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Orange County man charged with killing wife as deputies search for body in campground [Updated]

August 31, 2010 |  2:47 pm

The Orange County district attorney’s office filed charges Tuesday against a Santa Margarita man who allegedly killed his wife of 39 years by hitting her with a small statue.

RichardForsberg The charges against Richard Forsberg were filed as deputies searched for the body of Marcia Ann Forsberg, 61, in a Ventura County campground. [Updated at 2:49 p.m.: Marcia Ann Forsberg was a longtime features writer at the Daily Pilot in Costa Mesa.]

Richard Forsberg, 61, was charged with murder for allegedly killing his wife in February by repeatedly hitting her in the head with a small statue after arguing with her, according to the district attorney's office.

He allegedly kept her body in their Rancho Santa Margarita home for several days before taking it in a rented motor home to Lake Piru Recreation Area, where he dumped the body, authorities said.

Richard Forsberg allegedly told neighbors his wife was visiting friends in Arizona and they were having marital problems.


MarciaHe vanished last week after Orange County sheriff’s deputies interviewed him about his wife’s disappearance. Deputies found him Monday night at a Palm Springs hospital, where he had been admitted after attempting suicide, said Jim Amormino, a spokesman for the Orange County Sheriff’s Department.

Forsberg was charged with one felony count of special circumstances murder by lying in wait. If convicted, he faces a minimum sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole.

He was being held without bail and was expected to be arraigned Wednesday.

-- My-Thuan Tran in Los Angeles and Mark Boster in Rancho Santa Margarita

Top photo: Orange County Sheriff's homicide detectives and a forensic specialist sift through an ash-filled fire pit at Lake Piru campground in search of a Rancho Santa Margarita  woman who vanished nearly six months ago. Credit: Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times 

Middle photo: Richard Forsberg.

Bottom photo: Marcia Forsberg.