Missing woman wrote for Pilot

Features writer's work included society columns in the 1980s. Authorities suspect her husband killed her in their home.

August 31, 2010|From staff reports

COSTA MESA — A missing 61-year-old Rancho Santa Margarita woman believed to have been killed by her husband of 39 years once wrote for the Daily Pilot.

Marcia Forsberg worked as a features writer at the newspaper in the 1970s and 1980s, a former staff member said and newspaper archives confirm.

A review of Daily Pilot and Los Angeles Times archives pulled up a few of her old society columns, Orange County on View.

In a 1982 column, she wrote about a South Coast Repertory fundraiser featuring auction items reflective of the era, including a tie worn by Johnny Carson, a jersey worn by Magic Johnson and a baseball autographed by Reggie Jackson. One of the auction prizes was spending a day on the set of "The Dukes of Hazzard."

In another piece from 1982, she wrote about a hospital fundraiser with a "Love Boat" theme. And there were mentions of society page staples like the Commodores Club Ball and Newport-Mesa Schools Foundation.


Her husband, Richard Forsberg, also 61, who is suspected of killing her, also has ties to coastal Orange County. He used to work for Coastline College.

The couple reportedly met in a college journalism class in Ventura County.

The local connections, which were confirmed Tuesday afternoon, followed an intense hunt by authorities for Marcia Forsberg's remains.

Sheriff's investigators scoured an ash-filled fire pit at Lake Piru in Ventura for the remains of the woman who disappeared nearly six months ago.

Richard Forsberg, who had also vanished, was arrested and charged with her murder.

He was found at a hospital in Palm Springs on Monday after a member of the medical staff tipped off investigators, according to Orange County Sheriff's spokesman Jim Amormino.

The hospital employee saw a television news report about the case and called authorities to report that Forsberg had been in the hospital for about 12 hours after attempting suicide, Amormino said.

Forsberg was questioned all day and returned to Orange County, where he was booked on one count of murder, Amormino said.

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

Investigators say they believe Forsberg murdered his wife inside their Rancho Santa Margarita home and then dumped her body somewhere else.

KTLA-5 and the Los Angeles Times contributed to this report.

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