Published On: Thu, Jun 13th, 2013

Family maintains missing man Boaz Johnson did not kill pregnant fiance, calling for more help from police

A former Alaska man whose girlfriend was found strangled is missing in Hawaii and his family says he may also have been the victim of violence. Brittany Jane Royal was found dead from strangling and police have offered no new information in the case.

Family and friends of Boaz Johnson are still asserting his innocence, saying that they believe he was also a victim. Johnson, Royal’s fiance, has been a “Person of Interest” since the beginning of the investigation and have given misleading hints that he was a suspect at some point.

Brittany Jane Royal

Brittany Jane Royal

His parents, Tom and Kathy Johnson, have traveled to Hawaii with their other son Mark, and are hopeful to find their son alive.

“We don’t even know where the tent is located,” Tom Johnson said, referrring to the campsite where his son and Brittany stayed.

“They told us that they have had people out there for a few days and searched around maybe 6 square miles and they had helicopters out there looking for him or any evidence. But as far as anything else, nothing that I can recall.”

The Johnsons last spoke to their son on May 27, one day before Royal’s body was found in fishing boat line off the lower coastline of Puna.Lt. Greg Esteban of the Hilo Criminal Investigations Section said police are pursuing leads in the case but have not found Bo Johnson.

“As a result, he is still considered a missing person and he is not excluded as a suspect in the (homicide) case,” he said.

Police photos of the campsite did not look like a crime scene, Kathy Johnson said.”There was a photo that showed their guitars and ukulele neatly stacked up in the corner of the tent,” she said.

“If there was a struggle in the tent, they probably should have been knocked around and on the ground.”

Police have sent evidence from the campsite to a forensic lab, Estaban said.The Johnsons met Royal in April in Alaska and learned she was pregnant.

The couple then traveled to Tustin, Calif., to see Royal’s parents.They planned to buy 10 acres of land on the Kalapana lava field to build a home and start an organic farm. Johnson spoke of the plans in his last conversation with his father.”

He was upbeat because he was about to do the most important thing he’d ever done in his life; that was to get that property the next morning,” he said.

Johnson didn’t appear for the property appointment. Police issued a bulletin about his disappearance May 30.

One of Johnson’s sisters said her brother had been threatened by a commercial lava tour operator after Johnson took a family out to see lava flows.

“He just showed up at my brother’s house in Kalapana,” she said. “He was under the impression that we’d been taking these people out to the lava for pay. He said he owned all 900 acres of the lava, that he owned it and that we weren’t allowed to go out there.”

The guide, she said, threatened to shoot up the house if Johnson persisted in giving tours.

Mark Johnson said he wants police to investigate the threats against his brother.

“Whatever channels it takes to go through the legal system, that’s what we’re gonna be willing to do,” he said.Tom Johnson said his son was not involved in Royal’s death.

“He would not do that,” he said. “This isn’t just two people who met and camped together one night. They were in love. He loved her and he was looking forward to having that baby and making a life for them out there. That was the most important thing to him.”


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About the Author

- Catherine "Kaye" Wonderhouse, a proud descendant of the Wunderhaus family is the Colorado Correspondent who will add more coverage, interviews and reports from this midwest area.

Displaying 4 Comments
Have Your Say
  1. Brittany Royal murder: Boaz Johnson, suspect or victim – unsolved mystery from 2013 | The Global Dispatch says:

    […] family has always been supportive, never believing Bo killed […]

  2. Mysterious note adds drama to Brittany Royal murder case with Boaz Johnson still missing - The Global Dispatch says:

    […] Royal’s death, and the death of her unborn child, rocked the family and friends, many maintain Bo Johnson would never kill […]

  3. Your Name... says:

    His family is covering up for their son! Shame on them! The rope marks around her neck are the same as found in the tent.

    • Big Islander says:

      Cmon, so if they were attacked by another party, what’s to say they didn’t use the rope to kill her. If and when Bo is found the truth will come out. Stop jumping to conclusions. Let the investigation do the justice.

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