Today’s blog is our attempt to answer the question my parents were asked this week. “Why is there a new age progression of Heidi when someone is convicted for her kidnapping and presumption of death?”
My parents were stunned by this question, and from a good friend too. To be honest, we never thought about this concept. For the family of the missing, there are certain protocols (if you will) that you follow at different points in the case, and the length of time your loved one is missing. Regardless of a court conviction or not, an age progression is the step we are at.
Most are familiar with the use of age progression to identify living missing persons yet there is another valuable use of this drawing. Age progressions, like the one Diana Trepkov (click on Heidi’s photo above for a direct link to Diana’s site or http://www.forensicsbydiana.com/index.htm) created, are used to match unidentified bodies (deceased) to missing persons. Diana is a certified forensic artist, her drawings include DNA points (I think this is what their called) to help forensic scientists and law enforcement match discovered remains/bodies to the thousands of missing persons across the country.
Heidi M Allen, kidnapped on Easter Sunday, April 3, 1994, while working alone at the D & W Convenience store in New Haven, New York, remains missing today. Two men were arrested with one acquitted and the other serving a twenty five to life sentence for her kidnapping. This conviction is based on the “presumption of death”. Some ask, “Why an updated age progression if there is a conviction?” The answer is simple to understand when you are the family searching for a missing loved one yet we understand it creates confusion when you aren’t living each day in the unknown.
Although there is a presumption of death, this isn’t a confirmed, 100%, proof of death. This means there is a percentage, an ever so small one, that Heidi may be alive somewhere in New York or across the country. With all investigations, there is a process. Part of this process when your loved one is missing and their disappearance transitions to a cold case is to have an age progression photo done. This increases the likelihood, if your loved one defeats the odds and is alive somewhere, they still have a hope and chance for recovery.
Families of the missing understand this percentage is so small, especially when there are convictions for their loved one’s disappearance. The updated age progression is one way the family keeps their missing family member in the media spotlight, the community’s memory, and ensures every possible avenue has been taken to bring their loved one home. We accept and trust the Oswego County Sheriff Department and DA yet we need to do everything we can, as Heidi’s family, to cover all basis. This age progression is a step in the process every family of the missing does when their loved one becomes a “cold case”.
We are not disagreeing with the Sheriff’s Department, or the District Attorney, we are simply doing what is next to ensure we’ve done everything we can to bring Heidi home.
From the Oswego County Sheriff’s Website: http://www.co.oswego.ny.us/sheriff/allen.html
“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”