Local News

Hawaii police: Petersburg man killed girlfriend, himself

Police in Hawaii say they’ve concluded a former Petersburg man strangled his girlfriend and killed himself.

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The Hawaii Police Department Tuesday announced a body found hanging from a tree at Kalapana, on the Big Island of Hawaii, January 2nd was 22-year-old Boaz David Johnson.

Johnson and 25-year-old Brittany-Jane Royal of Tustin, California moved to Hawaii and had told their families they were expecting a baby. She was found May 28th of 2013 caught in a fishing line in the water off Kalapana, according to police. In a press release, police said a grand jury indicted Johnson December 18th for second degree murder but the indictment was sealed to give authorities the chance to locate and arrest him.

A hiker found a body in a forested area near a lava field in Kalapana on January 2nd.

Police say Johnson’s identity was confirmed by through DNA testing and dental records and that a composition book was found near Johnson’s body. They say the writer identified himself as Johnson and confessed to strangling Royal during a dispute and throwing her body in the ocean.

Police say a forensic document examiner confirmed that it was Johnson who wrote in the composition book and that he indicated his intention to kill himself. An autopsy determined he died from hanging and the medical examiner ruled out foul play, according to police.

Johnson’s family last heard from him May 27th.

Police say after Royal’s body was found in May, Johnson made a telephone call to a friend and said that the couple were in good health and on their way to Hilo. That phone call along with other evidence from the crime scene made him and early suspect in the case.

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