The Search for Peter Boy, Part 4: The Case Revived

The Search for Peter Boy, Part 4: The Case Revived
(Image: Hawaii News Now)
(Image: Hawaii News Now)

EVEN AS THE MONTHS TURNED to years and the years to decades, Peter Boy's family never gave up.

In 2012, a new prosecutor was elected on the Big Island. And Mitch Roth made a campaign promise to chip away at unsolved murder cases.

Peter Boy was, by far, the best known of those mysteries.

For the law enforcement community on Hawaii Island, it was never a question of who killed Peter Boy. His parents were always the only suspects.

But despite well-documented child abuse and multiple accusations by their other children, Peter and Jaylin Kema were never charged with the murder of their 6-year-old son.

In Nov. 2014, Hawaii County Prosecutor Mitch Roth announced that investigators were re-opening the case.

"I'm very excited about this. It's been a long time," Roth said then.

But it would not be easy. There was still no body and no eyewitness.

It was a longshot, but Peter Boy's family was hopeful.

"I want something to be done about it, try. Just try," said Peter Boy's older brother, Allan Acol.

One year later, in Nov. 2015, the Kemas were arrested for welfare fraud and gun charges. The charges were unrelated to the murder, but were a chance for law enforcement to get them apart and show them life behind bars.

"The welfare fraud was a really nice little addition there and having her in custody and splitting them up I think that made a big difference to the end result," Roth said.

The separation was not only an opportunity for law enforcement to try to get Jaylin Kema to turn against her husband, it was also an opportunity for their youngest daughter, Lina Acol, to make her mom an emotional offer.

Acol started communicating with her mother, even bringing her son Luke to secretly meet his grandmother.

"You could do so much better," Acol remembers telling her mother. "I have a son, that someday wants to know what his grandma's like."

But Acol was also hesitant to let Kema get too close. She refused to let her hold her son and kept the meetings brief.

While awaiting trial for welfare fraud, Jaylin Kema bailed out of jail and disappointed her family and law enforcement by going back to her husband. But their reunion would be short lived.


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