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Public Safety

Man sentenced to 7 years for killing woman on Carlsbad hiking trail

An undated photo collage of Lisa Thorborg on a missing flyer.
Carlsbad Police Department
An undated photo collage of Lisa Thorborg on a missing flyer.

A young man who pleaded guilty to fatally stabbing a 68-year-old woman on a Carlsbad hiking trail when he was 17 years old was sentenced Thursday to seven years in prison.

The defendant, whose name is withheld because he was a minor at the time of the offense, pleaded guilty last month to a murder count in connection with the Nov. 23, 2020, death of Lisa Thorborg.

Police and prosecutors have not disclosed a motive for the killing, but testimony indicated the victim was not robbed or sexually assaulted.


The seven-year term is the maximum term a defendant can receive in juvenile court, according to the San Diego County District Attorney's Office.

During a hearing held in late 2020, a detective testified that the boy's DNA was found on Thorborg's shorts and that surveillance footage from the nearby area captured a boy resembling the defendant running away from the park about 15 minutes after police believe Thorborg was killed.

A pair of flip-flops believed to belong to the boy was also found near the crime scene.

Surveillance footage and license-plate reader data also showed that the boy's grandmother dropped him off near the park about an hour before the attack.

Police set up a camera in the park following Thorborg's death that they alleged shows the boy venturing along the trail on multiple occasions after Nov. 23, often barefoot and carrying flip-flops.


He was contacted by police in early December and ran from officers, who took him into custody, at which point his DNA was taken, according to police.

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