Wednesday, June 1, 2005

The Peter Boy Files

Kema case history

» State wary of proving abuse
» Mother alleges abuse
» Abuse reports, delays fill documents
» Sister says she saw boy dead
» Family tree

Here is a timeline of the life of Peter "Peter Boy" Kema Jr.

» May 1, 1991: Peter Kema Jr., also known as "Peter Boy" is born.

» May 8, 1991: State opens a case file on the Kema family after abuse of two older children, Peter's stepbrother and stepsister, is reported. Children are placed with maternal grandparents, James and Yolanda Acol.

» May 14, 1991: A DHS caseworker's report to family court indicates that the stepbrother, 4, told a DHS worker that Peter Sr. hit him on the arms, legs and "okole" with both of his hands and a broom and that he "spanks" him, his sister and Jaylin, the children's mother.

Jaylin and Peter Sr. deny hurting the children.

» June 26, 1991: Older children returned to Peter Sr. and Jaylin.

» July 8, 1991: A DHS social worker in the Hilo office asks the court to reconsider whether the infant Peter Jr. is at risk in the home.

» Aug. 11, 1991: Peter Boy Kema is admitted to Hilo Hospital. X-rays show multiple new and healing fractures in his shoulder, elbow, ribs and knee. All children are removed from the home. The older children are placed with their maternal grandparents. Peter Boy spends part of the time in foster care and part of the time with his maternal grandparents.

» August 14, 1991: Edith Kawai Radl, guardian ad litem, recommends that DHS seriously consider "terminating parental rights as a viable option, sooner rather than later" because of Jaylin and Peter Sr.'s noncompliance with their service plan.

» Oct. 31, 1991: Psychologist John Wingert's psychological evaluation says: "Jaylin and Peter both come across as extremely needy and emotionally immature persons who are evasive of responsibility and who displace the source of difficulties onto others. They appeared to be so wrapped up in their own adjustment problems and unhappiness to the point that this compromises their ability to be empathic and understanding of the children's needs and neither of them comes across as particularly child oriented." His assessment says both parents are at risk for abusing their children.

» Nov. 15, 1991: Custody of children transferred from a Hilo foster home to Acol (maternal) grandparents in Kona. DHS notes that over the past three months the grandparents, who lived 100 miles away, visited the children in their Hilo foster home more than the parents, who lived 5 miles away.

» July 7, 1994: Peter Boy's foster parents write a letter pleading with state officials not to return the boy to his parents.

» July 22, 1994: Peter Boy's foster parents write an impassioned plea expressing their concern about the decision to return Peter Boy to his parents.

» July 25, 1994: Peter Boy returned to parents.

» June 11, 1995: Permanent custody of the other children returned to the Kemas.

» Aug. 17, 1995: Attorney for Peter Boy's grandparents writes a letter to social workers about their concerns that Peter Sr. and Jaylin Kema are not abiding by an agreement to allow visitation with the children they took care of for three years.

» October 1995: State officials close case.

» December 1996: Last time maternal grandparents see Peter Boy, at family funeral. Grandfather later says the boy had a black eye and injured arm.

» Feb. 23, 1997: Peter Sr. completes probation for 1990 burglary.

» April 4, 1997: A 15-year-old cousin reports that Peter Boy may have suffered a broken arm and that he was forced to eat puppy feces.

» June 1997: CPS opens investigation.

» June 1997: Peter Boy last seen alive by siblings.

» June 1997: Grandparents try to report Peter Boy missing, but police say parents know where he is.

» June 17, 1997: Police receive CPS report, investigation is under way. Police say report doesn't mention Peter Boy is missing.

» July 7, 1997: Peter Sr. and Jaylin meet social workers without Peter Boy; Jaylin says he is with relatives.

» Aug. 1997: Peter Sr. says he left Peter Boy with Auntie Rose Makuakane at Aala Park in Honolulu.

» Jan. 9, 1998: Jaylin makes missing person report under urging by social worker and police.

» Feb. 5, 1998: Police issue missing person press release and photo of Peter Boy.

» April 15, 1998: A case analysis concludes "there is a disconcerting possibility that Peter Jr. is dead."

» April 22, 1998: Peter Boy's older stepsister and stepbrother, Chauntelle and Allan, along with his younger sister, Devalynn, taken from Kemas and put in foster care. Chauntelle and Allan's father, William Collier, gets permanent custody of the two in 1999. The Acols gain custody of Devalynn in 2000.

» April 23, 1998: An unidentified worker reports of the Kema children, "I did bring up Peter boy's name; they all showed fear. I feel they do know something about him." The worker requested a complete psychiatric exam for all children and sex abuse exam for one of them.

» April 24, 1998: Big Island police take Peter Sr. to Aala Park to retrace steps of alleged handing of Peter Boy to Auntie Rose.

» April 27, 1998: In a press conference with parents, Peter Sr. says, "I did not kill my son."

» April 30, 1998: A DHS report notes that Peter Boy's parents "did not describe him to be missing until conclusion by CPS that the parents were withholding the child and information about him."

» Aug. 15 and Aug. 16, 1998: A U.S. Department of Justice child interviews Peter Boy's siblings and finds that "the children witnessed violent events that created a level of fear that they did not feel safe to disclose while they were in contact with both their biological mother and their step/biological father."

» Dec. 17, 1998: DHS report says that the children, now removed from the Kema home, described sexual abuse at an undisclosed time, by Peter Sr. and Jaylin and another man.

» March 1999: Police submit case to prosecutor for review.

»Jan. 31- Feb. 2, 2001: Detectives and U.S. Army personnel who help identify the remains of missing military personnel dig up the back yard of residence in Keaau, where Peter Kema Sr. lived, but find no evidence.

» April 30, 2005: Lillian Koller, head of the Department of Human Services, releases 23 pages of Peter Boy documents.

» May 31, 2005: About 2,000 pages of previously secret documents in the Peter Boy case are made public.

» June 1, 2005: Big Island prosecutors review the Peter Boy case, something they have done periodically since 1999.

Information online

Peter "Peter Boy" Kema Jr. documents:

Hawaii State Clearinghouse
on Missing Children:


National Center for Missing
and Exploited Children:


E-mail to City Desk


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