Featured Articles

‘Peter Boy’s’ Mother Dies of Natural Causes

January 18, 2019, 1:28 PM HST
* Updated January 18, 1:30 PM
Listen to this Article
1 minute
Loading Audio...

Jaylin Kema and Peter Kema Sr. HPD photos.

The mother of “Peter Boy” Kema died Wednesday night, Jan. 16, 2019, according to a Hawai‘i news source.

Lina Acol, Jaylin Kema’s daughter, told Hawaii News Now that her mother died of natural causes in the hospital.

Kema was convicted for her role in the 1997 death of her 6-year-old son.

She was originally charged with murder, but accepted a plea deal for the lesser charge of manslaughter in exchange for her cooperation and testimony against her husband, Peter Kema Sr.

She was sentenced to a year behind bars, which she had already served. She also received 10 years of probation.


The Kemas had previously both entered pleas of not guilty to second-degree murder charges after they were indicted by a Hilo grand jury for second-degree murder by omission in April 2016.


According to the indictment filed in court by Hawai‘i County Prosecuting Attorney Mitch Roth, both parents allegedly “did intentionally or knowingly cause the death” of Peter Kema Jr. by failing to seek aid from law enforcement or medical officials while the boy, who was six years old at the time of his disappearance, was suffering from harm. The indictment also claims that both individuals were at “the scene of multiple crimes of assault” on the boy.

Peter Boy’s parents were always the only suspects, and despite well-documented child abuse accusations by their other children, neither Peter or Jaylin were charged until 2016.

Kema Sr. avoided the possibility of life in prison by pleading guilty to manslaughter. Under a plea deal, he was required to lead investigators to his son’s remains.


He was sentenced to 20 years in prison in a court proceeding in July 2017, bringing a degree of closure in the decades-long murder mystery.

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Stay in-the-know with daily or weekly
headlines delivered straight to your inbox.
Mahalo for Subscribing


This comments section is a public community forum for the purpose of free expression. Although Big Island Now encourages respectful communication only, some content may be considered offensive. Please view at your own discretion. View Comments