Big Island Police Seeking Public’s Help Locating 7-Month-Old Infant and 34-Year-Old Father

Hawaiʻi Island police are requesting the public’s help in locating a 7-month-old infant and her 34-year-old father from Pāhoa.

missing baby
On Monday (January 20) at about 7:09 p.m., police received a report from a 37-year-old Pāhoa woman that her estranged husband had removed their infant daughter from the home of a relative, claiming that he was heading to Kona. He has not been seen since. The infant’s mother is concerned for the safety and well-being of her infant.

Eli Jonathan Evans is described as a Caucasian, about 6-foot-1 about 185-190 pounds with blond hair and blue eyes. He may be operating a silver sedan but police have yet to confirm this information.

Jasmine is described as a Caucasian female with blond hair and blue eyes, about 24-26 inches long and about 15 pounds.

Detectives from the Area I Criminal Investigations Section and Juvenile Aid Section are continuing this investigation, which is currently classified as a missing persons case.

Police ask anyone who may know the whereabouts of either Jasmine or her father Eli to call the Police Department’s non-emergency line at 935-3311 or contact Detective Clarence Davies of the Area I Criminal Investigation Section at 961-2384 or cdavies@co.hawaii.hi.us or Detective Jefferson Grantz at 961-8810 or jgrantz@co.hawaii.hi.us.

Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call Crime Stoppers at 961-8300 in Hilo or 329-8181 in Kona and may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000. Crime Stoppers is a volunteer program run by ordinary citizens who want to keep their community safe. Crime Stoppers doesn’t record calls or subscribe to caller ID. All Crime Stoppers information is kept confidential.

Big Island Police Searching for 14-Year-Old Puna Boy

Hawaiʻi Island police are searching for a 14-year-old Puna boy who was reported missing.

Santana Kobayashi

Santana Kobayashi

Santana Kobayashi was last seen in Nanawale on Saturday (January 11). He is described as 5-foot-8, 130 pounds with brown eyes and short black hair.

Police ask anyone with information on his whereabouts to call the Police Department’s non-emergency line at 935-3311.

Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call Crime Stoppers at 961-8300 in Hilo or 329-8181 in Kona. All Crime Stoppers information is kept confidential.

Big Island Police Determine Boaz Johnson Killed Brittany-Jane Royal – Johnson Found Dead with Confession

The active investigation into the strangulation death of 25-year-old Brittany-Jane Royal has concluded with a determination that she was murdered by her boyfriend, 22-year-old Boaz David Johnson.

Boaz D. Johnson

Boaz D. Johnson

On December 18, a Grand Jury indicted Johnson for second-degree murder. At that time, a Circuit Court judge issued a warrant for Johnson’s arrest and sealed the indictment—at the request of police and prosecutors—to give state and federal law enforcement agencies the opportunity to locate and arrest Johnson. That indictment has now been unsealed.

Meanwhile, a body found hanging from a tree in Kalapana on January 2 has been identified as Boaz David Johnson. A private forensic laboratory confirmed the identity by comparing DNA from the body with a known sample of Johnson’s DNA. Johnson’s identity was also confirmed using dental records.

A composition book was found near Johnson’s body. In three handwritten pages, the writer—who identified himself as Boaz Johnson—confessed to strangling Royal while involved in a domestic dispute and to throwing her body into the ocean. He also indicated his intention to end his life.

A forensic document examiner determined that the writing in the composition book came from Boaz Johnson.

An autopsy on Johnson’s body revealed that the cause of death was asphyxia due to hanging and the manner of death was suicide. The medical examiner ruled out foul play.

This investigation began on May 28, 2013, at approximately 6:30 a.m., when police and firefighters responded to a report of a body caught in a fishing line in waters off Kalapana. The body was identified through fingerprints as Brittany-Jane Royal, who had recently moved to Hawaiʻi from Tustin, California, and was living in the Kalapana area with Boaz Johnson, who had recently moved to Hawaiʻi from Petersburg, Alaska.

Investigation revealed that after Royal’s body was found, Johnson said in a telephone conversation with a friend that he and Royal were in good health and were on their way to Hilo. That phone call, in addition to DNA and other evidence found at the crime scene, made Johnson an early suspect in Royal’s murder.

Throughout the investigation, police followed all leads in this case, including investigation that was able to exclude other individuals as being responsible for Royal’s death.

The case is still officially open because detectives have minor follow-ups to conduct before the Office of the Prosecuting Attorney conducts a final review.

Big Island Police Identify 58-Year-Old Man Killed in Motor Vehicle/Bicycle Crash

A 58-year-old Hilo man died Saturday (January 18) after being involved in a motor vehicle/bicycle crash on Route 19, 619 feet north of the 3-mile-marker.
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Responding to a 8:48 a.m. call, South Hilo patrol and Traffic Enforcement Unit officers determined that the bicyclist was traveling north on Route 19 when he hit the sidewalk of a bridge and fell over onto the roadway and was then struck by a 1995 International semi-truck which was also traveling north.

The driver of the truck, a 66-year-old Hilo man, was not injured.

The bicyclist was taken to Hilo Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead at 10:48 p.m.  The bicyclist was identified as Darwin E. Barve of a Hilo address.

It is unknown at this time if speed, alcohol or drugs were involved in part of the driver but officers did detect an odor of alcohol on the bicyclist.

Traffic Enforcement Unit officers have initiated a negligent homicide investigation and have ordered an autopsy to determine the exact cause of death.

Anyone with information about this crash is asked to call Officer Tuckloy Aurello at 961-8119.

This is the 3rd traffic fatality on the Big Island this year compared with two at this time last year.

Governor Abercrombie Affirms Hawaii’s Fiscal Health in State of the State Address

In his fourth State of the State Address before the Hawaii Legislature, Gov. Neil Abercrombie emphasized the state’s restored financial stability, along with his administration’s long-term plan to sustain it, as an opportunity to act with confidence on key investments in Hawaii’s future. Areas highlighted by the Governor included efforts to expand early childhood education; tax relief and support for seniors; an increase in the minimum wage; and collaborative efforts to address homelessness, climate change, and invasive species.

Governor Abercrombie gives the 2014 State of the State Address at the Hawaii State Capital Building. (Photo by Ian Kitajima)

Governor Abercrombie gives the 2014 State of the State Address at the Hawaii State Capital Building. (Photo by Ian Kitajima)

“I am able to report to you, our state government’s financial house now stands on solid ground,” Gov. Abercrombie said, extending his appreciation to legislators, public employees, local businesses, and the people of Hawaii for sharing in the tough decisions and sacrifices that made the state’s unprecedented financial turnaround possible. “We are now entering a new phase. The administration’s package and supplemental budget do not rely on any new taxes or fees. On the contrary, I believe we may be able to reduce taxes in key areas. We also have the resources to deliver services to the people of Hawaii while living within our means.”

The Governor reaffirmed his administration’s steadfast commitment to early childhood development and education, saying he looks forward to building upon his ongoing initiatives by strengthening relationships with the private and nonprofit sectors. “Our plan is to build and strengthen Hawaii’s mixed-delivery system of early learning programs,” he said. “Community-based preschools are now and will be a key component.”

Gov. Abercrombie also emphasized the necessity to match investments in building this foundation with consideration of ways to promote security and dignity for Hawaii’s seniors. To provide practical and immediate benefits, the Governor proposed to:

  • exempt any presently taxed income from all sources for taxpayers age 65 and older with an adjusted gross income (AGI) of $25,000, $35,000 for seniors who are heads of households, or $45,000 for seniors joint filing (affecting approximately 25,000 Hawaii seniors);
  • double the current refundable food/excise tax credit for taxpayers 65 years or older whose AGI is less than $50,000 (affecting approximately 110,000 Hawaii seniors); and
  •  increase the Kupuna Care budget by $4.2 million and make it permanent (enabling seniors to remain in and receive care in their homes – an investment that will prove beneficial as our senior population ages, grows in numbers, and lives longer).

“These proposals address the practical everyday reality of expenses for seniors, provide across-the-board fairness in application, can take effect immediately, and fit comfortably into our long-term financial stabilization plan,” he said.

In addition, the Governor announced that his administration will be submitting a bill to increase the minimum wage to at least $8.75 starting in January 2015. Average weekly earnings have increased 16 percent since 2007, while the minimum wage has remained unchanged. Currently, 21 other states plus the District of Columbia have higher minimum wage rates than Hawaii while minimum wage earners in the state are confronted by much higher living costs.

Addressing the “myth” that increases to the minimum wage only benefit entry-level workers, the Governor cited that 85 percent of minimum wage earners are 21 years old or older. He added that the last four times the minimum wage was raised, the number of jobs increased by an average of 2.2 percent over the following 12 months.

To address the ongoing issue of homelessness, the Governor urged legislators to join him in support of the action plan submitted by the Hawaii Interagency Council on Homelessness, a first-of-its-kind body established by Gov. Abercrombie in 2011.

“Mayors and county councils across the state are united in coming to grips with this issue,” he said. “On Oahu, where the need is greatest, we could not have a better partner than Mayor Kirk Caldwell and the City Council led by Council Chair Ernie Martin. “We must now deliver on the Council’s plan; for example, by giving support to the ‘Housing First’ program, which houses and cares for the chronically homeless and those who suffer from a disability.”

Recognizing Hawaii’s vulnerability to the impacts of climate change, the Governor, recently appointed to President Obama’s Task Force on Climate Preparedness and Resilience, announced that he will be holding Resilient Hawaii Forums this year to engage stakeholders and create a climate change roadmap for Hawaii. The forums will build upon the significant progress already achieved by the state Office of Planning in updating Hawaii’s Ocean Resources Management Plan, and call on the state’s new sustainability coordinator to work across department lines for planning.

The Governor also emphasized the need to protect Hawaii’s environment from invasive species, endorsing legislative initiatives proposing up to $5 million to meet operating costs of invasive species programs. In addition, his administrative package this session will include additional support for watershed protection, farming infrastructure and invasive species management.

The Governor concluded his address by remembering the late Loretta Fuddy, a lifelong supporter and advocate of public health measures. Recalling her affection and advocacy for families and children, the Governor announced his intent to request additional funding for the Department of Health’s Early Intervention Services. The program provides critical services to children with developmental delays from birth to three years of age, as well as positive intervention in the crucial areas of cognitive and physical function, social and emotional well-being and adaptive skills.

“Loretta Fuddy was their champion,” the Governor said. “I am asking for specific attention to make funding for Early Intervention Services a priority. This will serve as a fitting tribute and appropriate legacy to honor Loretta. There will be lasting benefits for the affected families and children – the children she loved and cared for passionately to her last day.”

The entire text of the State of the State Address is posted on the Governor’s website, http://governor.hawaii.gov. Link directly to the address here: http://governor.hawaii.gov/blog/2014-state-of-the-state-address/