Twenty Years Missing

On the morning of April 3, 1994, eighteen-year-old Heidi Allen was working alone at the D & W Convenience Store in New Haven, NY.


Heidi was not scheduled to work that day.

The young woman was filling in for a co-worker who had taken off to give her children their Easter baskets--as it was Easter Sunday.

Heidi opened the store at 5:45 am, but was found to be missing at 7:50 am.

Her jacket, purse, and car keys were found inside the store, and her vehicle was left undisturbed in the parking lot.

There was cash in the register and on the counter, but no sign of the clerk.

The store did not have working video cameras.

Two brothers were eventually arrested and charged with her kidnapping. Richard Thibodeau was found guilty and is serving 25 years to life in prison. His brother was found not-guilty after a separate jury trial.

But Heidi Allen has not been seen since that morning at work.

Almost twenty years missing.

Lisa Buske is Heidi's sister.

She has written four books (including one on her missing sister and how it changed Lisa's life).

She is also a blogger.

To publicize the upcoming yet tragic 20th anniversary, she has written a series of heartfelt posts on her missing sibling.

The pain, the grief, and the struggle to understand "why?"

I hope Lisa's writings help other families who struggle with lost loved ones.

Whether it is a first anniversary, a twentieth, or more.
_______________________________________________

You can visit Lisa's blog by clicking here or read my other Missing Persons or Missing Person Monday posts by going here

20 comments:

Secret Agent Woman said...

That's so sad. I think the not knowing is the hardest part.

Lisa @ Two Bears Farm said...

How sad to still be waiting all those years to know something.

Donna K. Weaver said...

You know, that has to be the worst, to have a loved one go missing and you never know what really happened to them, don't have a grave to visit. I'm kind of surprised they were able to convict someone without it.

messymimi said...

Heartbreaking, especially that the people who know the truth about that morning won't ease the family's pain even with the trials over.

Pat Hatt said...

That has to be the worst indeed, just never knowing. You'd think the guy convicted would tell after all this time

Theresa Milstein said...

Oh, how awful. I feel for her family. I hope their writing helps.

Bob G. said...

Slamdunk:
That's a very strange case, but that Thibodeau name sounds so familiar for some reason.
And they never found her (or remains)?

A tragic story and one which should have SOME kind of closure.

Stay safe out there.

Carol Kilgore said...

How sad not to have closure, not to know if your sister is alive or dead. No matter what you may think or believe, you still don't know.

Kay G. said...

Thank you for having this as a post. I will visit her blog. How terrible for families to always wonder what has happened to their loved ones.

Brian Miller said...

ugh. 20 years...i guess you still hope but...what a long time without closure....

Jeanette Levellie said...

I hurt for her family. I am glad her sister has found some kind or outlet in writing about it.

Raging Ranter said...

March 19th was the 10th anniversary of Brianna Maitland's disappearance. I guess there's nothing new to report there. That case, along with Maura Murray, has to be the most frustrating damned thing to follow. Year after year after year... crickets.

Raging Ranter said...

March 19th was the 10th anniversary of Brianna Maitland's disappearance. I guess there's nothing new to report there. That case, along with Maura Murray, has to be the most frustrating damned thing to follow. Year after year after year... crickets.

ladyfi said...

How terrible not to know anything after all these years...

Slamdunk said...

Thanks for the comments all.

@ Donna: Yes I am not sure what evidence was used, but the level of proof was beyond a reasonable doubt--meaning it was substantial.

@ Pat: Since he was convicted of kidnapping and given an indeterminate sentence, there is no incentive for him to provide any more details. If the body is found, he may be tried for murder or something like that, and that would eliminate the current 25 years to life sentence that he is serving.

Anonymous said...

They've been informed oswego county NY they have the wrong man. They've got taped information. And choose not to push fourth with it. Everyone praying for truth but when its given no one cares. Not one person. You can not help when no one listens. You can not bring fourth truth when everyone's to ignorant to file arrests n accept they were wrong. They will find out soon enough. There's tons of witnesses stepping fourth but when the county decides not to proceed. There's nothing more you can do.

Anonymous said...

This case threw an innocent man in jail. I know damn well who did it n faught hard to bring this to light n bring this child home. But when an investigator looks at you and says he could care less if she's ever found. Well she never will be with a county to ignorant to issue arrestsvn admitted they were wrong.

Anonymous said...

There was no evidence that's cause they have the wrong person. It was six individuals. The van was junked. It involved a local gang she tried to turn in. Even with a taped confession the county wipes it under the rug. With several written statements still nothings been done nothing will be.

Lisa M Buske said...

Thank you so much for remembering Heidi and our family on this sad and difficult anniversary. Each year as April third approaches, it brings with it an emotional challenge. This 20th is more difficult than the previous, we never thought we'd still be waiting, searching, and living in the unknown two decades later.

I continue to pray for those with the last pieces to the puzzle to come forward so Heidi's remains could be found so my parents, family, and community can move forward in the next stage of this journey.

I miss my sister daily and find myself wondering, "Will we know today? This year?" but can't let this govern my days - we have to have Hope. Hope helps the families of the missing get through the day -

Thank you all for your kind words and encouragement. A special thanks to Slam Dunk for remembering Heidi again.

Appreciation and thanks from my family to all of you.

Lisa M Buske
http://LisaMBuske.com

Mary said...

Where is your evidence of this info, Anonymous? Learn that the word "fourth" is spelled "forth."