010, 03:52 AM
Hoping and praying for Trudy's safe return to her family...

08-21-2010, 01:42 PM

Trudy has been missing 14 years today. Come home soon.

03-22-2012, 11:19 PM
Bumping for Trudy... I grew up in Moline, and this case is close to my heart... Praying for Trudy's safe return to her family...

Lil Quirky
08-02-2012, 01:00 PM
Moline police are working a new lead in the 1996 missing person case of Trudy Appleby.


08-02-2012, 05:39 PM

Trudy has been missing 14 years today. Come home soon.

16 long years... Aug. 21
I live near here and took part in the searches, I cannot remember if that island was ever searched? Anyone here know?? Thank you!! And :please: be her so they can get the monster responsible, her grandparents are such wonderful people, I hope they can finally get some peace!

08-07-2012, 11:57 AM
UPDATE: Crews have left the Rock River near Colona, Illinois after spending Wednesday and Thursday searching an island. A small piece of excavating equipment was brought to the island and authorities were seen later returning shore.. There is still no word as to what they are searching for or whether they found anything at this location off Highway 84.

The Moline Police Department announced on Thursday morning that they have uncovered a new lead in the Trudy Appleby missing persons case. Trudy, who went missing from her home August 21st 1996, was last seen getting into a silver or gray vehicle with an unknown male in his twenties with brown curly hair.

Police say a recent review of the case has uncovered a new lead. They say this lead, like the hundreds of leads the Moline Police Department has investigated regarding Trudy's disappearance, will find Detectives making all efforts to follow the new information as far as it takes them

08-07-2012, 12:06 PM
Trudy Appleby went missing on August 21, 1996 - YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ByTS5kuIFX0)

08-07-2012, 03:18 PM
by Mike Colón
Police have wrapped up their most recent search for clues into the 16 year old disappearance of Trudy Appleby. Officers said Monday that the recent operation on an island in the Rock River near Colona was productive and additional leads are now being pursued.

During the search police brought in digging equipment and excavated parts of the small island near the route 84 bridge. Trudy Appleby disappeared back in 1996.

If you have any information you are asked to call Crime Stoppers at 309-762-9500 or the Moline Police Department at 309-797-0401.

08-25-2012, 11:18 PM
Vigil held for Missing Moline Girl: Trudy Appleby

Loved ones of a missing Moline girl gathered to honor her memory.

The vigil for Trudy Appleby shows her family is still holding out hope.

Trudy Appleby was 11 when she was abducted from her home in 1996, and now 16 years later, Trudy's father Dennis Appleby said not a day goes by when he doesn't think about his daughter, "You live with hope. Without hope you have nothing."

More: http://www.whbf.com/story/19337318/vigil-held-for-missing-moline-girl-trudy-appleby

11-12-2013, 01:48 PM
Bumping this for Trudy.

I grew up in the Quad Cities and Trudy's disappearance haunted me for a long time. She literally vanished with very little evidence with the exception of an eyewitness seeing her get into a silver or grey car.

10-12-2014, 09:43 AM
Very sad news:

Trudy Appleby's mother was hit by a van and killed while crossing the street Friday in Moline, IL.


10-19-2014, 02:13 PM
Another article about Trudy's mother - http://www.kwqc.com/story/26767370/mother-of-trudy-appleby-struck-and-killed-by-car
Mother Of Trudy Appleby Struck And Killed By Car
Posted: Oct 12, 2014 6:31 PM CST

"She was worried, yet hopeful. You're just like in limbo. You don't know where your child is. Nobody will come forward and tell you where your child is. You don't know the truth about what happened. She spent 18 years looking for her baby," said Carlson.

That's a feeling Dennis Harker with the Quad Cities Missing Persons Network remembers all too well. He says the difference is that he got closure when his son's body was found. Brenda never did.

"Maybe now she's hugging Trudy. Whenever you've loss somebody especially if you've loss a child, sometimes you just want to die yourself so you can go see them again," said Dennis Harker. "Maybe now they're reunited."
video & more at link.

RIP Brenda and I also hope you're together again with Trudy.

08-20-2015, 03:03 AM
"Friday marks 19 years since Trudy's disappearance"


Nineteen years later, Trudy still is missing but never forgotten by the community that continues to call police with a few tips each week.

"People care about this case," Moline police detective Michael Griffin said. "She was an 11-year-old girl, an innocent of our society. I think that plays on the emotions of a lot of people."

He's hoping those emotions will help solve the case and provide some peace to Trudy's family.