LAKEWOOD - A body found Friday in Clear Creek County is positively identified by the Jefferson County coroner as missing Lakewood man, David Noren, and an arrest warrant has been issued for Noren's roommate, police said.
Noren was last seen on May 19 and was reported missing the next day. Investigators said they suspected foul play after finding signs of a struggle and possible injury in the man's home.
The decomposed body was found along Fall River Road near mile marker 6, northwest of Idaho Springs.
Lakewood detectives were sent to assist in the recovery of the body, indicating they had early suspicions the body was Noren.
The coroner performed an autopsy Sunday, police say, which found clear indication that Noren's death was a homicide.
Based on what they've collected so far, police say they've obtained an arrest warrant for Ryan Boyd Hicks, 34. Hicks was Noren's roommate who was arrested in Arizona after Noren's disappearance. The warrant includes the charges of first-degree murder, felony murder and criminal possession of a financial credit device.
Noren's mother, Marilyn, had earlier told 7NEWS that an ATM withdrawal was made from her son's account on the day he disappeared.
“Police asked what amount he’d normally take out, and my (other) brother told them maybe 30 to 50 bucks,” said the victim’s sister, Vicki Noren Taylor. “But (police) didn’t tell us how much was taken out of his account.”
Noren Taylor said the announcement today that police have identified the body found in Clear Creek County will help bring some closure to the family.
“We’re just glad that he was found, that we can move forward and hopefully an arrest will be made,” she said.
Hicks was arrested on May 27, in Safford, Ariz., on three unrelated charges: misdemeanor threatening, criminal damage and disorderly conduct. Local police said the arrest happened after Hicks' father called 911.
When asked how her brother met Hicks, Noren Taylor said, “That’s interesting, because I thought he said he’d met him through a friend of a friend. But, I hear that it was on Craigslist, and that Ryan Hicks was looking for a roommate.”
Noren Taylor said David recently sold his house in Arizona and planned to buy one in Colorado, where he’d moved two months ago to run the industrial printing machines for BCT Wholesale Printing, the same company he’d worked for in Arizona.
“He was hoping to buy another,” Noren Taylor said, “but in the interim, while he got to know the area, he lived with a roommate.”
Noren Taylor told 7NEWS, “I don’t know what happened between him and (Hicks.) When he came up for Mom’s 80th birthday, he said everything was going well. He said he really enjoyed the area and had no problems with his roommate.”
Lakewood police interviewed Hicks at Noren's home soon after the disappearance and two Lakewood detectives traveled to Arizona after his arrest there.
Hicks has a history of violent crime in Colorado.
In April 2005, Hicks was arrested in Jefferson County on charges of attempted murder with extreme indifference, assault with extreme indifference and violent crime causing serious bodily injury, according to court records. He pleaded guilty to felony assault causing serious bodily injury and was sentenced to six years in state prison with credit for serving 346 days in jail.
Also in April 2005, he was arrested in a domestic violence incident in Wheat Ridge on investigation of kidnapping, attempted criminal abortion, assault with a deadly weapon causing injury and felony menacing with a real or simulated weapon, according to court records. Hicks was convicted of misdemeanor assault causing injury and was sentenced to two years in jail for that charge. He was also convicted of misdemeanor menacing and sentenced to six months in jail for that charge.
Noren Taylor said she and her family will travel to Colorado once the house where David lived is released.
“We’ll go out to take care of David, his belongings and everything, and we’ll be out there for a trial,” she said.
Lakewood detectives ask that anyone who feels they have information about Ryan Hicks or this case to call 303-987-7111.