« Back to blog

The Forsberg Mystery: Where is Marcia?


The Forsberg Mystery presents the kind of intrigue journalists often find irresistible. Rick and Marcia Forsberg might understand such curiosity. They met nearly 4 decades ago as student journalists. This is from the Oxnard (CA) Press-Courier, Oct. 26, 1975, an article about Ventura College’s student newspaper, the Pirate Press:

During the years romance also entered into the Pirate Press staff activities. Rick Forsberg, editor in 1968, married Marcia Litoff, editor in 1969, and they are pursuing literary careers together.

Now no one has seen 61-year-old cancer survivor Marcia Forsberg for months. Her husband is missing too. It’s probably not a big surprise that he’s also a person-of-interest in Marcia’s disappearance.

The last time Orange County Sheriff’s detectives saw Richard Forsberg, age 61, was Tuesday, August 24. That’s when detectives with the Sheriff’s Dept. interviewed him about his wife’s vanishing act. After all, he’d never filed a missing persons’ report, even though friends had not seen Marcia since February.

The couples’ friends found it odd when Marcia blinked out of sight a few months ago. Richard’s behavior didn’t help. From the Orange County Register:

Carrie Aberto, a neighbor, said she received a letter from one of Forsberg’s friends from Oxnard. The friend wrote that she was concerned for Marcia, and wanted to know if there were signs of her in the neighborhood. But neighbors hadn’t seen her either.

Aberto said Richard Forsberg also began acting strangely about two months earlier. When talking to neighbors he would ramble into tangents, she said. When asked about his wife, he said she had left him and gone to Arizona.

Cops asked Richard about not filing a report and he told them the Arizona story. Richard said he’d last seen her on March 13.

Marcia’s Arizona friend said Marcia wasn’t there.

Cops tried to follow up with Richard but couldn’t find him.

Cops have searched the Forsberg’s residence in Rancho Santa Margarita and most recently gone door-to-door searching for the Forsbergs. Richard hasn’t shown up to his job with the Costa Mesa Coast Community College District.

There hasn’t been any activity on either his or his wife’s cell phones.

As recently as October, 2009, the Forsbergs seemed like a healthy, happy couple. They were featured in an article in the Ojai Valley News. The article was about Nordhoff High School’s 100th anniversary celebratory festival and something called “Dance For the Generations.” Rick and Marcia Forsberg smile at the reader from a blurry photo accompanying the piece. The article tells how the Forsbergs met “on the first day at Ventura College” in journalism class. The Forsbergs went to Nordhoff High reunions on an almost yearly basis so Marcia could see old friends. The article continued:

Marcia is a retired writer and editor who has done graduate study in art history, and Rick is a college administrator. Marcia Forsberg especially wants to add, “Everyone who organized this, our whole class says thank you! We are having a blast. The class of ’67 rules!” She and her former classmates piled into the photo booth that was in the Nordhoff gym lobby during the dance to capture another memory in the warm Ojai legacy.

Police believe that if Richard Forsberg is still alive, he is in his wife’s silver VW Bug, CA license # 4TIM403.