First Wife Goes Missing, Now Husband

Southern Calif. police call husband person of interest in wife's disappearance.

Aug. 29, 2010— -- When 61-year-old Marcia Forsberg disappeared in February, her husband told neighbors she had gone away, but after police questioned Richard Forsberg last week, the college administrator vanished too.

Now Orange County, Calif., police are looking for both of them, and they say Richard Forsberg is a person of interest in his wife's disappearance, though they have not said he is suspected of any crime.

"He hasn't been to work in a couple of days, which is unusual," Orange County Sheriff's Department spokesman Jim Amormino told "Good Morning America."

Richard Forsberg, 61, hasn't been seen since Tuesday, 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.

Marcia Forsberg's brother, Tony Litoff of Ventura, Calif., said he had not spoken with his sister since January, but that is not unusual for them. However, after talking to police he is "concerned."

"I'm concerned because of the information that I have so far, it's a bewildering kind of a thing," he said. "I'm not going to push any panic button and get into that treadmill until I get some good information. Right now it's just a story with a lot of loose ends. ... I don't want to do anything until I have more information."

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 Monday, 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.

Investigators spoke with Richard Forsberg on Tuesday, but he has since vanished.

"There's been no cell phone activity on his cell phone," Amormino said. "Needless to say, there's been no cell phone or financial transactions on Marcia's, the missing person."

Investigators searched the Forsbergs' home and have seized Richard Forsberg's car.

He is believed to be driving his wife's car, a silver 2001 VW Beetle with California license plate 4TIM403.

The Orange County Sheriff's Department is asking anyone who sees either of the Forsbergs or the car to call (714) 628-7170.

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