A 22-year-old Quad Cities crime needs final puzzle pieces, new billboards may help

EAST MOLINE, Illinois - 11 year-old Trudy Appleby went missing from her home in Moline on August 21, 1996, and she has not been seen since.

According to a press release from the Moline Police Department, "thousands of tips have led to numerous interviews since Appleby's disappearance." However, police are still missing some information.

In an attempt to coax information from the public, the Moline Police Department, partnering with Crime Stoppers of the Quad Cities and Lamar Advertising, has created two billboards in East Moline. One is placed at 19th Street and 5th Avenue, and another is on Highway 5 near Barstow Road.

"We are missing the last few pieces of the puzzle and believe someone with the last bit of information will drive past the billboards, come forward and complete this puzzle," the release states.

According to the release, Moline police named William Edward Smith as a person of interest on August 21st, 2017. Smith is now deceased.

"The Moline Police Department believes that one or more persons participated in the crime and the subsequent cover-up regarding the disappearance of Trudy Appleby," the release states.

If you have any information on this crime or know anyone who may be related, police urge you call Crime Stoppers at 309-762-9500 or the Moline Police Department Criminal Investigations Division at 309-524-2140.