Gary Thibodeauâ??s family and friends held a â??Free Garyâ?? rally at East Side Park in Oswego on Monday, as a witness has come forward in the Heidi Allen kidnapping case.
Thibodeauâ??s supporters held signs asking drivers to honk and raise awareness of Garyâ??s case.
Last week, Gary Thibodeauâ??s attorneys filed a motion seeking to overturn his 1995 kidnapping conviction in the Heidi Allen case. His attorneys say new witnesses and evidence withheld from Gary Thibodeauâ??s attorneyâ??s in 1994 implicate other suspects.
Garyâ??s brother Richard Thibodeau was also charged with kidnapping Allen, but was acquitted by a separate jury in a separate trial.
Richard Thibodeau and his niece Barbie Chiasson visited Gary in prison this past weekend. They said Gary had nearly given up, but was making jokes with family members and is optimistic he will be released soon.
"I told him, things are starting to happen again, the truth is starting to come out and people are starting to see this," said Richard Thibodeau.
Richard says his brother told him he â??didnâ??t want to wait much longerâ??, but said if he could make it for 20 years he can wait a little longer for the current court proceedings to be settled.
â??I'm not going anywhere, all Iâ??ve got is time,â?? Gary said to his brother.
CNY Central also spoke with a witness who claims he has given statements to Gary Thibodeauâ??s attorneys and the Oswego County District Attorneyâ??s Office. CNYCentral agreed to not show the man's image or use his name. The witness says that in 2011, James Steen told him "that the actual van that was used in it, in her abduction, he had it squashed and sent across the border to Canada."
Both men were in jail at the time but at that time the witness did not realize Steen could be connected to the Allen case.
The witness says he contacted both the district attorney and Thibodeauâ??s attorney last week because he believes the wrong man is in jail, and believes Heidi Allenâ??s family deserves answers after all of these years.
When reached for comment Thursday morning, District Attorney Gary Oakes said that he did not want to comment on allegations made by a potential witness. Oakes said he will follow up on any leads that could help bring Heidi Allen back home but he still believes Gary Thibodeau to be guilty.
"The information that we received last year really wasn't reliable and I believe the outcome of our searches has justified our assessment that they weren't reliable," said Oakes.
Oakes also said he has documents showing that the information on Heidi Allen being a confidential drug informant was turned over to Thibodeau's defense team in 1994.
The new witness said he had nothing to gain and hoped both the Allen and Thibodeau families have answers soon.
"It's just doing the right thing. That's all it is. It's just having a conscience, having morals and doing the right thing."