Carolyn’s Causes – Carolyn Rustvold

Created by DPE, Copyright IRIS 2007 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.

After a 2 month search, Carolyn’s body was found badly decomposed in an irrigation ditch. The custodian was later arrested and tried and convicted of her rape and death.

Created by DPE, Copyright IRIS 2007

The Rustvold family created a fund in Carolyn’s honor to help mentally disabled children called Carolyn’s Causes.

To help honor Carolyn Thurman Rustvold


8 thoughts on “Carolyn’s Causes – Carolyn Rustvold

  1. Does anybody know if this memorial shown in the above photo on a fence, is placed at Montezuma elementary school ? If not did staff at Montezuma elm school put any type of memorial on school grounds ?
    And my condolences to her family and friends this is so sad to read my children go to Montezuma and as I walk through the school I can’t help but think about her it’s so sad .

    • Hi. I was a colleague of Caroline’s at the time she was murdered. I don’t recall if that sign was placed at the school, but we did plant a little flower garden in her name, and there was a framed photograph of her inside the school. Yes, she was a lovely person and terrific educator.

  2. I remember the inside the well . I was babysitter to a first grade child who went to that school . Many of the kids knew her personally and her loss disheartened the atmosphere of the remainder of that school year . Thanks for posting this .

  3. Thank you for including Carolyn in this memorial. I was her colleague at the school where she was murdered. My portable classroom was about 30 yards from hers, where she was killed. She was indeed a beautiful person and an amazing educator. I don’t live in New Mexico any longer, but I think of Carolyn every year at this time, as the anniversary of her death approaches. I hope that her family and friends, our colleagues, and her students students are healing from the trauma.

  4. Hi my name is Deana Washington and I was only in second grade when this happened I was a student at Montezuma and I was in the B.I.P I just want to say she was the best at what she did.

  5. Carolyn was my roommate in college. I was thinking about her today and all the good she did. I hope she is smiling down on us.

  6. Carolyn and I were close childhood friends. She was destined to be an educator. She came from a family of educators. I loved her and her family. I think of her often, as well as on the anniversary each year.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s