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Family maintains innocence of son missing on Big Island

By Associated Press

LAST UPDATED: 01:43 a.m. HST, Jun 13, 2013

HILO » 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.

Tom and Kathy Johnson of Petersburg, Alaska, the parents of Boaz "Bo" Johnson, 22, also say their son has been unfairly portrayed as a suspect in the death of Brittany-Jane Royal, 25.

They and another son, Mark, traveled to Hawaii island and hope to find their son alive, they told the Hawaii Tribune Herald. Johnson and Royal had camped near an entry to a lava viewing area in Kalapana, the elder Johnsons said, but information from police has been limited.

"We don't even know where the tent is located," Tom Johnson said. "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," Esteban 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 young couple then traveled to Tustin, Calif., to see Royal's parents.

The couple planned to buy 10 acres 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," Tom Johnson 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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Forever_Grateful wrote:
Where's Peter Boy? And why haven't his parents been made and held accountable for his disappearance?
on June 13,2013 | 05:08AM
lowtone123 wrote:
Gone but not forgotten
on June 13,2013 | 11:09AM
allie wrote:
Bif Island justice hon
on June 13,2013 | 11:44AM
aomohoa wrote:
Why his parents? Weird???
on June 13,2013 | 07:56PM
Upperkula wrote:
Sounds like a story straight from the movies.
on June 13,2013 | 07:33AM
allie wrote:
Big Island police are useless. The family needs to hire a private investigator who will look aggressively for the facts.
on June 13,2013 | 11:49AM
kalai wrote:
allie all police are useless to you. go back to north dakota. NOW
on June 13,2013 | 01:02PM
UhhDuhh wrote:
If they are useless, they have a position waiting for you.
on June 13,2013 | 02:22PM
volcanohereicome wrote:
Do you live on the Big Island, too? How would you know the BI police are useless? What experiences have you had with them?
on June 13,2013 | 03:59PM
allie wrote:
I have read the many criticisms in the news
on June 13,2013 | 04:14PM
Pocho wrote:
Yikes his body could be in the ocean
on June 13,2013 | 05:38PM
aomohoa wrote:
Show me where you read it? You hear one thing and you believe it? Your education is a waste of time!
on June 13,2013 | 07:36PM
aomohoa wrote:
How the h#ll would you know that?You have probably never even been there Pocahantas!
on June 13,2013 | 07:35PM
my_opinion_only wrote:
A "YouCaring"-site was set up the other day to assist the Johnson family with their search for Answers, and their search for Bo. Thanks to the generosity of friends (and folks who prefer to donate Anonymously), they're well on their way to achieving their goal. Should their goal be surpassed (as I'm guessing it will be very soon), an even-more-sizeable Reward than is being made available by police can be offered... a good thing all around... since, for the time being anyhow, there's still a cold-blooded murderer prowling the island(s). http://www.youcaring.com/other/search-for-bo/65207
on June 13,2013 | 11:24AM
Mythman wrote:
Shoot up the house, yeah, that sounds about right for the 'local' mentality - take the law into your own hands and kill a mother freaker who you think is cutting into your stash........sometimes I hate this place.
on June 13,2013 | 02:33PM
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