The Search for Peter Boy, Part 2: The Abuse

The Search for Peter Boy, Part 2: The Abuse
(Image: Hawaii News Now)
(Image: Hawaii News Now)

AS SOON AS THE FOUR children were returned to their parents, the beatings resumed.

While all the children were forced to endure abuse, one child got the worst of it: Peter Boy.

Returning him to the Kemas would be a death sentence.

"Parents are the ones that are supposed to love you, not treat you like a dog," said his sister, Lina Acol.

The family lived in Nanawele Estates; their home, a house of horrors for the Kema children, especially Peter Boy, his father's namesake.

"He was always covered up from head to toe, with a jacket, pants, you could never see any of the bruises," said his brother, Allan Acol.

Bruises and broken bones were the physical injuries, but torture came in many forms.

"Putting him in a trash bag and letting him eat feces, and everything else," said his grandfather, Jimmy Acol.

Peter Boy would also be chained to the bed overnight. And when the family went out in public, he was stuffed into the trunk of the family car.

"Our dad said he was being punished for doing something bad," Lina Acol said. "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."

The abuse — torture — would eventually kill him.

But his death was slow and painful, the result of a wound on his arm that festered and became gangrenous.

Instead of taking him to the doctor, his parents locked him in a room. The wound smelled of rotting flesh and the other kids called it the "stink room."

The Kemas would punish the other siblings by making them go into the "stink room" with Peter Boy, who was sometimes called Pepe.

At the court hearing in which Jaylin Kema pleaded guilty in the case, Big Island deputy Prosecutor Ricky Roy Damerville detailed Peter Boy's fatal injury — choking up as he described it.

"A forensic pathologist will testify that given the nature of Pepe's injuries, Pepe died as a result of septic shock and as a result of the parents not timely obtaining medical care for Pepe," he told the judge.

Peter Boy died in the summer of 1997, and still the Kemas refused to call for help.

Instead, they burned and then disposed of the 6-year-old's body themselves.

Months later, they reported him missing.


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