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Officials: OC man possibly killed wife arguing

August 31, 2010 12:00:00 AM PDT
Orange County investigators are searching for the body of a slain Rancho Santa Margarita woman on campgrounds near Lake Piru on Tuesday.Homicide detectives sifted through dirt near a campground fire pit in the /*Ventura County*/ mountains in search of /*Marcia Forsberg*/'s body.

Her husband, /*Richard Forsberg*/, has been arrested in connection with her murder.

Investigators have other leads, but they are currently concentrating their efforts on Lake Piru, where they found an object in a fire pit that may be evidence.

Acting on a tip, police were able to track down Richard Forsberg at Desert Regional Medical Center in /*Palm Springs*/ around 10 p.m. on Monday. Hospital officials said that Richard had attempted suicide and had been in the hospital for around 12 hours.

Upon questioning him, authorities said they learned information that led them to believe that he murdered his wife six months ago.

Authorities allege that Marcia Forsberg suffered a violent death at the couple's home.

The motive for the murder is still unclear, but investigators said they may have had an argument right before he killed her.

"When Marcia turned her back, her husband hit her over the head several times with a statue," said spokesman Jim Amormino of the Orange County Sheriff's Department. "He kept her remains in the home for several days. He rented an RV and drove those remains to the Lake Piru area."

Forsberg and his wife, both 61 years old, would have celebrated their 40th anniversary in September. They were high school sweethearts.

She was a retired writer and editor and he worked in computer management at /*Coast Community College District/*.

"You can't even put the pieces together to make sense of why or what or how," said neighbor Christine Holder. "They always seemed to be really connected to each other and loving."

Marcia Forsberg has not been seen since February. Her husband told friends and neighbors that she had gone to visit friends in Arizona and would be back in a month. When she did not return and his story kept changing, then friends reported her missing.

"I think he told one neighbor that she'd be back in March. I think he told another neighbor that he wasn't sure if she was coming back. Then, he told a neighbor that she's not coming back," said Careen Aburto, a neighbor.

Last week, authorities interviewed Richard Forsberg at the couple's home in /*Rancho Santa Margarita*/. When detectives went back to interview him again the next day, he had vanished.

Once police located him in the hospital, authorities said he gave them valuable information.

"He did make incriminating statements that implicated himself in his wife's murder," Amormino said. "We believe that the murder happened at the couple's home in Rancho Santa Margarita, and Mr. Forsberg rented a vehicle and transported the body to a secondary location

Richard Foresberg is jailed on one count of murder. Authorities say he is currently on suicide watch.

He is scheduled to be arraigned Sept. 1.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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