Murder mystery surrounds death of man found in cave

Dennis Nolan (middle) and family.
Dennis Nolan (middle) and family.

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Many questions surround the murder of a 44-year-old homeless man whose body was found nearly three weeks ago on Oahu’s North Shore.

Dennis Nolan moved to Hawaii 18 years ago, lured by the big waves of the North Shore. He made many friends and no one seems to know why anyone would hurt him.

A makeshift memorial remains at a roadside in Pupukea with flags and well wishes for Nolan. His decomposed body was found in a nearby cave where he had been living for the past eight months. Close friends are still in shock.

“I just want to find out who did this to my friend. I’m at a loss for words. I just don’t know what to say,” Nolan’s friend Christy Walden said.

Nolan moved to Oahu from Orange County, Calif. He stayed in his mother’s home in Waialua for a few years until she died.

Since then, he moved around, worked odd jobs and eventually lived in the cave.

He has six siblings who live in the mainland who checked in on him regularly.

“He was very loved, a family loved him. We were fearful and always concerned. It’s not like this, didn’t cross our minds,” Nolan’s sister Maureen Nolan said.

Family supported him and invited Nolan to stay with them on the mainland, but they say he was happy in Hawaii living the life he had.

“He had chosen this lifestyle. He enjoyed the North Shore. People were very kind to him in the North Shore, so we had a family member come over in March trying to convince him to come over,” Maureen Nolan said.

Friends say they are so surprised that Nolan’s life came to a violent end.

“I have no idea. I don’t understand why someone would want to hurt him,” Walden said.

Honolulu Police have classified the case as a homicide.

Anyone with information on this case is asked to call CrimeStoppers at 955-8300.

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