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Update: Suspect and victim in fatal stabbing had military connection

Published On: Jun 28 2013 12:39:14 PM CDT
Updated On: Jun 29 2013 11:11:02 AM CDT
RED BLUFF, Calif. -

The California Army National Guard said both the suspect and victim in the Red Bluff murder are, or have been, members of the military.

The victim, Sam Forseth, 28, of Palo Cedro, was a military veteran who served in Afghanistan. Forseth served in the 132nd Multi-Role Bridge Company, based out of Redding, and finished his enlistment in 2012. The suspect, Chris Hougland, 39, is an active medic serving in the 297th Area Support Medical Company, based out of San Mateo.

Red Bluff Police arrested Hougland for attempted murder in connection with the stabbing. The incident allegedly happened at Hougland's home on Pinon Way in Red Bluff around 2 a.m. on Thursday.

Forseth eventually succumbed to his stab wounds across the street from Hougland’s home, at a neighbor's front porch.

Forseth’s friends believe both he and the suspect once lived together after developing a connection in the military. It is that military connection that the two men brought back together to the Northstate.

Friends and family were shocked to learn of Forseth's death, and even more stunned to hear who was allegedly responsible. It is something they are all trying to better understand.

"From what I know he was one of his closest friends, which makes the whole thing a little bit crazy, “ said friend Ben Lockhart. “That's kind of what a lot of us are trying to figure out right now.”

Lockhart is one of many in a large, close-knit group of friends trying to get to the bottom of it all. He said he was briefly introduced to the suspect, but said Hougland and Forseth were close.

Lockhart said Forseth didn't have a mean bone in his body.

"He’s just a normal guy. We'd go out and play pool, hang out, and go to the lake,” said Lockhart. “He was like a brother. He was a family member to all of us. So losing him feels like losing a brother.”

Friends said Forseth and Hougland were friends and former roommates.

Police have not revealed the events that led up to the stabbing. After he was injured, Forseth ran across the street and knocked on a neighbor's door seeking help.  He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Forseth is survived by a four-year-old daughter.

Hougland is in custody in the Tehama County Jail, awaiting formal charges.

Stay with KRCR News Channel 7 for updates.