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Police Identify Woman Found Floating off Kalapana

May 30, 2013, 8:49 AM HST (Updated May 31, 2013, 12:42 PM)
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***Updated Friday, May 31.***

Police have identified a woman whose body was pulled from the ocean off Kalapana as a recent arrival to the Big Island from California.

Police said Brittany-Jane Royal, formerly of Tustin, Calif., was identified through fingerprints.

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The 25-year-old woman had recently been staying in the Kalapana area.

Police are conducting a second-degree murder investigation and are still trying to determine a motive in her slaying.

Posted 8:49 a.m., Thursday, May 30:

Police have opened a homicide investigation into the death of a woman whose body was found Tuesday floating off the coast of Kalapana.

Police said an autopsy conducted Wednesday showed that the woman died of strangulation.

The woman’s body was found caught up in a fishing line early Tuesday morning near the area where lava is flowing into the ocean.

Efforts continue to identify the woman who was described as Caucasian, possibly in her late 20s or early 30s, from 5-foot-4 to 5-foot-8, with a slim build, short brown hair and a tattoo of “Veritas” on her lower back.

Anyone with information on the matter is asked to contact Det. Robert Almeida at 961-2386 or ralmeida@co.hawaii.hi.us or Det. Fetuutuunai Amuimuia at 961-2278 or famuimuia@co.hawaii.hi.us.

Anonymous tipsters can 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.

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