make WWAY your homepage  Become a fan on facebook  Follow us on twitter  Receive RSS Newsfeeds  MEMBERS: Register | Login

Body of homeless man found off Market Street

New Hanover County Sheriff's deputies are investigating a body found off of Market Street. Investigators say a homeless man was dead for about two days before his body was found Tuesday night. According to the sheriff's office, the property owner allowed the man to stay in a shed behind two vacant homes near Market and Middle Sound Loop Road. Authorities said the man was in his mid-sixties, and was often seen walking up and down that stretch of Market, but had not been seen in several days. That is when the owner checked on his property, and found the body. “It doesn't really appear to be foul play at this point, but obviously we're going to have an investigation and its going to be pending at this point. There is possibly going to be an autopsy to figure out what actually happened,” said Sgt. Craig Bredenbeck of the New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office. The name of the victim is being withheld until deputies notify his family.

Disclaimer: Comments posted on this, or any story are opinions of those people posting them, and not the views or opinions of WWAY NewsChannel 3, its management or employees. You can view our comment policy here.


Merry Christmas

I was never aware that my children and I are not the only ones that called Dane, "Santa." Of course when one first sees him on the streets,if one has never approached him, he was stereo-typed as a drunk-homeless man. Many times have I walked out of Wal-greens, or Harris Teeter on Gordon Rd. and he is chilling. Never did he ask for anything, just a "hello" was all he would say. Once I realized he was just living and not bothering everyone, I was more comfortable around him. If I had the money I would offer him something from the stores, he usually would say, "Whatever is fine." And he never complained. He usually asked for water, since the heat has been so bad. I did not know him well, but he was a mascot for Wilmington. Kids got to see "Santa" all year long.

Ogden Santa

WOW! What a tribute to this man! He touched lives and hearts. He left fond memories. He may not have had "a house to call his own"...BUT don't ever think he died alone. A person is truly dead when their is no one left to remember them. This gentle soul will will remain alive for years to come. How many of us will be remembered so kindly when we die? RIP Santa Dane. DoodleBug

Say it ain't so

I'm saddened by this news, but uplifted to know that so many people knew about and cared for this man. Around 2000-2001 I used to see "Santa" in the patch of woods between Fan Boy Comics and UNCW. I'd say hi and share a Hardees bisuit with him on occassion. I moved out of town for a few years and then came back to live in Ogden. Whatdayaknow--I see Santa again! Shared a few $$ and some food on occassion, but always wanted to do something more...and sadly never did. The last time I spoke with him was about two weeks ago and he was laughing at the seagulls trying to balance on the light post in the Roses parking lot. Reading these comments, it sounds like Dane really was a good, kind man, and that I should have stopped and shared with him more often. Rest gently and peacefully buddy...I'll miss you. God bless.

I'm glad to see that

I'm glad to see that everyone felt the same way as my family and I did. He was a part of my family's life, whether he knew or not. I knew a little bit about his life from the conversations I had with him. He was an educated man who was homeless because he wanted to be- the way we see it he wasn't homeless-Ogden was his home. You never saw him holding a sign or trying to get a hand out from anyone. He was funny, whitty and smart. All he ever wanted from anyone was to have a good conversation and be your friend. Yes, he liked a cold beer (like many of us) but he was NOT a drunk. You never saw him publicly intoxicated or slurring his words. People think that just because he was homeless that he was a drunk, not Dane. It's funny that so many kids thought he was Santa, we thought is was just a trick we used with our son to keep him straight. It will not be the same not seeing him around, and not being able to hear his soft gentle chuckle after he said something funny. Dane, you are loved and will truly be missed by the whole community. I hope the family sees these comments and knows that they are not the only ones who are grieving!! R.I.P Dane Hobbs Your friend


It is nice to see that alot a people felt the same way I did about Dane.He was a part my family's life whether he knew it or not.I will cherish my conversations with him forever.I learned a little of his life and knew he was homeless because he wanted to be.That's why he never bothered anyone or asked for anything.All he ever wanted was to be your friend and have a good conversation.He was smart,whitty and very funny.Though he did like his cold beer (like many of us)he was NOT a drunk.You never saw him publicly intoxicated or slurring his words.People always assume because he was homeless he was a drunk,not Dane,he was so much more than that.My son is now nine yrs.old & ever since he was very little he has called him Santa.He really believed he was.If he was ever acting up all I would have to do was threaten that I was going to find him,and he would straighten right up.I remember one Thanksgiving he wanted to fix him a plate and take it to him, so we did.Dane was a very good person and that is hard to find these days.I will miss his soft,gentle chuckle he would do after he would say something funny.We love you Dane and you will be truly missed.I hope his family will see all of these comments,so they will know that they are in our prayers and that they aren't the only ones greiving his loss.R.I.P SANTA YOUR FRIEND


Dane Hobbs,Ogden Santa memorial (MYSPACE) is up but under construction.Please come by leave comments and check back for updates on the food drive coming up.

hobo santa

Awwwwwwww! Hobo santa died! At my school thats all we have talked about for the pats couple of days! we alwaysed loved seeing him on the coners and places. He was know as "Hobo Santa". We Will Miss him!!!!!!

Dane Hobbs

My daughter is putting together something for Dane in Dec. Hopefully it will be the 1st Annual "Dane Hobbs Santa Senior Food Drive". It has it all,Santa,senior and food,I think he would like it. If anyone would like to help please email-

We will miss you!

I live on Gordon Road and I would see Dane on a regular basis. Being a woman and often out at night alone, I was never once threatened in any way by Dane. He always asked, "How are you doing?" and never once asked me for money or anything else. He was truly a sweet man who is already dearly missed. I thought my kids were the only kids who thought he was Santa!!! He would talk to them when I had them with me when we went to Walgreens. I just wish now that I would have helped him more. He did not deserve to die alone like this - he is truly missed! RIP

rip santa

Caught the news today and seen that a homeless guy died in the Ogden area and theres only 1 homeless guy around here. I didnt really know him on a personal level but have given him a few beers here and there. He was a nice guy all around. Usually you think or feel a certain way about bums or drifters but this guy wasn't just a bum or drifter. He was a human that just choose to live the way he did, im sure he could have gone to a shelter or something but didnt. He will be greatly missed! RIP buddy!

Dane Hobbs (homeless)

I thought I would mention that Dane did not consider himself "homeless".The entire earth was his home.Thats what he said.I like that.And one other thing.Maybe just maybe he was an angel sent to teach us something about ourselves and each other.

Thank you

Theresa, I just wanted to say thank you for pointing out things that so many often fail to see. I do believe that angels live among us and that we should live our lives as the Bible says, "we may be entertaining angels unaware". I would love more info on the food drive you guys are doing in December. God bless you and I look forward to serving with you!

You will be missed

I would look for him every time I would go through Ogden. Sucks that I won't be able to see him anymore. This man taught me not to judge people. He lived the way he wanted to live, and I think he was happy. Santa, you will be missed by me and by many. Rest in peace.

Dane Hobbs

I just came from Dane Hobbs Memorial,aka Santa,ZZ,Ole Fella. It was amazing.I was happy to meet his family and learn much more about him.He was laid to rest with his parents whom if you talked with him you know he missed them very much.I was happy to tell his family how much so many of us here in Wilmington cared for him.They were surprised but very happy with the outpour of condolences.Dane for this generation is much like The Fort Fisher Hermit was to older people in this area.Rest in peace guy,we will miss you.

Tell us more

Can you tell us more about what you learned about this man?

Dane Hobbs

You can search myspace for Dane Hobbs or Ogden Santa to learn more and leave a comment.Thanks

RIP Santa!! My little girl

RIP Santa!! My little girl always smiled and waved and called him Santa from the time she could first speak! We just saw him a few days ago at Walgreens. This is just so sad :( He was always friendly, and kept to himself....never asked for anything. He will be missed!!

'ole homeless man

He may have been homeless, but he never begged. I watched him almost every day walking, sitting, moving along Market Street or Gordon Road. One Thanksgiving Day as my husband and I returned from his parents' home and a HUGE lunch we passed him sitting at Eckerd under the awning. As soon as we reached our home I ran into the kitchen and started plating some of the delicious leftovers for a dinner for the 'ole man. "He won't take it", my husband told me. Determined to make his day with this wonderful food, I drove back up to Eckerd and offered him my Thanksgiving dinner with all the fixings. "No thanks", he told me. I said, "Are you sure" to which he replied, "Yep, but you can leave that piece of carrot cake" I will never forget this man. May he rest in peace and quiet, coolness and warmth, finally.

"Santa shouldnt be homeless on Christmas Eve"......

I remember the first time I saw him... I went to CVS on Gordon Rd on Christmas eve to pick up some last minute things. He was crossing the street when I saw him and I did a double take thinking on Christmas eve..such a magical time I had seen Santa. Then I realized he was homeless when I saw the soles of his shoes flip when he walked. I wish that day I would have done something but I didn't. I went home and cried to my family that "Santa shouldn't be homeless on Christmas eve" I remembered that Christmas what it was all about. Not the presents BUT family. I always wanted to talk to know his story..I wish I had. It's so nice to hear that people did know him and his story. That he was loved and he was happy. RIP Santa....You will be missed.


We gave him a ride once up to Middle Sound from Gordon once. He wasn't hitchhiking or anything - Just standing there under the shelter at the Wilco station with the sky dropping buckets everywhere. 'Dropped him off up at a house near Middle Sound. He said the owner let him stay in the shed out back. I imagine that's where they found him. He was a friendly, gentle guy. 'Told us a little about himself. He laughingly described his socio-economic status as "...what you might call unemployed." 'Kinda hope they leave his milk crate there next door to the flooring place. It's not going to seem quite right not seeing him sitting there sipping a beer or a soda. "not all those who wander are lost..."

dane homeless man

I live in Ogden and have seen him for years around here.He was always nice to talk to.This should prove to everyone out there no matter how much money you have if you have love and kindness,respect for everyone that is the most honorable way to live.Dane will always be in my family heart.A man with nothing no more than a backpack and a milk crate to sit on had more than some rich person could ever buy! RIP Dane

I am deeply touched...

by the love and warmth in all of these comments. I never had the pleasure to meet this man called "Santa", but am very touched to see that good samaritans still exist. Whether is was a kind word or gesture, you guys will be blessed and are blessed to have such giving spirits. May this man find rest and peace in the Lord, and may I one day be able to meet him in Heaven!

May God Bless You!

I was very saddened to hear the news of his death.This man bothered no one and was just trying to survive.You will be missed!

RIP Dane "Santa"

This breaks my heart to hear of this, this morning. He was a kind old man, that my kids thought was Santa in disguise. He will be dearly missed in the Ogden area. =(

RIP my friend...

RIP my friend, whom I have never met, nor will I get a chance. It was good to see, from all the posts on here that you touched so many lives in a positive and wonderful way. You are being rewarded in heaven, this I know.

We will miss you Dane

I work at Cardinal Lanes North. He came by the place several times a week. Whenever he did come by, we always gave him a sandwich and either a cup of coffee or a Pepsi. He always had something good to say. You will be missed at Cardinal Lanes North Dane. May you rest in peace.

Dane will be missed

I have delivered pizza in the Ogden area for many years and have always enjoyed seeing and talking with Dane. I never knew his name until this terribly sad incident. I remember seeing him at the MacDonalds years ago when I was there, I surprised him with a bag of burgers and fries when he came out of the restroom. Another time he was resting outside of the Wilco on Market and I asked him if he needed anything, his response was "a beer would be nice". I will always remember his humor and friendly demeanor, never once did he beg or panhandle.

i'll miss u . foodlion will

i'll miss u . foodlion will miss you ...

I'll miss you Dane

I'll miss you Dane .. you'd always come to foodlion and buy ur chicken and beer.. and you would say hello to me as i yelled ur name as you enter foodlion.. I hope you are with your wife now,, see ya someday......

I will miss "Santa"

I am so sad to hear of the loss of the man my son and I fondly referred to as Santa. I didn't know him--I didn't even know his name--but I feel like he was a friend. We would honk and wave whenever we saw him and he would often wave back. I'm ashamed to say that I never offered him any food or clothing, but I now wish that I had. I'm touched by reading other people's stories of the kindness they shared with him and the man they got to know. It sounds like he really was the good man that I always thought he was. Rest in peace, Santa. I know you will be missed by many.