Mother of slain daughter returns for silent march, vigil

Julie Spahn Royal, her sons and other family members took part in a silent march and vigil in honor of victims of domestic violence.
Julie Spahn Royal, her sons and other family members took part in a silent march and vigil in honor of victims of domestic violence.

For the first time since learning about the death of her daughter’s killer, Brittany Jane Royal’s mother has returned to the Big Island.

On Tuesday morning, California resident Julie Spahn Royal, her sons and other family members took part in a silent march and vigil in honor of victims of domestic violence. They waved signs and held messages of peace.

On Monday, Brittany’s family gathered in a lava field for a private moment of reflection.

“It’s a lot different this time,” said Royal. “I mean it’s always sad, the reason we’re coming back, but it’s nice to have some answers… We’re embracing Brittany’s life more than mourning her death.”

Last month, Brittany’s boyfriend, Boaz Johnson, was found dead.

Police say he murdered Royal, and confessed to the killing in a confession written on pages of a composition book found near his body.

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