Police have a suspect in the 1978 murder of a California woman on Hawaii Island

Published: Nov. 1, 2021 at 5:57 PM HST|Updated: Nov. 11, 2021 at 5:34 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Hawaii Island police are asking the public for help in a cold case murder investigation that authorities say is being “actively investigated.”

In April 1978, Valerie Ann Warshay was discovered dead at the Harry K. Brown Park in Kalapana.

Authorities determined she had been murdered, but her killer was never found.

Warshay, 26, was a park ranger from California and had only been on island for a few weeks when she was killed.

Police said she made many acquaintances on the island and was an avid hiker. She played a flute or recorder-style woodwind at social gatherings.

More than 40 years later, friends and family are still holding onto hope that her killer will be brought to justice.

“Nothing is going to bring Val back, but closure is an important thing,” said Sandy Wieder, the victim’s friend. “There really aren’t words. I would just love to see the case closed.”

“I know it’s been a long time. It’s been 43 years. But, there are people here alive and well that loved her, cared about her, and will never forget her,” said Donna Foster, Warshay’s sister.

Hawaii Island police said there have been recent developments in the case and that a suspect has been identified.

Officials said the case is being forwarded to the prosecutor’s office.

Anyone who may have seen Warshay during her stay on Hawaii Island is asked to call Detective Derek Morimoto at at 961-2380 or via email at

You can also call the police department’s non-emergency line at (808) 935-3311.

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