The man convicted in a high profile kidnapping case in Central New York has died.
Gary Thibodeau was serving a sentence of 25 years to life, for the kidnapping of a young woman in Oswego County.
It's a tragedy with many questions that may never be answered.
"We understand Heidi's disappearance and case are news, but to us, it's more than a story: it's our Heidi," said Lisa Buske, Heidi's sister back in 2014.
The biggest question, where is she?
Heidi Allen was working at a New Haven convenience store on Easter Sunday in 1994 when she vanished – and she has never been found.
A massive investigation started, that remains open to this day.
After interviewing witnesses and following leads, deputies arrested a pair of brothers, Gary and Richard Thibodeau.
Just one was convicted, in one of the most high profile trials in Oswego County's history.
Gary Thibodeau was sentenced to 25 years to life.
In some cases, a judge's sentence might bring closure. For the Thibodeau and Allen families, it was just the beginning of two tumultuous decades.
Gary Thibodeau maintained his innocence, and Allen's family would be forced to relive the tragedy many times.
Federal Public Defender Lisa Peebles took Thibodeau's case, bringing forward several new witnesses, and a very different story about what may have happened.
While the case was always open, the Oswego County Sheriff's Office made it active again 20 years after her disappearance in 2014.
Deputies searched a cabin in the town of Mexico looking for any sign of Heidi, to no avail.
Defense attorneys accused prosecutors of suppressing evidence at the original trial, and claiming Allen was a confidential informant for the sheriff's office.
"Our position is that the lower court made abuses of discretion as a matter of law when determining whether or not this evidence would be admissible at a new trial," said Lisa Peebles, Gary Thibodeau’s lawyer.
But the courts never agreed.
During each Thibodeau appeal, his health progressively got worse. And as he continued to lose the fight to clear his name, he started losing the fight for his life.
Earlier this year Thibodeau was placed in Hospice care.
Now, with his death, the question from more than 24 years ago, is still unanswered: What happened to Heidi Allen?