Assistant Hilo Police Chief Henry Tavares said Boaz Johnson confessed to killing Brittany Jane Royal before he hung himself, Hawaii News Now reported Wednesday.
Johnson's body was found Jan. 2 in a remote grove of trees about a mile and a half from where he and Royal camped in May 2013. Police said a three-page confession by Johnson was found near his body.
"He confessed to strangling Brittany while in a domestic dispute and to throwing her body in the ocean," Tavares said. "He also indicated his intent to end his own life."
Royal was killed May 27.
Tests confirmed the writing was Johnson's and that the remains were his.