“I just want help for Amanda”: A Mother’s Plea
Sylvia Rudge last saw her daughter, Amanda Jane Rudge, on a balmy night in late August, 1991. “I remember it so well,” said Sylvia. “She was in the bathroom having problems getting out one of her earrings, she had several ear piercings, and one was stuck and she asked me to get it out for her, which I did. I still have that earring.”
Amanda was 27 years old when she disappeared. That night was the last anyone ever saw or heard from Amanda.
A few days previous, Sylvia received a phone call. Amanda had been known to run with a rough crowd and was slated to testify in a case against several individuals. The man calling threatened that if Amanda gave evidence in the upcoming trial, she would never be seen again.
The night Amanda left home she took only her purse, and gave no indication that she would be away for an extended period. Previously, she would stay with friends for days at a time, but had always returned. This time was different. After a few days passed her absence became unusual, and Sylvia took action. She went to the Toronto Police Services. “They didn’t even make a record of her disappearance,” said Sylvia. “They wouldn’t help me.” The Police Service’s position at the time was that an adult had the right to go missing.*
Sylvia continued to search on her own for her missing daughter. She ventured into downtown Toronto, late at night, searching for Amanda or for anyone who might have known her. Sylvia ran ads in the Toronto Star, even as recently as May of 2016, in hopes of generating leads to Amanda’s whereabouts. She has never received a tip, but she will never give up hope; “Amanda just needs someone to find her.”
Born in the United Kingdom on June 20, 1964, Amanda and her family relocated to the United States when she was just 10 months old. They moved around a bit, living in Garden City, New Jersey; Horsham, Pennsylvania; and Dayton, Ohio. Sylvia left Amanda’s father Frank when her daughter was seven, moving them to Canada where they remained. As an adult, Amanda did not have a passport.
Amanda attended high school in Mississauga at Applewood Heights Secondary School from approximately 1977 to 1982. While attending that school she lived in the Applewood 3 building off Bloor Street near Tomken Road. As she got older she spent time in Mississauga and in downtown Toronto, but always used her mother’s home as a base--as she did the night she went missing.
In her teens, Amanda had developed an issue with alcohol and battled with bulimia and anorexia. She may have taken drugs as well. There is a chance that she relapsed into these diseases as an adult. While she had been referred to a group to help with eating disorders, it’s unclear if she attended. “She was a very closed person,” said Sylvia. Although she and Amanda were close, she never shared the names and addresses of her friends; “she was not a sharer.”
Sylvia believes that Amanda left to protect her. “I look back on many things, and yes, she tried to protect me and probably still does to this day if she’s out there, alive.”
Amanda is described as white, 5’ 4” (162.5 cm), 120 – 130 lbs (54.5 – 59 kg), and her natural auburn hair was dyed blond. She had a chipped front tooth that, at the time of her disappearance, had not been repaired.
Should you know anything at all about Amanda Jane Rudge or her whereabouts, no matter how insignificant you feel that information might be, please contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477), The Missed Lives Project through our website at MissedLives.org or Det. Const. Kevin White at 416-525-4074.
If Amanda is able to read this blog, Sylvia would like her to know: “I have never stopped loving you, never stopped searching for you and never stopped praying for you.” Both of Amanda’s parents want to know what happened to their daughter. They want to know that she is safe.
Please help find Amanda Jane Rudge.
*Later, it was thanks to pressure from Sylvia that they amended their policy so that if the circumstances of a disappearance are suspicious action will be taken, regardless of a person’s age.