On Easter Sunday, April 3, 1994, 18-year-old Heidi Marie Allen was working alone as a cashier at the D&W Convenience Store, located at the intersection of State Routes 104 and 104B in the Oswego County Town of New Haven, New York State. She opened the store at about 5:45 a.m. and managed the store routinely for approximately 2 hours, with nothing out of the ordinary occurring.
About 7:50 a.m., a marked Oswego County Sheriff’s Department patrol unit was flagged down in the area by a citizen who reported that the convenience store was open, with lights and gas pumps on, but no one tending the business. The cashier had apparently vanished from the store. Additional Sheriff’s units were called to the scene, and an investigation commenced. Intense scrutiny revealed that the cause of her disappearance was foul play. Weeks of massive search by police, the New York State Army National Guard, the US Army 10th Mountain Division and hundreds of volunteers as well as a local and national media blitz followed with no positive results towards finding the missing woman. Even though the search results were fruitless, the intensive police investigation led to the arrests of two local brothers in the case.
In May, 1994, Richard Thibodeau was arrested and charged with kidnapping, 1st degree in connection with the missing person case. In August of that same year, Gary Thibodeau, Richard’s brother, was also arrested and faced the same charge. Separate jury trials were held for the pair. In June, 1995, Gary was convicted of the same charge he was arrested for kidnapping, 1st degree. He was sentenced to 25 years to life in the New York State correctional system. Richard was found not guilty in September, 1995. Gary has since appealed his conviction to the New York State Supreme Court Appellate Division.
On Dec. 30, 1999, the five justices who heard the case unanimously upheld the conviction, writing, “There is overwhelming evidence of defendant’s guilt.” At this time, the Oswego County Sheriff’s Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation consider the matter to be an open case. Officers are still assigned to the investigation and continue to follow leads, hoping to find the remains of the missing woman.
At the time of her disappearance, Heidi was described as a white female, 5’11”, 145 pounds, light brown/blond hair worn long and curly, and blue eyes. She was last seen wearing a gray sweatshirt with a plaid SU logo on the front, and white sneakers. She wore glasses or contact lenses and had pierced ears. Her date of birth was September 14, 1975.
Anyone who may have been in the area of the convenience store at or around the time of her abduction, or anyone who has any information on the case is asked to contact the Oswego County Sheriff’s Office by e-mail, or by phone at one of the following numbers: 1-888-349-3411, 1-800-724-8477 or 315-349-3411.
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