Sean McCaffrey was halfway across the country for National Guard training when he got the news that his childhood best friend, Daniel Waldhaus, had been murdered in Baltimore.
Waldhaus, 31, lived with McCaffrey in Baltimore for less than two years starting in 2010, but had been living back in their hometown in Connecticut. McCaffrey is puzzled as to why Waldhaus would have been in Northeast Baltimore - and who would have wanted him dead.
"We're calling and trying to hit people up, see what we can scrounge up," McCaffrey said. "There's just no reason why he would be up there."
Police have said little about Waldhaus' murder, one of two that occurred Saturday. Officers responding to a report of a shooting at around 1:45 p.m. found Waldhaus inside of a vehicle in the 1500 block of Winston Ave., a tree-lined street that runs along Chinquapin Run Park. He had been shot in the head and was pronounced dead at the scene.
Police said Waldhaus had a last known address in Shelton, Conn. McCaffrey said he and Waldhaus grew up on the same street in Shelton, and when McCaffrey got out of the military and embarked on a remodeling project on his Baltimore home, he invited Waldhaus - who did handyman and carpentry work - to stay with him.
McCaffrey said the arrangement didn't work out, and Waldhaus ended up back in Connecticut. The friends drifted apart, but Waldhaus made other friends during his time in Baltimore and occasionally returned. He was known to frequent a few bars in Southeast Baltimore, such as Marys Tavern on Gough Street.
McCaffrey said he characterized Waldhaus as a "drifter, a wanderer," but also "one of the most loyal, caring, big-hearted guys in the world."
"If you asked him, 'Can you walk 30 miles to meet me here,' he would," McCaffrey said.
Waldhaus had no criminal record in Maryland. At one point, he was stabbed in an altercation outside of a Southeast Baltimore bar, but McCaffrey dismisses that as a possible connection to the shooting.
"It's not just some random act that he got shot," McCaffrey said.
Waldhaus' relatives declined to comment when reached Sunday.
Anyone with information was asked to call homicide detectives at 410-396-2100.