Widow who sought hiking partner on Nextdoor stabbed to death on trail 2 weeks later

Woman who sought hiking partner on Nextdoor stabbed to death on trail 2 weeks later

CARLSBAD, Calif. — “Hiking anyone?”

Lisa Thorborg posed the question Nov. 9 on Nextdoor. She explained that she was a 68-year-old “moderate hiker” looking for a friend to enjoy the outdoors with.

Two weeks later, the California widow was dead, fatally stabbed as she walked or jogged on a trail near her Carlsbad home. Police officials told the San Diego Union-Tribune they are looking into the Nextdoor post to determine if it played any role in Thorborg’s Nov. 23 slaying on a trail at Hosp Grove Park.

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Detectives have narrowed the timeframe of the slaying to between 10 a.m. and 11 a.m. that day.

“Passersby called the police at 11:23 a.m. when they noticed a woman lying on the trail,” police officials said last week.

A citizen tip has identified a man believed to be in the area around the time of Thorborg’s death 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.

The man was walking slowly with a slight shuffle or limp, authorities said. It is unknown if he is connected to the stabbing.

“We have put all available resources toward solving this case and ensuring our community’s safety,” Carlsbad police Lt. Jason Jackowski said in a statement. “At this time, we need to hold back some details known only to law enforcement, but rest assured we will release more information just as soon as we can.”

Jackowski told the Union-Tribune that investigators have received several tips from the public, which they continue to follow up on. No suspect had been identified as of Monday.

CBS 8 in San Diego reported that 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.

Lisa Thorborg, 68, of Carlsbad, Calif., was found stabbed to death Monday, Nov. 23, 2020, on a hiking trail in woods across the street from this picnic area at Hosp Grove Park. Thorborg had sought a hiking partner two weeks before her slaying via the Nextdoor app.
Lisa Thorborg, 68, of Carlsbad, Calif., was found stabbed to death Monday, Nov. 23, 2020, on a hiking trail in woods across the street from this picnic area at Hosp Grove Park. Thorborg had sought a hiking partner two weeks before her slaying via the Nextdoor app. (Carlsbad Police Department, Google)

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.

The homicide has left Thorborg’s neighbors on edge. Gary Dwelley told CBS 8 that he called police Friday after encountering a strange man while riding his bike near Camp Pendleton.

“We tried to talk to him. He acted very strange and then he took a swipe, almost like he’s swiping us with a knife. But he didn’t have knife and he did it in the air,” Dwelley said.

It was another neighbor who found Thorborg’s body, he told the news station.

“They saw somebody who they thought was sleeping. They yelled at them,” Dwelley told the station. “(She) didn’t move and he went over and inspected the situation – and he was with his daughter and his granddaughter – and he realized what the situation was and they went and they called 911.”

The Coast News reported that area residents had begun walking in groups and establishing phone trees to keep tabs on one another as authorities search for Thorborg’s killer.

Meanwhile, more than 100 people from the neighborhood gathered Saturday to “Finish Lisa’s Walk.” The memorial walk was held on the trail where she died.

Bonnie Schmiege, who lives near the trails, told the newspaper she walks that same loop at least five times a week. She said she’d passed Thorborg on the trail several times and the two women had exchanged waves as they went on their way.

“This makes me very anxious now because we don’t know who this was,” Schmiege, 69, said. “I’m leery about going on it now, or at least until someone is found.”

Masked mourners walked the trail Saturday and laid flowers in Thorborg’s memory.

“We wanted to make our presence known and seen,” walk organizer Angela Derby told the Coast News. “It was something to finish her walk and be there for the family.”

Thorborg’s son-in-law, Derek Andre, spoke to the group at the walk. Andre also posted on Nextdoor that Thorborg would have loved the gesture from those who participated.

“What a beautiful gesture the walk with you all was this morning,” Andre wrote, according to the paper. “I know Lisa would have been very touched and felt the love. Let’s please all take care of each other and be kind to each other in this time of grief and healing.”

Anyone with information about Thorborg’s death is asked to call the Carlsbad Police Department at 760-931-2165.