Theresa Lockhart’s sister discusses grace, forgiveness

Theresa LockHart
An undated courtesy photo of Theresa Lockhart.

PORTAGE, Mich. (WOOD) — It’s been a dramatic two days since the husband of a missing Portage teacher was found dead in his home from an apparent suicide.

Police say Christopher Lockhart left a note in which he confessed to killing his wife, Theresa. She had been missing for more than five months.

Theresa Lockhart’s sister, Joan Mullowney, talked with 24 Hour News 8 about Theresa and Christopher. But she also talked about forgiveness and grace, even in the case of murder.

For more than five long months, family and friends held out hope that Theresa Lockhart would be found alive. Her sister continued to stay positive, even as the days turned into weeks, the weeks into months. But everything came to a sudden end Wednesday.

“The one thing is that I know when Chris did kill her, God was with her,” said Mullowney.

Now, Mullowney is left with thoughts about life, death and forgiveness.

“God has definitely given me the grace to forgive him,” she said. “I won’t forget it, it will always probably play on my mind, but at this moment, I definitely do forgive him.”

Although Mullowney says she can forgive Christopher for murdering her sister, other things aren’t that easy.

“I mean, I’m actually sad for him,” she said. “Sad that he did what he did, that he, took the coward’s way out. And that I probably can’t forgive.”

Because of his legal troubles, Christopher Lockhart was forced to wear a monitor that would alert authorities if he drank alcohol.

“He couldn’t hide in alcohol,” Mullowney said. “He just had his own thoughts to think of, so it had to have been playing big time on his mind the past few months.”

For now, it’s time to focus on giving Theresa Lockhart a proper burial, Mullowney said.

“It has definitely brought closure,” she said. “I know what has happened to her. I know where she is, so moving forward now we can get the body and get a funeral, a burial for her so she can rest in peace.”

Mullowney said funeral arrangements are in their preliminary stages. But it appears as though they will have a mass in Kalamazoo and a service in Grand Rapids. Theresa Lockhart will most likely be laid to rest in Grand Rapids.