Keep Westword Free
| Crime |

Ryan Hicks suspected of murder after roomie David Noren's body found (2)

Beginning last month, the Lakewood Police Department issued regular alerts about David Noren, who was last seen on May 19 -- and the urgency increased as investigators became increasingly convinced something bad had happened to him.

Now, the mystery of Noren's whereabouts have been solved, albeit tragically: His body was found in Clear Creek County. And now, an arrest warrant has been obtained for Ryan Hicks, a roommate Noren may have found on Craigslist. Photos, video and details below.

The LPD was contacted about Noren on May 21, two days after he vanished, with the initial alert to the community following on May 23.

The cops subsequently noted that when the 49 year old wasn't hanging at a watering hole called the Pub, on Colfax, he was with his constant companion, a black Labrador named Olivia, who'd been left at his apartment, unattended. Moreover, Noren had no known medical condition that would have caused him to wander off.

Then, on May 31, the cops shared information that raised even more concern for Noren's friends and loved ones. Lakewood detectives executed a search warrant on the 863 Depew Street residence that he shared with a male roommate, later identified as Hicks.

Noren's sister told 7News that she thinks the pair connected when her brother responded to a Craigslist ad in which Hicks sought a roommate.

At that time, "forensic evidence" discovered by police suggested that Noren was most likely a victim of foul play.

As for Hicks, he was arrested in Arizona on unrelated charges of misdemeanor threatening and disorderly conduct; according to 7News, he appears to have been taken into custody following a 911 call made by his father. The booking photo taken at that time can be seen above.

At first, investigators focused their search on an area near the intersection of 6th Avenue and Simms/Union, where Noren's cell phone appears to have been active on May 20-21, after he'd left the grid. But then, on June 7, a body was discovered in Clear Creek County near Fall River Road, and LPD reps suspected it might be Noren.

They were right. An autopsy this week confirmed his identity and also gave "clear indication" that Noren was a homicide victim.

Continue for more about the arrest of Ryan Hicks, including a photo and video. Before long, an arrest warrant for Hicks was requested and granted on suspicion of not only first-degree murder, but also robbery and criminal possession of a financial credit device.

Info about the latter possible counts comes courtesy of Noren's mom, who told 7News a withdrawal was made from her son's account on the day he disappeared. The amount of money hasn't been made public at this point, but it seems to have piqued the curiosity of investigators.

Hicks's criminal past likely raised eyebrows, too. In April 2005, he was at the center of two investigations.

In the first, he was charged with attempted murder/extreme indifference, assault and more. He wound up earning six years in state prison. Around that same time, he was busted for domestic violence, plus menacing and a weapons charge. He got two years for that.

Upon his release, Hicks put up a Facebook page that features a single public post, from October 2011. It reads: "Everyone please take those you love and hold them close. They can be gone in a moment."

At this point, Hicks's extradition to Colorado is pending.

I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Denver and help keep the future of Westword free.

Here's the aforementioned 7News report.

More from our Mile High Murder archive: "Justin Hale charged with murdering girlfriend's thirteen-month-old baby (1)."

Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.


Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.