The family of a missing man who is a key suspect in his pregnant girlfriend's slaying says he was threatened by a man in Hawaii before her death.
Brittany Royal, 25, was living in a tent in Hawaii with boyfriend Boaz Johnson when she told her family of the pregnancy. Johnson was reportedly looking into buying land on the island's famed lava fields to start a tour business.
Royal's body was discovered May 28, strangled and dumped in the ocean near Hawaii's Big Island. Johnson, 22, vanished at the time of the slaying, leaving behind his identification.
Police soon labeled him a suspect but anonymous notes were sent to media outlets and posted around town, stating that the two were killed by angry locals because Johnson was planning to buy land in the area to launch a lava tourism business.
One note said "Haole," a term for white man, "had to be killed before he buy land" to "send a message." Another note talks about the couple's being slain on the lava fields and asks the killer to confess.
Boaz Johnson's sister, Ruth Johnson, said Boaz was threatened by a man before the slaying.
"There was a man who came to our house when I lived with Bo in Hawaii and he came and threatened our lives because we had trespassed on what he considered his property," Ruth Johnson told ABC News.
Nothing has changed during the seven-month investigation and Boaz Johnson remains a suspect, police told ABC News. The case remains "very active," according to police.
Hawaiian police have been sharing little to no information, Royal's mother said.
"We're so in needing-to-find-out mode that it's blocking the grief process, which has been really, really difficult for us," Julie Royal said. "It's surreal. It's like a complete out-of-body experience and it's just been really tough."
An affidavit filed with a Hawaii district court states that Johnson might have used a false name to stay at a nearby hostel two weeks after Royal's slaying.
The manager of the hostel told police she recognized the image of Boaz Johnson, but "this male party used the name of Jeffrey Allen," and that he abandoned the room suddenly, leaving behind several bags of personal items.
"One of the things that has been very perplexing is there has been so many twists and turns to this story," Julie Royal added.