New details about toddler, mother death, four years later

New details about toddler, mother death, four years later

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - New details about the death of a toddler and her mother, four years after they were killed.

18-month old Pomaikai Ferreira died of head injuries in January of 2011.  The main witness in the case, her mother, Sommer Ferreira, was killed months later.  She was strangled.

Last year, the mother's boyfriend, 39-year-old Xavier "Pee Wee" Cortez Jr., was indicted by a grand jury for second degree murder in the toddler's case.  He has been in jail since.

But last week, a Hilo grand jury also indicted him on first degree murder for the mother's case, because the mother was considered a witness.

"It took a long time to get the materials we needed and to follow up on what we learned during the investigation," says Joseph Lee, Deputy Prosecuting Attorney of Hawaii County.

Cortez is a former professional boxer.

"Emotionally for everybody, it's just been really, really tough," says Lee, "Certainly, we know the case is not over yet, we still have trial in both cases, but at least now the feeling is... the parents will find out, the grandparents will find out what really happened."

Trial for the first case is scheduled for May.

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