Since 1994, Richard Thibodeau rarely goes out in public alone and has accepted that many in the Oswego community believe he and his brother Gary were responsible for Heidi Allen??s disappearance. Gary Thibodeau was convicted of kidnapping Heidi Allen, but Richard was acquitted by a separate jury.
"For twenty years I??ve been looking behind my back, wondering what people think of me and afraid to go out into the public,?? Richard Thibodeau says.
Richard told police he bought two packs of cigarettes at the convenience store she worked at on the morning she disappeared. There was no physical evidence linking Richard and Gary Thibodeau to Heidi??s disappearance, the main evidence against Gary Thibodeau was the testimony of two jailhouse inmates who testified that he confessed to them. In 2013, new witnesses came forward and told investigators about three men they believed killed Allen and hid her body. Richard Thibodeau followed the search of a remote Mexico site, and was disappointed when no remains were located.
"I was hoping and praying, not just for my brother, but for the Allen family so they could get closure. They??ve gone twenty years without knowing what happened to their daughter. They can't get the information from us because we don't know,?? Thibodeau says.
Oswego County District Attorney Greg Oakes says he believes Gary Thibodeau is responsible for Heidi Allen??s disappearance, but Oakes says he does not consider any case closed, and is committed to finding the truth.
"If Gary Thibodeau did not commit this offense and others did, that means there are people who are capable of this type of crime in our community and are free,?? Oakes says. If those people exist, I want to find them, I want to prosecute them and I want to put them in prison."
Richard Thibodeau says it is hard for him to trust the sheriff's department that charged him, but believes the new investigation will bring answers many people need.
"The truth is finally coming out. That??s what I??m thinking,?? Thibodeau says. ??The truth is starting to come out. And if they keep looking they would find a little more of the truth."