Details of Disappearance
Marcia's loved ones last saw her sometime in February 2010. She lived in Rancho Santa Margarita, California with her husband of 39 years, Richard Gustav Forsberg.
A photo of Richard is posted with this case summary. When neighbors asked him where Marcia was, he gave various explanations for her absence: he said she stayed indoors because she had allergies, that she had gone on vacation to Arizona and would be back in time for their 40th wedding anniversary celebration, and that he and Marcia had separated.
After six months of being unable to reach Marcia, her neighbors contacted the police, who went to interview Richard. Richard stated he hadn't seen Marcia since March 13, but he never filed a missing persons report. Authorities also learned that Marcia hadn't used her credit cards, bank accounts or cellular phone.
The next day, when the police went back to the Forsberg house to interview Richard, he had vanished along with Marcia's silver 2001 Volkswagen Beetle with the California license plate number 4TIM403. A photo of the car is posted with this case summary. Investigators found Richard in a Palm Springs, California hospital a few days later; he had been admitted as a patient after he tried to take his own life with an overdose of prescription sleeping pills and muscle relaxants.
He stated he had killed Marcia during an argument at their home on February 9, the day after the 42nd anniversary of their first date, something they celebrated every year. He stated he bludgeoned her in the head with a small statue and decapitated and dismembered her body before he rented a motor home and used it to transport the corpse to the Lake Piru Recreation Area near the Los Padres National Forest. There he burned the remains in a campfire.
The couple's marriage had been troubled for several months prior to Marcia's death, strained over her health issues and his infidelities. Richard was charged with first-degree murder with the special circumstance of lying in wait. At his trial, his defense argued he had killed his wife in a fit of anger and was guilty only of manslaughter. He was convicted of second-degree murder in 2012 and sentenced to 15 years to life in prison.
Foul play is suspected in Marcia's case due to the circumstances involved. Her body has never been recovered.