Wendy Kathleen Claire Hudakoc

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3 4 AP
Top Row and Bottom Left: Wendy, circa 1998;
Bottom Right: Age-progression to age 30 (circa 2014)

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Vital Statistics at Time of Disappearance

  • Missing Since: November 15, 1998 from Naples, Florida
  • Classification: Endangered Missing
  • Date Of Birth: August 12, 1984
  • Age: 14 years old
  • Height and Weight: 5'6, 130 pounds
  • Distinguishing Characteristics: Caucasian female. Light brown hair, hazel eyes. Wendy has a birthmark on the back of her neck and a scar on her left hand. She wore braces on her top and bottom teeth at the time of her 1998 disappearance. Her ears are pierced; the left one is pierced twice. Some agencies may spell her middle name "Kathlene."
  • Clothing/Jewelry Description: A red, white and blue tank top and jeans.
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    Details of Disappearance

    Wendy's mother and stepfather were out of town when she disappeared from her hometown of Naples, Florida on November 15, 1998. One of her stepfather's coworkers was staying at the house to watch her and her older sister. Wendy got a phone call at 11:00 p.m. on November 14. She sneaked out her bedroom window a short time afterwards to attend a party. She took a pager with her and asked her sister to page her if there was any trouble. She didn't take any clothes, makeup or other personal belongings, and she left a candle lit in the window. She never returned home and has never been heard from again.

    Authorities determined Wendy went to the party with a 20-year-old friend, Ronald DePeppo, whom she'd met a month earlier. They left the gathering together between 2:00 and 2:30 a.m., driving his blue 1991 Mazda. When questioned, DePeppo said Wendy got a page and they stopped at a pay phone at the corner of Airport Road and Davis Boulevard so she could make a call. He said afterward, she asked him to take her home because she planned to meet someone else. He said the last time he saw her was when he dropped her off at her house.

    On December 1, DePeppo's car was destroyed in a fire. Authorities concluded the blaze was an accident, caused by a dropped cigarette; this was DePeppo's explanation and a witness vouched for it. He turned the charred vehicle over to them for forensic processing, but the analysis didn't turn up any evidence. DePeppo cooperated with authorities during the beginning of their investigation into Wendy's case, but he has since hired an attorney and refuses to answer further questions or take a polygraph. Authorities were unable to verify that Wendy got a page that night as he said she did. Depeppo was never identified as a suspect in Wendy's disappearance, although investigators said they were looking at several persons of interest. Her immediate family have all passed polygraphs and been ruled out as suspects.

    Wendy was born in Toronto in Ontario, Canada. She and her family moved to Naples when she was in middle school. She was a freshman at Naples High School in 1998, an honor student who was enrolled in advanced classes. She was also a member of the local softball team. Records show she hasn't applied for a driver's license or gotten a job since she went missing. She had run away once before, but only for about a day, and although authorities initially thought she'd left of her own accord when she disappeared in 1998, they now believe she could be deceased. On her 21st birthday, in 2005, her family had a memorial service for her in a Toronto church and placed a memorial marker in the city's Queen of Heaven Cemetery. Wendy's mother died of cancer 2013, and Wendy was listed as a survivor in her obituary. Her sister and stepfather are still alive and hope she will be found. Her case remains unsolved.

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    Investigating Agency
    If you have any information concerning this case, please contact:
    Collier County Sheriff's Office
    239-774-4434

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    Source Information
    The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children
    Child Protection Education Of America
    America's Most Wanted
    Naples Daily News
    Florida Department of Law Enforcement
    Child Find Canada
    Unsolved in the News
    The Southwest Florida News-Press
    The Journal Review

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    Updated 6 times since October 12, 2004.

    Last updated November 15, 2014; middle name added, details of disappearance updated.

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