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Cold temperatures intensify search for missing woman

Published: Dec. 4, 2021 at 10:25 PM CST
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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) - Family and friends of missing Monticello woman Melissa Trumpy have had enough. More than a month after she vanished, they demand answers into her disappearance. They are convinced answers lie with the family of Trumpy’s boyfriend Derek Hammer.

“We need to know more, and I feel like, the mother she needs to come forward, and I think she needs to help us to find Melissa and honestly, I think she needs to help to put her son away for what he’s been doing to women, says Ben Affrunti, Trumpy’s ex-boyfriend, father of two of Trumpy’s children. “People ask me how the kids are doing, and I’m like, ask me in 20 years. This is going to affect my children for the rest of their lives, all three of her children.”

“They lawyered up before we even knew Melissa was missing,” says a family friend, who wishes to remain anonymous. “They for already had a lawyer retained. The whole entire family did, and they have not once come to us and said anything. The fact that he’s not even listed as a person of interest is really unacceptable.”

While some have theorized Trumpy ran off because of pending criminal charges, loved ones say she would have never left voluntarily, especially without her kids.

“There’s already been some victim blaming,” explains Affrunti. “I don’t want Melissa to get scapegoated for what’s happened to Melissa. I don’t like the victim blaming, I don’t like the victim blaming from the Hammers. No matter what problems Melissa may have had, she loved her kids, and she would have never ever taken off.”

“If anybody in their right mind thinks she left willingly? Absolutely not,” adds the family friend.

Trumpy’s abandoned car was found in Stephenson County just days after her disappearance. Carroll County, Stephenson County, the Illinois State Police, and the FBI are all heading up the search. Findings should be reported to any of these departments.

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