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Deputies search near Ventura County lake for body of missing Rancho Santa Margarita woman

August 31, 2010 |  8:39 am

Deputies are searching around a Ventura County lake for the body of a missing Rancho Santa Margarita woman allegedly killed six months ago by her husband, authorities said.

Her husband, Richard Forsberg, 61, was arrested Monday on suspicion of murdering Marcia Ann Forsberg, 61, after he allegedly made several incriminating statements about her disappearance, said Jim Armormino, a spokesman for the Orange County Sheriff's Department.

La-me-body-piru Orange County deputies scoured the rural terrain Tuesday morning around Lake Piru near Los Padres National Forest for her body.

Richard Forsberg was arrested at a Palm Springs hospital Monday night after a worker recognized him from a newscast about his wife's disappearance.

Officials spent several hours Monday interviewing Forsberg, who made “incriminating statements implicating himself in the murder of his wife,” Amormino said.

Officials believe Forsberg killed his wife in February at their Rancho Santa Margarita home and rented a vehicle to take the body to another location, Amormino said. The body has not yet been recovered, Amormino said.

Friends of Marcia Ann Forsberg became concerned in February when they could not reach her by cellphone or e-mail. Her husband told friends and neighbors who inquired that she was in Arizona visiting friends and would soon return, Amormino said.

Forsberg also told friends they were having marital problems, but he expected her to return in time for their 40th anniversary in September. Friends became increasingly concerned because they usually exchanged cards and e-mails for birthdays, and they had not heard from Marcia Ann Forsberg for months.

“It was strictly out of character of her not to contact her friends,” Amormino said. “They became suspicious.”

The friends filed a missing persons report last week, Amormino said. The next day, sheriff’s officials spoke to Richard Forsberg, who said a friend had picked up his wife and driven her to Arizona. Officials contacted the friend and determined Forsberg’s story was untrue.

When they returned with a search warrant for Forsberg’s home, they found him gone and his wife’s 2001 silver Volkswagen missing. He was located at the Palm Springs hospital several days later.

-- My-Thuan Tran

Photo: Orange County Sheriff's Department spokesman Jim Amormino holds a picture of Richard Forsberg, who was taken into custody in connection with the disappearance of his wife, Marcia Forsberg. Credit: Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times