Carolyn Rustvold was a giving, passionate person who believed she could make a difference in the world. She was an occupational therapist by career choice and worked through the Albuquerque Public Schools in Albuquerque, New Mexico with developmentally disabled children. Carolyn really enjoyed the children and her gift with them was obvious to all who watched their interaction. She honestly believed that she could make a difference.
On January 17, 2003 Carolyn was working after school long after many of her co-workers had already gone to enjoy the three day weekend. At around 5:00pm she approached a co-worker to ask for help in getting back into her classroom after she had accidentally locked her keys inside. The co-worker spotted the only night custodian, down the hall. Knowing that he would be the only person on the premises who would have a key to her room, she called out to him for help. She rushed down the hall after him and was never seen again. Carolyn’s husband reported her missing when she never returned home. Her body was found badly decomposed. The custodian was later arrested and tried and convicted of her death.
The Rustvold family created a fund in Carolyn’s honor to help mentally disabled children called Carolyn’s Causes.