A 22-year-old man confessed in a suicide note to strangling his pregnant girlfriend and throwing her body into the ocean in Hawaii last year, police said on Tuesday, citing an unsealed grand jury indictment.
Hawaii police found a handwritten note near the body of Boaz David Johnson on Jan. 2. In the note, he confessed to strangling his former girlfriend, Brittany Jane Royal, while involved in a domestic dispute in May of 2013, police said. The note also said he intended to end his life, officials said.
The discovery of Johnson's body and suicide note brings a close to an investigation that began eight months ago, when police and firefighters responded to a May 28 report of a body caught in a fishing line in waters off Kalapana.
The body was identified through fingerprints as Royal, who had recently moved to Hawaii from Tustin, and was living in the Kalapana area with Johnson, who had recently moved to Hawaii from Alaska. Kalapana is a town on the Big Island of Hawaii.
Police fingered Johnson as a suspect in Royal’s slaying shortly after her body was found based on DNA evidence and a cryptic phone call made after her death in which he told a friend that he and Royal were in good health and were on their way to Hilo, police said. But until his body was discovered by a hiker last month, police had been unable to locate the suspect.
Johnson died of asphyxia due to hanging, according to the medical examiner. His death was ruled a suicide. There was no foul play, officials said. A forensic document examiner determined that the confession was written by Johnson.
Johnson was indicted on a charge of second-degree murder on Dec. 18 and a warrant was issued for his arrest, authorities said.