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.

Most Recent Hawai’i Islands Most Wanted Crime Stoppers Television Program

The most recent edition of the Crime Stoppers television program “Hawaiʻi Island’s Most Wanted” highlights a 22-year-old man wanted in a murder investigation, a 51-year-old man wanted on a bench warrant related to drug charges, and an 18-year-old man wanted for a robbery at a beach park.

The new episode began airing Friday.

In it, police ask for help in locating 22-year-old Boaz David Johnson.

New picture released

Boaz David Johnson

His girlfriend’s body was found in the ocean off the Kalapana coast on May 28. The medical examiner ruled that the 25-year-old woman, Brittany Jane Royal, died from strangulation. Johnson is described as Caucasian, about 5-foot-7, about 150 pounds with a slim build and a fair complexion. He was last seen unshaven and with medium-length brown hair. He has a tattoo of the upper body of a horse near the right side of his abdomen. He is considered dangerous.

The television program also asks for help in locating a 51-year-old Arthur Clayton of Keaʻau, who is wanted on a $40,000 bench warrant related to drug charges.

Arthur Clayton

Arthur Clayton

He is also wanted for questioning in a theft investigation. He is described as 5-foot-5, 180 pounds with brown eyes and a bald or shaved head. He has a tattoo of a lion on his right shoulder.

In this latest edition of “Hawaiʻi Island’s Most Wanted,” Officer Patrick Menino also asks for help in locating an 18-year-old man wanted on a Grand Jury indictment related to a robbery at Kolekole Beach Park on February 6.

Tyler Kamanao Taylor

Tyler Kamanao Taylor

Tyler Taylor is described as 5-foot-6, 150 pounds with short black hair. He has no permanent address but frequents the Puna District.

Police ask that anyone with information about any of these men call the Police Department’s non-emergency line at 935-3311 or Crime Stoppers at 961-8300 in Hilo or 329-8181 in Kona. All Crime Stoppers information is kept confidential. Crime Stoppers does not tape record phone calls or subscribe to caller ID.

“Hawaiʻi Island’s Most Wanted” is a project of Crime Stoppers Hilo, Inc., which is a partnership of the business community, the media and the police. It was inspired by the national TV show, “America’s Most Wanted.” The program airs on Na Leo O Hawaiʻi Community Television Channel 54 on Sundays at 5 p.m. and Fridays at 5:30 p.m. It also airs intermittently on Channel 53.

 

Boaz Johnson Now Considered the Suspect in Murder Investigation of Brittany-Jane Royal

Hawaiʻi Island police are asking for the public’s help in locating the 22-year-old former boyfriend of a 25-year-old woman whose body was found in waters off the Kalapana coast on May 28. After the completion of additional follows-ups conducted in this investigation, Boaz David Johnson is now considered the suspect in the murder investigation. He may still be on the island.

New picture released

New picture released

Johnson is described as Caucasian, about 5-foot-7, about 150 pounds with a slim build and a fair complexion. He was last seen unshaven and with medium-length brown hair. He also has a tattoo of a upper body of a horse near the right side of his abdomen. He is considered dangerous.

On May 28 at about 6:28 a.m., police received a report that a body was caught in a fishing line from a nearby boat. With the assistance of a Hawaiʻi Fire Department helicopter, the body was retrieved from the ocean and taken to a nearby landing zone, where detectives from the Area I Criminal Investigations Section responded and continued the investigation.

The body was identified through fingerprints as Brittany Jane Royal. The medical examiner ruled that she died as the result of strangulation.

Detectives continue to actively pursue leads in this investigation. Police ask that anyone with information on Johnson’s whereabouts contact Detective Robert Almeida at 808-961-2386 or ralmeida@co.hawaii.hi.us, Detective Fetuutuunai Amuimuia at 808-961-2278 or famuimuia@co.hawaii.hi.us, or Lieutenant Gregory Esteban at 808-961-2252 or gesteban@hawaiicounty.gov.

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.