Susan Leibowitz, Dateline NBC
On January 21, 2014, the mystery of Brittany & Bo ended.
Yesterday, police announced that a body found hanging from a tree in early January had been identified as Boaz Johnson, the boyfriend of Brittany-Jane Royal. According to police, Bo’s death, ruled a suicide, occurred soon after Brittany was found dead in the waters off Hawaii’s Big Island.
At the time of Brittany’s death, she had been pregnant with Bo’s child, and was looking to buy land for their new family in Hawaii.
When police recovered Brittany’s body, Boaz was nowhere to be found. Police had speculated that Bo left the state. Some locals, however, believed that both of them had been murdered, and posted haunting flyers asking for their murderer to “Confess.”
When police recovered Bo’s body, they also found a composition book with three hand-written pages inside. The writer of the note, who identified himself as Bo, confessed that after he and Brittany had a fight, he strangled her and threw her body into the ocean.
Sometime in the days after that, say police, Boaz Johnson took what looks like the same type of rope he used to strangle Brittany and hanged himself from a tree. Police confirmed the body was Bo's using DNA and dental records.
The truth was as grim as it could get. Even so, Brittany’s mother Julie Royal told Dateline that she is relieved to finally know what really happened.
It doesn’t make it any less sad, but as Dateline viewers know – when a person is killed, the not-knowing what really happened makes life even less bearable on the family. Now a small part of their pain is eased. The mystery of Bo and Brittany is over.