California teen charged in fatal stabbing of widow who sought hiking partner on Nextdoor

CARLSBAD, Calif. — A 17-year-old California boy has been charged in the brutal stabbing death of a widow who had sought a hiking partner on the Nextdoor app two weeks before her death.

The Carlsbad teen, whose name is being withheld due to his age, is charged with murder in the Nov. 23 killing of Lisa Thorborg, 68, who was found dead on a trail at Hosp Grove Park. No additional suspects are believed to be involved in the case.

“We understand that the community has been on edge since that tragic day in November when Lisa was found on Hosp Grove Trail,” Carlsbad police Lt. Jason Jackowski said in a statement. “Our unwavering mission has been to find the suspect for Lisa, her family and the community of Carlsbad.”

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Police officials told CBS 8 in San Diego that Thorborg’s death is not connected to her Nextdoor post.

“As far as we can determine, they were unknown to each other, Jackowski told the news station.

In a written statement, Jackowski said detectives have worked “around the clock” since Thorborg’s body was found, working “in all directions and (following) any potential lead to arrive at this conclusion.”

“The department would like to thank the San Diego sheriff’s search and rescue teams that aided the department in the search for evidence in rugged terrain, and the community for coming together and sharing any information they had on the incident,” the lieutenant said.

Thorborg, a native of Sweden and former resident of Portland, Oregon, moved to Carlsbad six months before her death. The former acupuncturist and physical therapist was killed just blocks from her home.

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Her profile on Nextdoor indicated that she moved to Carlsbad in May with her daughter’s family, the news station reported. Thorborg’s husband died in 2017.

Two weeks before she died, Thorborg had posted on Nextdoor in search of someone to hike with.

“Hiking anyone?” she wrote. “I’m looking for a friend to go hiking with. I’m a moderate hiker, 68 years of age, and I would love some company.”

Thorborg received some responses but it was unclear if she ever met up with anyone. She was hiking alone when she was slain.

Her body was found by neighbors enjoying one of the park’s trails.

A citizen tip had investigators searching for a man believed to be in the area around the time of Thorborg’s death. The man, who walked with a slight shuffle or limp, was described as a white or Hispanic man between 5 feet, 10 inches and 6 feet, 3 inches in height, with a husky build, a tan complexion and dark hair. He was dressed in black T-shirt and shorts, with possibly a black hat.

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“The description that was put out did not match the suspect description,” Jackowski told CBS 8.

Investigative work by detectives led them to the teen suspect, who was arrested Monday afternoon north of Carlsbad’s city beach.

“It was mostly investigative techniques, and confirmed through forensics,” the lieutenant said.

Days after Thorborg’s death, more than 100 of her neighbors and other Carlsbad residents converged on the trail where she died to lay flowers in her memory and to “Finish Lisa’s Walk.” In a statement Tuesday by Thorborg’s family, they thanked the community and authorities for the support since her killing.

“We, the family of Lisa Thorborg, would like to share our immense gratitude for the outpouring of support, love, and generosity from this amazing Carlsbad community,” read the statement obtained by CBS 8. “Our family moved here with Lisa just six short months before her tragic death, and in a year dominated by COVID, there has not been much opportunity to meet our new neighbors and make friends.

“Since the shocking news of Lisa’s death, however, there has been an endless outpouring of kindness and generosity that literally brings us to tears and warms our hearts. From the organization of the ‘Finish Lisa’s Walk’ event in Hosp Grove to the many meals, flowers and gifts that we have received — we want you to know that we feel SO loved and supported by this incredible community.”

The family also praised the work of the police officers and detectives who have worked on the case, who treated them “with genuine care and respect” throughout the process.

“This police department has our full confidence and we know they are doing everything in their power to bring justice for Lisa,” the statement read. “From the bottom of our hearts, we want to thank our community for helping us feel welcomed, supported, and protected. You all continuously remind us to rejoice in remembering that the love and light in this world far outweigh the darkness.”

It was not yet known Thursday if the accused teen would be tried as an adult.