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Arraignment delayed for accused O.C. killer

Arraignment for an Orange County man charged with killing his wife who vanished nearly six months ago has been postponed.

September 1, 2010 12:00:00 AM PDT
Arraignment for an Orange County man charged with killing his wife who vanished nearly six months ago was postponed Wednesday. Sixty-one-year-old Richard Forsberg is now scheduled for arraignment on Sept. 24.

Police finally caught up with Richard Forsberg in Palm Springs where he was taken into custody on Monday.

Deputies said in February, Richard Forsberg and his wife Marcia, 61, got into a fight and when she turned her back, he beat her to death with a small statue.

Authorities say Richard Forsberg kept his wife's body for a few days inside the couple's Rancho Santa Margarita home before driving her remains to Lake Piru and dumping them at a campground there.

Homicide detectives sifted through mounds of dirt at the campground on Tuesday in search for Marcia Forsberg's remains, but they have yet to locate her body.

Richard Forsberg and his wife would have celebrated their 40th anniversary in September, and neighbors say they were very affectionate with one another and didn't show any signs of marital problems.

Neighbors said they were not aware of any domestic violence between the Forsbergs, and the idea that Richard Forsberg beat his wife to death is hard for them to grasp.

"They were such a quiet couple. They just kept to themselves. She didn't work and he worked, so every morning she would wave goodbye to him and wave hello to him at night when he came home," said Nicole Kontoff, a neighbor.

"They still acted like high school sweethearts, and that's what they were," described another neighbor, Careen Aburto.

Authorities started looking for Richard Forsberg last week when he disappeared after police questioned him regarding his wife's disappearance. Marcia Forsberg had not been seen since February, and her friends reported her missing when Richard Forsberg kept changing his story about his wife's whereabouts.

Richard Forsberg was eventually arrested at a Palm Springs hospital, where he had been admitted after reportedly overdosing on sleeping pills in an apparent suicide attempt.

If Richard Forsberg is found guilty of murdering his wife, he faces a minimum of life in prison without the possibility of parole.


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