The father of an Iowa girl who has been missing for over twenty years says he knows who's responsible.
"We now know what happened to Trudy," said Dennis Appleby, father of 11-year-old Trudy, who went missing in 1996, reports the Quad-City Times. "We know who took her."
"We have all the pieces -- where she left, who she left with," he added.
Dennis was speaking at an annual memorial vigil for Trudy on Aug. 21 when he made the comments, which were directed at David Whipple. Whipple had previously gone on-record stating he saw William “Ed” Smith with Trudy the day she disappeared.
"It’s time for truth," said Dennis, before the service began.
A few days earlier, on Aug. 17, Moline, Iowa police announced Smith, who died in December 2014, was now a person of interest in the case.
According to the police, Trudy got into the passenger side of a vehicle similar to one Smith drove. Leads indicate the car was scrapped shortly after her disappearance.
"The witness observed a younger female in the passenger seat of that vehicle and believed that person to be Trudy Appleby, whom was personally known by the witness," Moline Police Detective Michael Griffin said, Dispatch-Argus reports. "The vehicle passed within a couple feet of the witness.
"Trudy Appleby's whereabouts are unknown after the vehicle drove by and no other witnesses have come forward with information on any further sightings," he added. "The witness reported (Mr.) Smith threatened him (that) if he ever relayed information to the police about seeing Trudy Appleby with him on Aug. 21, 1996, he would kill him."
Moline authorities continue to urge those with information to to call the Moline Police at 309-524-2140 or Crime Stoppers of the Quad Cities at 309-762-9500.
"Information regarding [Smith's] activities the date of Aug. 21, 1996, may lead to further information about Trudy Appleby's disappearance," Griffin said.
"Please do not assume that we know what you may know and no information is insignificant," he added.
"It's not about what happened that day," he later elaborated. "It's about what's happened since. Someone's got to know. We've talked with the family. As we get older, we all get more reflective. "I imagine if you had been involved in something like this, you would have talked about it with someone."
The family is offering a $10,000 reward to anyone with information that could lead help close the case.