HILO, BIG ISLAND (HawaiiNewsNow) - There is no dispute that 6-year-old Peter Boy Kema, Jr. suffered for most of his short life at the hands of his parents -- Peter Kema, Sr. and Jaylin Kema.
The state took the boy and his siblings away after finding broken bones on Peter Boy, just months after his birth in 1991. The children moved in with relatives where they thrived.
"I remember playing, pretending like we were Power Rangers," says Allan Acol, Peter Boy's brother. Allan says they had a lot of good times at their grandparents home.
But years later, the state returned them to the Kemas. According to Allan, it didn't take long for the abuse to resume.
"Spanks, smacks, sticks," Allan describes. He says it later progressed to their father slamming them on the ground, or against a wall.
And, he says Peter Boy got the worst of it, "I couldn't tell you why. It was just the way it was," says Allan.
Lina Acol, Peter Boy's younger sister remembers her parents putting him in the trunk of the car when the family was out in public.
"Our dad said he was being punished for doing something bad," Lina says, "We'd go to the beach, and he'd be in the trunk, we'd go to the store, and he'd be in the trunk."
Lina remembers the last day she saw her brother alive. She was taking a nap inside the house. The rest of the children were outside.
"That's why i woke up, the door was swinging open," she says, "My mom (was) running in the house, and then my dad right after her, and in my mom's arms, was Peter Boy. I didn't know what was going on."
Lina says the door to the bedroom was slightly open so she could see what her parents were doing.
"At the time I seen my mom. It looked like she was trying to kiss him and then, I saw my dad trying to beat on his chest. I opened the door more, cause the door was cracked, and they just yelled at me to go back to sleep."
Lina says it took years before she realized that her parents were doing CPR on her brother.
When she woke up later, she says she asked for her brother. They told her he went to Honolulu with an auntie.
"I knew they were lying. They said go look in the house," she says.
Lina looked in her parents' closet, "I came out and I told them, Peter Boy's in a box, he's playing hide-and-seek,"
She says her parents told her to leave him there. She tells me she thought he was sleeping, "He didn't move."
She doesn't know how long the box stayed in the closet, before her dad took her for a drive.
"I remember one day, going with my dad on this dirt road, and I remember him having shovels and a box. I wasn't really sure if it was the same box or not."
After they returned home, Lina says she told relatives, she and her dad buried a box underneath a tree. She cannot remember where the tree was or any landmarks. But later that day, her father told the kids, that Peter Boy was gone.
The state removed the kids permanently after the police got involved.
Lina went to live with her maternal grandparents, Jimmy and Yolanda Acol. The grandparents have done numerous interviews over the years hoping to find out what happened to Peter Boy. But several years ago, Yolanda died after suffering a stroke and heart failure.
"My wife said, before she passed, don't give up, so I try to be strong, I try..." says her husband.
The family is relieved that after 17 years, police and prosecutors have not given up either. As Hawaii News Now first reported, there is new evidence in the case and new hope that it could someday end up in court.
Peter Kema, Sr. and Jaylin Kema are the only suspects in the case. But they have never been arrested. The two are still together, living in Hilo. Police have been called to their home several times because of domestic abuse.
Their children do not speak to their parents anymore. Jaylin Kema showed up at Lina's high school graduation, but Lina did not want to speak with her and had security escort her out.
"I just don't want them to be a part of my life," says Lina.
She says the only way she will speak to her mother again, is if she tells her what happened to Peter Boy.