Wendy Hudakoc: Missing 18 years, mystery remains unsolved

Family pleads for answers to solve cold case
Posted at 6:08 PM, Nov 15, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-15 21:21:00-05

It's been 18 years since 14 year old Wendy Hudakoc snuck out of her Naples home to go to a party and was never seen again. 


Wendy's step-father and old sister sat down with Four In Your Corner to tell her story. While she has disappeared years ago, the mystery remains.


"I don't think we'll ever get closure," Dan Campbell, Wendy's step-father said. "We just want to know what happened." 


Campbell's co-worker was watching Wendy and her older sister while their parents were away on a business trip in Tampa.


"Wendy asked me numerous times to go to this party with her and I told her I wasn't going," Sharlene Boyatt, Wendy's older sister said. "She snuck out the window, Ron picked her up down the street and brought her to the party. They hung out at the party for a few hours and he never brought her home."


Wendy was a freshman at Naples High School when she met Ronald DePeppo, the man she was last seen with the night of her disappearance. 


"There was one call, probably about a month before. He called the house around 3 o'clock in the afternoon asking for Wendy and I said, 'No, she's not here, she's at school, why aren't you?' and that's when he said 'I'm 18, I don't go to school' and that's why I said, 'what business do you have calling a 14 year old?'


The family says DePeppo is the sole person of interest in this case. 


"He's the only person who knows where he dropped off Wendy," Campbell said. "We never once said he did anything to her but he knows more than what he's saying."


Detectives say DePeppo told them he dropped off Wendy the night she vanished to meet a man named "Jeff." DePeppo is not considered a suspect but the Collier County Sheriff's Office says they cannot eliminate him from this investigation. 


"I just want to ask him, 'what did you do with her? Where did you last leave her?' It wasn't at our house," Campbell said. 


"The candle was still lit, the towel was still over the window sill, the bed was still made," Wendy's sister said. "She had full intentions of coming home."


Anyone with information on the disappearance of Wendy Hudakoc is asked to call the Collier County Sheriff's Office at 239-252-9300 or Southwest Florida Crime Stoppers at 1-800-780-TIPS (8477).