The Search for Peter Boy, Part 1: The Beginning

The Search for Peter Boy, Part 1: The Beginning

IT WAS ONE OF THE MOST notorious unsolved crimes in Hawaii's history: The 1997 disappearance of 6-year old Peter Boy Kema.

Over the years — while his parents lied — the community cried out for justice.

The bumper sticker: "So Where's Peter?" was both question and accusation. A demand for answers — and not just from his parents, but from the government institutions that were supposed to protect him.

Soon, the case will finally be put to rest, with convictions and prison for his parents, who have both pleaded guilty in the case after two decades of insisting they were innocent.

But many say the Kemas are getting off easy, considering all that their son and his loved ones went through.

Peter Boy captured the hearts of Hawaii. Old videos of the boy show him flashing an adorable, wide smile.

Behind that smile, trauma. Peter Boy suffered for much of his short life. Even from the day he was born, May Day 1991.

He had to be flown from Hilo to Honolulu with heart and lung problems and was hospitalized for almost three weeks before going home with his parents: Peter Kema Sr., and Jaylin Kema.

The couple was already suspected of abusing his half brother and sister — Chauntelle and Allan Acol — Jaylin's children from before she married.

And just three months after he was born, state Child Protective Services records show, Jaylin Kema brought Peter Boy to the hospital with a "swollen knee." She said he had been acting "fussy."

But x-rays revealed Peter Boy actually had "multiple fractures" to his arms, legs, and ribs. The doctor reported, "The appearance and distribution of these fractures (are) characteristic of child abuse."

CPS took all three children and put them with their grandparents, Jimmy and Yolanda Acol in Kona.

They thrived there, and home videos documented those happy years.

"His famous words were, 'Papa, you need a beer today?'" said Jimmy Acol, chuckling. "When I was through with work, 'You need a beer papa? OK, I'll go get 'em."

In 1993, the Kemas had another child, Lina Acol. While they were getting CPS counseling and parenting training, she was also placed with grandma and grandpa.

The four children were very close.

"I remember playing, pretending like we were Power Rangers, playing in the park," said Peter Boy's brother, Allan Acol.

Life was good. But it was all about to end.

After three years, and despite the history of abuse and warnings from social workers and family members, CPS returned the children to their parents.


Copyright 2017 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.