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She was finally identified in 2014 after DNA linked her to her sister. Thornton’s sisters had provided their DNA to the CODIS system and they were able to get an identification because her sisters never gave up looking for her,” says Erramouspe.
“If it wasn’t for Christine’s family continuing to look for her … ” Erramouspe says Thornton’s family recognized a photo of her at six-months pregnant sitting on top of a Kawasaki motorcycle wearing a yellow top: Thornton’s photo was one of hundreds released by the Huntington Beach Police Department in 2010 after Alcala was sentenced to death.
At around the age of 12, Anna Maria moved the family to Los Angeles.
At the age of 17, Alcala joined the Army and remained there until 1964 when he received a medical discharge after being diagnosed with a severe anti-social personality.
But his conviction was overturned twice on different technicalities before he was finally sentenced to death for her murder and the 1970s rapes and murders of Georgia Wixted, Jill Parenteau, Charlotte Lamb, and 18-year-old New York runaway Jill Barcomb, all of them in Los Angeles.
Former Los Angeles Police Department cold case detective Cliff Shepard tells PEOPLE that the charges in the Wyoming homicide don’t surprise him.
Dubbed the "Dating Game Killer" Alcala was once a contestant on the show, "The Dating Game," where he won a date with another contestant.
However, the date never happened because the woman found him to be too creepy.
The photos were found in a Seattle storage locker owned by the convicted serial killer.
Erramouspe says he and the police have no doubt that Alcala took the photo in Wyoming in August during his cross-country road trip from New York to Los Angeles.