Thornton Family donates in memory of sister killed in abusive relationship
YWCA of Sweetwater County is grateful for the generosity of the Thornton family who made a donation in the loving memory of their sister, cousin and friend; Christine Ruth Thornton. Christine grew up in Hancock, Michigan and was the oldest of five children. She was musically gifted, and had a thirst for adventure. Christine loved to surf, sail, swim, and ride horses.
At the age of 28, this strong, beautiful, independent woman found herself abandoned by her abusive boyfriend in Green River, WY alone and with few resources. Before she could take steps to re-start her life, Christine’s life, and the life of her unborn child were taken by a brutal psychopath known as “The Dating Game Killer” or Rodney Alcala. Christine’s remains were found in the high plains of southwestern Wyoming by a rancher in 1982, but she was not identified at the time. Her whereabouts remained unknown to her family for 39 years. In fact both of Christine’s parents passed away never knowing what had become of their oldest daughter.
In 2013, Christine’s sister, Kathy Thornton, came across photos taken by Alcala and recognized her sister in one of the photos. Through investigations and DNA testing, Christine’s identity was confirmed in 2015. The Thornton family remains forever grateful for the diligence and professionalism of the Sweetwater County law enforcement officers who helped in solving Christine’s case.
To honor Christine, the Thornton’s donation will be used to help victims of domestic violence and sexual assault through the Sweetwater County Family Justice Center (now the Center for Families & Children).
To read more about this story click here to learn about Kathy’s search for her sister.