The remote location where Peter Kema told investigators he disposed of his son's remains 20 years ago. (Image: Hawaii News Now)
PUNA, BIG ISLAND (HawaiiNewsNow) -
Two decades after "Peter Boy" went missing, his family on Wednesday visited what may have been his final resting place.
Authorities took Peter Boy's siblings, his grandfather and aunt to the remote site in Puna, where Peter Kema said he disposed of the 6-year-old boy's remains. In the undeveloped area, lava rock meets the sea -- and crashing waves send water onto the shoreline.
The visit, said Big Island Prosecutor Mitch Roth, was "pretty emotional."
Roth said that Peter Boy's grandfather said a prayer at the site, and "was telling me that he was talking to his wife, who had passed away, and he told her, 'We found him. He's now in your hands.'"
Investigators say they will do everything they can to try and find something to return to Peter Boy's relatives, but they acknowledge after 20 years it will be difficult.
They've already contacted outside agencies to assist in the search for the boy's remains.
"We're reaching out to another agency that has the personnel, the expertise and the equipment to conduct a search that is needed for something like this," said Randy Medeiros, of the Hawaii County Police Department. "We immediately recognized that it's beyond the scope of our capabilities."
On Sunday, Kema led Big Island police officers to the location in Puna where he says the child's remains are.
Peter Boy disappeared in 1997, and earlier this month his father pleaded guilty to manslaughter.
Kema is required to reveal the exact location of the boy's body as part of his plea deal, under which Kema will also be spared the possibility of spending life in prison.
A formal sentencing hearing in the case has been scheduled for June 9.
Last April, Kema and his wife, Jaylin, were indicted for Peter Boy's death and subsequently pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder charges. But in December, a big breakthrough: Jaylin Kema changed her plea to manslaughter, agreeing to testify in court against her husband.
And earlier this month, Peter Kema pleaded guilty, too.
Peter Boy disappeared from his Hawaii Island home in 1997; the last time his siblings saw him alive was in June of that year.
While his body was never found, police concluded that he was murdered. The child's disappearance two decades ago set off intense police investigations and a media firestorm.