Joan Ryther was eight weeks pregnant and on her way to work at McDonald’s when she was brutally raped and murdered by Andrew Michael Burke. Yesterday he was sentenced to life in prison.
In May 2013, 27-year-old Joan was strangled, dragged, kicked in the head, stabbed with a screwdriver and left to die alone. She was found lying face down in the grass of a nearby house in what her husband Cory Ryther described as an “inhuman act.”
Ryther says he has since struggled to come to terms with the horrific crime and has suffered depression and post-traumatic stress disorder, according to the ABC .
In court - and facing his wife’s killer for the first time - he said he was “consumed by rage” and felt there was nothing left to live for. “We just wanted to live, life for me now is empty and hollow.”
Lead investigator Graham Pannowitz said “It's unfortunate that by attending the court to support his wife he's heard some graphic details of what occurred.”
Despite the crippling pain inflicted on Cory’s life he said he was “happy with the sentence and verdict.”