UPDATE: Authorities Search Puna for Peter Boy’s Remains

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Peter Kema Sr. HPD photo.

UPDATE: April 27, 2017

The Hawai‘i Department of Public Safety reported today that per the court’s order, Jaylin Kema was processed for supervised release shortly after her return from court.

She was released from the Hawai‘i Community Correctional Center in Hilo just after 10 a.m. this morning, Thursday, April 27.

PREVIOUS POST: April 26, 2017

After disappearing nearly 20 years ago, the search for “Peter Boy” Kema continues.


He was last seen in January 1998, when he was six years old.

His father, Peter Kema Sr., plead guilty to manslaughter and hindering prosecution in court earlier this month in connection to the death of his son.

Peter Boy’s mother, Jaylin Kema, pled guilty to manslaughter in December 2016, as part of a deal with prosecutors, and would have had to testify against her husband. She’s scheduled to be released from jail on Thursday, April 27, after having served a year behind bars.

Kema Sr.’s manslaughter conviction carries a sentence of 20 years and/or a fine of $15,000, and hindering prosecution carries a sentence of five years in prison and/or a fine of $10,000.

The prosecution agreed to concurrent sentences—up to 20 years— if his son’s body is successfully recovered.


At his April 5 trial, Kema Sr. agreed to lead authorities to his son’s body. If his remains are not recovered, Kema Sr. will have to pass a polygraph test to retain the plea agreement.

News sources revealed yesterday that Kema Sr. led police and county Prosecutor Mitch Roth to an area in the Puna District on Sunday, April 23.

KHON2 News said Deputy Prosecutor Ricky Roy Damerville wouldn’t disclose the exact search location because the investigation is ongoing, but added that investigators have not yet found any remains.

The deputy prosecutor said Kema Sr. was being cooperative with police.

Police are now consulting with experts to consider what the next step will be.


“A number of agencies from around the country have volunteered their services to assist in any way they can,” Deputy Prosecutor Damerville told KHON. “We are very appreciative of offered services. People who have, for instance, different types of radars that can search the ground, different types of divers if you need divers—all kinds of groups volunteered their services.”

Dr. Kanthi De Alwis, a forensic pathologist and former Honolulu medical examiner, told KHON that finding Peter Boy’s remains will be a challenge.

There’s a chance Peter Boy may never be recovered, Dr. De Alwis told KHON, “because if it is a shallow grave, as we know the Big Island has a lot of rain, and there’s a very high possibility that the bones could be scattered, and it also depends on animal activity soon after the burial… If that’s the case, then they’ll have to really go through a larger radius looking for any scattered bones, if they’re still there.”

If they do recover bones, the next step would be to identify them as belonging to Peter Boy through DNA testing.

“Having analyzed the case, Peter Boy died of an infection and sepsis that originated from a wound on his arm that was not treated, but we didn’t know whether that wound was inflicted or an accidental wound,” Dr. De Alwis told KHON.

“For some, there’s never any closure. We’re doing everything that we can, and we’ll see,” Deputy Prosecutor Damerville told KHON.

Kema Sr. will return for sentencing June 9, 2017. He must serve a minimum of six years and eight months before he is eligible for parole.

Kema Pleads Guilty to Manslaughter, Hindering Prosecution

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