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.

For mobile-friendly audio, click here:
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.

Recent News

Court battle continues, two years after Petersburg home demolished

Homeowners Karen Ellingstad and Fred Triem took down the home at 1011 Wrangell Avenue in 2014.
The legal battle continues over a demolished home on Wrangell Avenue in Petersburg. The structure was taken down in 2014 after the borough declared it a dangerous home. The owners of the home are appealing last year’s court ruling in favor of the Petersburg borough and have filed another suit challenging borough staff visits to the property in preparation for demolition. more

Stone sculptor opens show in Petersburg

Photo courtesy of Miele Gallery
A sculptor who just moved to Petersburg last year opens up a show at Miele Gallery on main street Friday, August 26, although local art enthusiasts may already be familiar with his artwork. more