Decomposing body discovered on Kalapana lava field

Decomposing body discovered on Kalapana lava field

KALAPANA, BIG ISLAND (HawaiiNewsNow) - Big Island police are investigating the discovery of a body in Kalapana.

Police said a hiker found the decomposing body Thursday while hiking in a forested area of a lava field at the end of Highway 130 in Kalapana. Neighbors said it was hanging from a tree.

This is the same area where Brittany Jane Royal and Bo Johnson were staying before they disappeared last spring.

"Bo rented the house across the street," said Kalapana resident Michael Brant. "They came from Alaska to vacation here, but ended up staying here."

Royal's body was found in a fishing net last May. She had been strangled. Police say Johnson is their only suspect.

Royal's parents are wondering whether the body is Johnson's.

"We'll wait to see what happens," said Royal's father, Ted Royal. "If it is Bo, then it appears that he murdered my daughter and then he killed himself and justice has been done and we move on. And it's a very sad story, bot for his family and for ours."

"I thought about his family, and I reached out and talked to them," said mother Julie Royal. "They're in my heart every day."

The area is also the same spot where Japanese tourist Hiromichi Yoshino disappeared in February. The 51-year-old had been staying at a bed and breakfast in Volcano village.

His rental car was found, unlocked and with the keys inside, also at the end of Highway 130.

Investigators recovered the remains, which were taken to the morgue at Hilo Medical Center. An autopsy has been ordered to determine the exact cause of death.

The parents of Brittany Jane said they were told the body will be identified through DNA in about a week.

"It's sad either way," said Julie Royal. "You know, there's no good outcome. There just isn't. There's no good outcome, either way."

Police ask anyone with information about the body to contact Detective Todd Pataray at 961-2382 or

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.

Related Links:

Dateline to investigate murder of Brittany Jane Royal

EXCLUSIVE: Anonymous Tips point to Brittany Jane Royal Killer

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