Where's Heidi Allen?
Photo designed by Donna Seabrook
Yesterday Judge King filed his decision in regards to Gary Thibodeau's attempt for another retrial, it was denied, along with other motions (I think this is the word) filed by the defense attorney. Some believe this means it is over yet it is never over, just this leg of the journey is. And most importantly, our family's goal in 1994 is the same today, to bring Heidi home. This hasn't happened yet, so our journey continues.
I want to thank each and everyone of you who continue to remember Heidi and our family in your thoughts and prayers. We will never give up hope on Heidi and that we will know where she is one day, to bring her home where she belongs. I thank those who have sent messages and notes over the past year and a half when God placed it on your heart. They were such an encouragement. We were overwhelmed by your support almost twenty -two years ago and this continues to this day. THANK YOU!
I also want to thank the media for the respect and consideration you extend to the families involved during such stressful and difficult times. We appreciate it. Thank you for respecting my parents wishes to wait until the judge filed his decision to contact the family. I wish my Mom was able to hear the decision but she wasn't, nor is she hear to give a comment to the media. I have been representing my parents behind the microphones and ink on your paper for a couple years as Mom's arthritis got worse. I'd like to thank the media's acceptance and grace with me as I learned this new role, daughter, sister, and spokeswoman.
In the next few days, when I'm not working or supporting my daughter at the theater, I will share with local media. Here is the "press release" I sent to them. To write for the newspaper and media is by far the most difficult form of writing I do. I hope you know how much you are each appreciated. You may read this, or portions there of, in the newspaper or hear it on the radio or television but in case you miss it, I want to be sure you know we appreciate you.
Our journey is not over. Heidi is remembered and never forgotten.
We will never give up until the question of Heidi's whereabouts is answered...
hopeful and hope filled. Praying Heidi comes home!
Written by Lisa Buske, Heidi Allen’s Sister
In Response to Judge King’s Ruling
For the past few months, our family waited for Judge King’s ruling. He said it would be released soon. If we have learned one thing over these almost twenty-two years, the courts definition of “soon” is different than the “soon” the families anticipate, and pray for. After months of testimony, reviewing statements and proposed evidence, and additional staff to assist the Judge, the wait concluded yesterday. We appreciate Judge King’s time and dedication to Heidi’s kidnapping case, decades later.
My sister, Heidi M Allen, kidnapped from the D & W Convenience Store on Easter Sunday, April 3, 1994, remains missing 8,005 days later. The first days, weeks, months, and couple years were times of intense searching, media attention, and court hearings, acquittals and a conviction.
Years transitioned into decades and Heidi’s memory was kept alive on the anniversary of her abduction and her birthday until July 2014. One summer afternoon, my parents and I, and Heidi’s family, friends, and community were thrust back into the same intensity endured decades prior. We went from a hopeful waiting to a hope-filled waiting and “the” call. The call never came and the roller coaster of emotions and impact of Heidi’s kidnapping wore on us with a rawness we thought we were numb to, but we weren’t. In the matter of a moment, the raw and heart breaking pain returned.
July 2014 to March 2016...one thing remained the same...Heidi was, and is, still missing.
We are thankful for this time of waiting is over. We aren’t naïve and understand court hearings and motions never stop, but neither do our hopes, prayers, and dedication to keep Heidi’s memory in the forefront until she is found. We appreciate the judge taking time to be diligent and meticulous in his response, showing both his character and desire to uphold the law.
The journey in having a missing loved one never ends. The hope and prayers for their return are just as constant. My greatest sorrow in this recent announcement, while it confirms the right man is in jail, my Mom wasn’t able to hear the news and have this peace when she took her last breath. Mom wanted to know where her youngest daughter was but a broken heart and cancer took her before she could thank the sheriff’s and DA’s office personally, or to know where her Heidi is.
The Oswego County Sheriff’s Department and District Attorney’s offices kept my parents and I informed. They tried to stay ahead of the media but in today’s technological age, and their desire to read and review things in their entirety before calling us, sometimes I saw it on Twitter or heard it on the radio before we, and the rest of our family could be notified.
There have been positives in this aspect of the journey too. Heidi’s kidnapping case is thought of more often and people new to our community and surrounding areas learned about the missing eighteen year-old from New Haven, New York that may have never known such a tragic case occurred in our small town. The newer investigators and deputies gained valuable experience in handling and investigating a missing person’s case. People are talking about Heidi and her disappearance again. While this is difficult at times, one of these conversations might be the one reveals the missing puzzle piece to finding Heidi.
On the flip side, this recent journey wore my Mom out. Some may not know she passed away on Heidi’s birthday this past September, after a short battle with Stage 4 Metastasized Cancer. While we would have preferred this month to be spent with only family, the investigators and DA still needed to keep in contact due to additional statements made during this time. I am grateful for law enforcement’s compassion and concern expressed each time they called, apologizing for bothering me, yet dedicated to Heidi’s case. They too hoped to answer my parents’ question, “Where’s Heidi?”
We understand some don’t trust or have faith in the Oswego County Sheriff’s Department or the District Attorney’s Office yet for us, we’ve see the countless hours first hand spent to find Heidi and to uphold justice. We recognize and appreciate the time sacrificed away from their families in order to interview, search, investigate, and do the necessary paperwork in such an intense and detailed investigation. I personally am amazed at their strength as they fielded negative attacks to their character, their department and office. They modeled such restraint and professionalism by not responding as they focused on the case and finding Heidi.
The past months have been a challenge for so many people. Heidi’s family, friends, and community miss her. We hope and pray she is found and if there are others, that all involved are brought to justice based on facts and evidence. Our family and so many others felt, and feel the turmoil, stress, and intensity of the recent investigation and hearings. Yet none of this brought Heidi home or answered the questions so many ask. I continue to pray that every sleepless night, nightmare, and tear is worth it in the long run and at the end of this leg of the journey, my Dad’s last thought and question isn’t the same as my Mom’s…“Where’s Heidi?”
Thank YOU for remembering and praying for Heidi and our family!
Lisa M Buske
P.O. Box 323