"No Trudy. No body. No answers or nothing," said Dennis Appleby, the father of the little girl who vanished 15 years ago.
There's "hope here and there," he said, but even that seems to be slipping away.
Mr. Appleby choked back tears as he spoke Sunday at the annual vigil held at East Moline's First Baptist Church to remember his daughter, Trudy. She disappeared Aug. 21, 1996, two weeks before her 12th birthday, and last was seen entering a silver or gray "boxy" vehicle with an unknown white male who appeared to be in his 20s.
Mr. Appleby said police still are getting leads, and he has heard that only "the best of the best" get to work Trudy's case.
In the silent limbo, he said his daughter, Brandi, keeps him going. "I have to — I don't have a choice," he said.
Brandi is the age Trudy was when she disappeared, Mr. Appleby said, adding a rhetorical "how do you think" that sits on the mind?
While he was grateful for the roughly 30 friends, family and community members who came to offer support, he said he was "miserable."
The vigil and the anniversary of her disappearance is "not something I look forward to. What do you tell people after 15 years?" he said.
When no other words would come, all he could think to say was we "love you, Trudy. Wherever you're at."
For Trudy's mother, Brenda Gordon, stomaching Trudy's disappearance has gotten "easier — a little easier," she said, after tucking a tissue into her pocket.
Ms. Gordon said Jesus, God, The Lord and Holy Spirit have helped carry her through, and she just was trying to hang in there and keep hoping just as she hopes Trudy still would do.
She said she was thankful for the support she and her family have received from friends and the community.
"What else can really be done?" she said.
Ms. Gordon begged that anyone who knows anything please come forward and give that information to police.
"I love you, Trudy," she said.
The Rev. Brian Fischer of First Baptist Church — who led the vigil — told those who came that lately, he has been asked why the group still gathers every year. "Because as people of faith, we have hope," he said.
With some prayers, scripture readings, and songs including "Amazing Grace," and "How Great Thou Art," the group gathered, cried and supported each other.
Small glass stones to represent tears and rays of hope were passed out for folks to carry in their pockets to remember Trudy and others who have been lost.
In the past, Rev. Fischer said gatherers have done many things including a balloon release, but this year was just a get together with family and friends meant for hope.
His overall message was exactly that, Rev. Fischer said.
Today is Thursday, April 24, the 114th day of 2014. There are 251 days left in the year.
1864 -- 150 years ago: We learn that it is a contemplation to start a paper mill in Rock Island during the summer by a gentleman from the East. 1889 -- 125 years ago: The gates of Oklahoma were swung open at noon today, and a throng of more than 30,000 settlers started over its soil. 1914 -- 100 years ago: The Iowa Coliseum Co. was incorporated with $40,000 capital and planned a building on 4th Street between Warren and Green streets in Davenport. 1939 -- 75 years ago: Plans are being discussed for resurfacing the streets in the entire downtown district of Rock Island. 1964 -- 50 years ago: Some 45 jobs will be created at J.I. Case Co.'s Rock Island plant in a expansion of operations announced yesterday afternoon at the firm's headquarters in Racine, Wis. 1989 -- 25 years ago: Gardeners and farmers cheered, but not all Quad-Citians found joy Saturday as more than an inch of rain fell on the area. Motorists faced dangerous, rain-slick roads as the water activated grease and grime that had built up during dry weather.