Just last month, family members of Boaz David Johnson and his slain girlfriend Brittany Jane Royal expressed fears that the 22-year-old man was also dead, by the same killers in Hawaii who took former Tustin resident Royal's life.
But Big Island police officials disclosed Tuesday that an unsealed grand jury indictment indicates Johnson hung himself and left a note confessing to the murder of his pregnant girlfriend by strangulation.
The handwritten note found near Johnson's body not only confessed to Royal's slaying during a May 2013 domestic dispute, but he also indicated he would kill himself, according to the police officials quoted by NBC4 News.
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Despite Johnson's family members in Alaska and some of Royal's in Orange County believing both may have been killed by another or others, police had suspected the boyfriend based on DNA evidence collected at the Royal murder scene and a cryptic phone call he placed after her death.
Royal's body was found caught in a fishing line in waters off Kalapana on May 28, 2013. A short time later, Johnson called a friend to say he and his girlfriend were in good health and on their way to Hilo. Police issued a warrant for Johnson's arrest on Dec. 18.
A hiker found his body Jan. 2 and the medical examiner ruled Johnson committed suicide by hanging. A forensic examiner ruled Johnson wrote the suicide note.