The 20 year mystery of what happened to Peter Boy Kema has finally been solved, now that both his parents have pleaded guilty to roles in his death.
Peter Boy was let down by both the child protection and criminal justice systems. Child protection workers apparently ignored warnings about his abusive father and returned Peter and his siblings to their parents.
But that tragedy was made worse by successive Hawaii County prosecutors who were too timid to take the challenging case to court.
Hawaii County Prosecutor Mitch Roth and Deputy Rick Dammerville were not timid. Their clever and dogged strategy put steady pressure on the parents and ultimately negotiated the truth out of them.
Police Captain Randy Medeiros also deserves great credit for never giving up on Peter Boy.
It is a shame that Peter Kema Senior will likely spend only 20 years behind bars. But now, the family and community won't have to suffer another year without answers, or see the acquittal of a killer.
After two decades in limbo it feels good to put this tragedy behind us - take its lessons to heart - and hope Peter Boy may finally rest in peace.
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