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Hawaiian Police Look To Question Alaskan Man In Strangulation Of Pregnant Calif. Woman

KALAPANA, Hawaii (CBS/AP) — Police on Hawaii's Big Island are looking for an Alaska man to question him about a strangled California woman he had been camping with before she died.

Hawaii County police said Friday they are looking for 22-year-old Boaz Johnson of Petersburg, Alaska. He was reported missing and last spoke with his family on Monday.

He's wanted for questioning in the death of 25-year-old Brittany-Jane Royal, whose body was found Tuesday after being caught in a fishing line in waters near a lava viewing area.

Royal's family told KCAL9's Stacey Butler that she was excited upon learning recently that she was pregnant.

Police say Royal and Johnson had reportedly been camping together before her death. She had recently moved to the Big Island and her last known permanent address was in Tustin, Calif.

An autopsy determined she was strangled. She was identified through fingerprints.

"We lost two souls," said the woman's grieving father, Ted Royal.

Her father and brother still live in Tustin. They flew to Hawaii when Royal's body was recovered.

They told Butler -- via phone -- that Brittany-Jane had been traveling the world the past six years looking to find herself. They said she just decided to settle down in Hawaii, about a month ago. She had flown home to California to tell them her big news.

"I just miss her. I feel like...I'm sorry," said her father, choking back tears. "I love her and I miss her and I want people to know what a special person she was."

Royal was a few credits away from graduating from the Interior Design Institute of Newport Beach.

Butler asked if she was excited about the pregnancy? "She was thrilled. We were all thrilled," said her father.

Butler also asked if Ted Royal ever met the baby's father. He replied, simply, "Yes."

He declined to answer whether the baby's father was going to be part of her life. "I can't really get into all of that right now. I think there's gonna be a lot coming out in the next few days."

Brittany-Jane's brother said he can't imagine who would want to kill his sister. Skylar Royal said, "Her life was to see the world and then experience everything that she could. I loved her so much and she was the best sister I could ever ask for."

Ted and Skylar Royal also declined to say whether the Alaskan man was the baby's father.

(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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