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Teen Arrested in Case of Woman Stabbed to Death on Carlsbad Hiking Trail

NBC San Diego logo NBC San Diego 12/15/2020 Bill Feather and NBC 7 Staff
a person wearing glasses and smiling at the camera: Homicide Victim Lisa Thorborg pictured smiling on a flyer © Provided by NBC San Diego

Homicide Victim Lisa Thorborg pictured smiling on a flyer

Carlsbad police have arrested a teenager in connection with the deadly stabbing of a woman on a popular Carlsbad hiking trail last month.

The Carlsbad Police Department arrested the teen on a city beach Monday, according to Lt. Jason Jackowski. Details of the arrest have not been released.

The suspect was identified only as a 17-year-old Carlsbad resident.

Lisa Thorborg, 68, was found dead late morning on Nov. 23, the Monday before Thanksgiving, on a trail that runs through Hosp Grove Park. She lived just blocks away, according to police.

Detectives believe she was hiking alone when she was killed, but they were looking into social media posts Thorborg made days before the stabbing when she was apparently looking for a hiking partner.

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“Hiking anyone? I would love the company," a NextDoor post from Thorborg read.

Following the news of the arrest, Thorborg's family released the following statement:

"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. Our family moved here with Lisa just 6 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.

Additionally, we would like to thank the fine detectives and law enforcement professionals of the Carlsbad Police Department. We can confidently say that working with the Carlsbad Police Department has been an overwhelmingly positive experience and we have been treated with genuine care and respect by every member of the force that we've interacted with. This police department has our full confidence and we know they are doing everything in their power to bring justice for Lisa.

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.

With love and gratitude,

Lisa's Family."

The weekend following her death, hundreds from the Carlsbad community and beyond organized "Finish Lisa's Walk," a symbolic hike on the same trail.

"When I got the call that a suspect was arrested, I was shocked, overwhelmed," memorial hike organizer Theresa Dooley said. "I can't get my head around that. I can't get my head around anybody doing that, but a 17-year-old kid? Like, why? Why?"

It's been a long three weeks for friends of Thorborg and Carlsbad residents anxious for updates on the investigation.

Earlier this month, CPD put out a message on social media asking concerned parties not to try and take the investigation into their own hands. Investigators grew concerned because of social media posts circulating within the community suggesting civilians, frustrated by the lack of progress in the case, would search nearby homeless encampments for suspects.

Investigators do not believe there are any other suspects in the case, CPD said.

Last week, CPD investigators said they had interviewed several people matching a tipster's description of a person of interest, a 5-foot-10 to 6-foot-3 man with a husky build who possibly walked with a limp.

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