Wife Goes Missing, Now Husband Arrested

First Wife Goes Missing, Now HusbandPlayABC News
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Richard Forsberg, the husband of missing 61-year-old Marcia Forsberg, has been arrested and accused of her murder.

Forsberg was picked up by Orange County Sheriff's Office authorities on Monday night at a hospital in Palm Springs, according to ABC News Los Angeles station KABC-TV. Hospital officials told authorities that Forsberg had attempted suicide, according to the report.

A call made to the Sheriff's spokesman Jim Amormino was not immediately returned, but KABC reports that investigators are combing campgrounds near Lake Piru in the Venurtra County mountains for Marcia Fosberg's body.

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Mystery Unfolds in California

Police said they believe Forsberg, 61, murdered his wife six months ago and dumped her body.

"He did make incriminating statements that implicated himself in his wife's murder," Amormino told KABC. "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."

Forsberg is jailed on one count of murder and is on suicide watch. He is scheduled to be arraigned on Wednesday.

The 61-year-old college administrator had drawn the suspicion of neighbors because, when they asked him why they hadn't seen Marcia for months and months, he kept changing stories about where she had gone.

One of those neighbors finally called police to report the woman missing, and then, after investigators questioned him last week, Forsberg vanished, too.

"He hasn't been to work in a couple of days, which is unusual," Amormino told "Good Morning America" on Sunday.

Before his arrest, Forsberg had not been seen since Aug. 24, the day police questioned him about his wife, a retired magazine writer and cancer survivor.

"He stated he last saw his wife on March 13, but has not filed a missing persons report," Amormino said.

Friends and neighbors of the Forsbergs in Rancho Santa Margarita said they didn't think much of Marcia's disappearance at first, but as time went on their suspicions began to grow.

"We heard she was going to see some friends in Arizona so we didn't think anything of it," Nicole Kontoff, a neighbor said.

It wasn't just the amount of time that Marcia Forsberg had been gone, but the behavior of her husband that started to raise questions.

"He would give us a date of when she was supposed to get back and that date would come and she still wasn't back. Then we would ask again," another neighbor, Judy Quinn, said. "And then after a while he said they were having marital problems and they were in a trial separation."

Neighbors said Richard Forsberg, a supervisor at Coast Community College District in Costa Mesa, had started telling them things that seemed out of character for him.

Several people said he told them he was planning to take an extreme survivalist course, that he was going on a fishing and camping trip, and that he had taken up gambling.

"I overheard him say that he's discovered Indian casinos," neighbor Careen Aburto said. "It seems totally out of character for the person that I knew. ... I kept telling my husband that this is not right. Last time I saw [Marcia] was maybe around New Year's Eve."

Another neighbor, Dave Petrisevac, said he went to the Forsbergs' house on Aug. 16 to ask about how to send a thank-you note to Marcia, but that Richard Forsberg seemed to be trying to steer the conversation away from his wife, talking about gambling and camping and the survivalist course.

"I said can I send her a little note to thank her for something or other. He said send it to me and I will make sure she gets it," Petrisevac said. "He never said to me that they were separated. He did say, 'We've had several fights' and he said this time she is really mad and she's gone. ... He said, 'I wish I had the Marcia I had 20 years ago, but if all goes well, then she should come back on our 40th anniversary."

Aburto said she was surprised by Richard Forsberg's explanation that his wife was staying with friends in Arizona.

"I thought, 'Arizona?' I didn't know she knew anyone there," Aburto said.

It also disturbed her when she saw him driving his wife's car instead of his own.

"When I saw him driving her car I knew something was wrong," she said. "He's been driving it for a couple of months."

Finally, on Aug. 23, Aburto called police to report the woman missing. She said what made her decide to do it was receiving a letter from a good friend of Marcia's, Cathleen Deremeer, who said she had not been able to reach her. She called the police as soon as she spoke with Deremeer.