Documents show that "Peter Boy" Kema, shown with his grandmother Yolanda Acol, was a victim of abuse since 1991.

‘Peter Boy’ disappearance
leaves family in turmoil

It is hoped the release of
documents Tuesday will shed
new light on the 7-year-old case


Why years of secrecy on the Peter Kema case is ending Tuesday.

HILO >> The latest police photo of Peter Kema Sr. shows a man with bloodshot, downcast eyes, much thinner than the man pictured in the 1990s when his son "Peter Boy" disappeared at the age of 6.

Kema's former wife, Jaylin, Peter Boy's mother, is also seen with downcast eyes and a look of fatigue in a recent police photo.

Life may be stressful for the Kemas, but life has gone on for them since they reported their son missing under strange circumstances in 1998.

Few people hold out hope that life has gone on for Peter Boy, who would be 14 this month.

"I still believe he's alive as the years go by," said James Acol, Jaylin's father. But he added, "I'm really having second thoughts."

In 2000, former Hawaii County Deputy Prosecutor Lincoln Ashida said "for all practical purposes" police have investigated the case as a homicide.

But if the disappearance of Peter Boy is a murder, there has been no indictment, no prosecution.

Lillian Koller, head of the state Department of Human Services, hopes to change that by releasing about 2,000 pages of department documents related to Peter Boy on Tuesday.

She says she hopes attention on the case will prompt someone to come forward with new information that will lead to justice for him.

Attorneys for Peter Sr. and Jaylin did not return phone calls. In the past, the parents denied killing their son.

Koller ordered the release of 23 pages on the case on April 30. Those documents show that Peter Boy was already the victim of child abuse, including broken bones, in 1991 when he was less than a year old.

Peter Boy was put in foster care for three years. A letter from his temporary foster mother in 1994 unsuccessfully objected to him being returned to his parents because they had taken no responsibility for his injuries.

In 1997, a teenage relative of the Kemas told social workers that Peter Boy had again been abused. When state workers tried to see the boy, his parents said he was on vacation.

The following year, the boy's father said he gave Peter Boy to a family friend named Aunty Rose Makuakane on Oahu. Police began investigating, but could find no evidence that the aunt exists. The remaining three children were removed from the Kema home.

In 1999, Peter Boy's half-brother Allan and half-sister Chauntelle were placed in the permanent custody of their father, William Collier, now living in Washington state. In 2000, James and Yolanda Acol adopted their granddaughter, Devalynn, Peter Boy's younger sister.

The Acols describe a picture of a decent family in which something went wrong.

Collier, a teenager from Oahu going to high school in Kona, moved into their home in the 1980s when he became Jaylin's boyfriend. The two oldest children, Allan and Chauntelle, were born during that time. Collier and Jaylin never married.

Collier and Jaylin broke up, and Jaylin started dating Peter Sr. "When she met Peter, she changed drastically. He was raised in a violent home," James said.

"He knows evil ways to convince a person into doing what he doesn't want to do," Yolanda said.

A state document describes both Jaylin and Peter Sr. as "dysfunctional."

The Acols suggested the facts are more complicated. Jaylin was a "little spoiled" while growing up, Yolanda said. But she added, "Jaylin is a smart person."

James had a similar assessment of Peter Sr. "He not dumb," he said. But Peter Sr. has a radically changeable personality, like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, he said.

Jaylin was affectionate to the two older children, "not so much to Peter Boy," Yolanda said.

Since the disappearance of Peter Boy and the removal of the other children from the Kemas, the two have separated but are not divorced, Yolanda said.

She says Jaylin smokes marijuana, saying she has a medical permit to do so. "It's like telling me to give a knife to a killer and saying, 'Don't kill again,'" Yolanda said.

The reason that new police photos of Peter Sr. and Jaylin are available is that Peter Sr. was arrested for criminal trespass in November and Jaylin was arrested for shoplifting this month, police said.

In the disappearance of Peter Boy, the Kemas "haven't been ruled out as suspects," Lt. Randall Medeiros said last week.

Police were given the 2,000 pages from the Department of Human Services, but much of it they already had, and where they didn't have the documents, they had the information in them, Medeiros said.

"All the investigation we had to do was completed," and the case was turned over to the prosecutor, he said.

Deputy Prosecutor Charlene Iboshi says the prosecutor's office reviews the material periodically and will have another review meeting with police on Wednesday.

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