Ann and Jack Eddleman of East Moline have watched the unlikely events unfold on television with the discovery of three missing young women in Cleveland, Ohio, but are split over holding out hope it could mean they’ll ever see their loved one again.
Ann says she believes her missing grandaughter, Trudy Appleby, could be found alive, like the Ohio women, who were allegedly kidnapped and held against their will for a decade.
Appleby, then 11-years old, vanished from her family home in Moline back in August of 1996.
“We’re not going to give up until we find a body or anything else that says she’s not with us. We’re going to keep hoping”, Eddleman said.
Hope though, is harder for Jack, a retired John Deere worker who is trying to hold back tears. Talking about Trudy is too much, and while he would love to believe in a miracle, he doesn’t think Trudy is alive.
“I think she’s probably dead”, he said. “If she is gone, I think when we get to heaven, we’ll see her”, he said.
Moline detectives have worked on the case for almost 17 years, but the mystery of what happened to Trudy, unsolved.
“I hate to leave this earth, not knowing one way or another”, Ann said. “Trudy was only 11. I can’t figure out what anyone would want to do to an 11 year old”.