Police released the name of the murder victim. She was physical therapist Lisa Thornburg. After the death of her husband in 2017, she moved with her daughter to Carlsbad in May 2020.
I’m completely freaked out. In a weird twist of fate, we had met online and were planning to go hiking together. She had actually messaged me a couple days before her murder to go hiking but I had another doc appt that morning and had to decline. I had written her, “Next time for sure.”
Only there wouldn’t be a next time. How absolutely tragic for her family.
Divine intervention in action.
On Monday morning, I went to a much delayed (due to Covid) eye appointment for new glasses and contacts. It turned out the new doc and I not only had acquaintances in common, but his wife graduated the same year from my high school. While I was there, he called her and she immediately looked me up in the yearbook. What a small world! It was also the best eye exam I’ve ever had, and I know a LOT about eyes.
I drove home around the mall, taking the road that follows a weird little piece of open space called Hosp Grove with a 3.0 mile heavily trafficked loop trail. Originally, Hosp Grove was founded in 1908 by a group of investors. They planted 219 acres of eucalyptus hoping they could be harvested and sold to the Santa Fe Railroad as railroad ties. Unfortunately, eucalyptus is a brittle wood and cracks easily, therefore was unsuitable to use. I don’t know why they didn’t do any research about the best wood for railroad ties, but I guess that’s what happened pre-Google.
It’s not one of my favorite places to walk because it’s dusty, devoid of native plants, and too short of a walk to make me happy, but I debated with myself about stopping because it was a beautiful day.
I slowed down, but FOR SOME REASON, decided not to pull into the parking lot, and continued home. This was a little before 11:00 a.m.
No sooner did I get home that I read post after post on NextDoor and Facebook questioning the appearance of yellow tape and major police presence at Hosp Grove.
I called the police department and a few details emerged:
The body of 68-year-old woman was found. She had been stabbed to death.
The victim, whose name has not yet been made public, apparently was walking or jogging when she was killed at Hosp Grove Park. Passers-by found her body shortly before 11:30 a.m.
Though no suspects in the case have at yet been identified, a tipster reported seeing an unidentified man who may have been in the area where the woman’s body was found around the time of the fatal assault.
The possible suspect is described as a husky, tan-complected, dark-haired man who was walking slowly with a slight limp or shuffling gait.
However, at this time, no suspect has been arrested and we have been cautioned not to walk alone in that park or the other trails in Carlsbad.
If I had acted on my initial thought of walking that trail — at that time– it’s entirely possible that I would have either been a/the murder victim or would have been a witness to murder.
I am so very sorry that this happened and my heart goes out to the woman’s family. I hope the police make an arrest as soon as possible.
Divine intervention. I’ll definitely add that to my list of things to be thankful for.
(I’ll update this post as more information becomes available.)