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Hawaii Police Seek New Info In 1978 Murder Of ‘Social Butterfly’ Park Ranger, Killed After Reportedly Rejecting Men's Advances

Valerie Ann Warshay was on vacation in Hawaii when she was found bludgeoned to death at a campsite.

By Gina Tron
Valerie Ann Warshay

Police in Hawaii are asking the public for information about the 1978 unsolved murder of a popular and adventurous hiker.

Valerie Ann Warshay, 26, was a California park ranger visiting the Kalapana region of Hawaii when she was murdered, according to a press release from the Hawai’i Police Department.

“She had been on the island for a few weeks prior to her death,” the police department wrote earlier this month. “Ms. Warshay made numerous acquaintances across the island, and was noted to be an avid hiker. She also played a flute or recorder-style woodwind at social gatherings.”

She arrived in Hawaii in March and made many friends while taking hiking trips and camping, according to SFGate, which referred to her as a “social butterfly.”

But on the evening of Apr. 22, Warshay’s beautiful trip took a turn for the worst. While participating in a "jam session for music lovers” with new friends in Kamoamoa, she was approached by two men while walking back to her campsite. She reportedly rejected their advances, according to SFGate.

The next morning, a young girl found her body while picnicking with her family, The park ranger had died from blows to the head.

Warshay had just recently earned a master’s degree in exercise physiology from Columbia and was living in coastal northern California when she decided to take the trip to Hawaii, SFGate reports

"She was a crazy fanatic hiker, a very physical sort of person," her boyfriend told the Hawaii Tribune-Herald when she died, SFGate reports. "We hiked the entire coast from where we are in Santa Cruz and god knows how many miles through the mountains.”

Valerie Ann Warshay

Warshay’s unsolved murder “is still being actively investigated by the Hawai’i Police Department,” police wrote. Anybody who who may have encountered her during her stay on island, or who has information about her death, is urged to contact Detective Derek Morimoto of the Area I Criminal Investigation Section at (808) 961-2380 or via email at Derek.Morimoto@hawaiicounty.gov. They are also welcome to call the police department’s non-emergency line at (808) 935-3311.

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