Dad Reveals Location of Son's Body— 20 Years Later

Peter Kema Jr. disappeared in 1997
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Apr 27, 2017 8:19 AM CDT
Dad Reveals Location of Son's Body— 20 Years Later
Peter Kema Sr., left, pleads guilty to manslaughter in the death of his son, who went missing in 1997.   (Hollyn Johnson)

The father of a boy who became the face of a Hawaii campaign for missing and abused children after his 1997 disappearance rode in a van with police and prosecutors last weekend, leading them to the site where he says he dumped his dead son's remains. Peter Kema Sr., wearing a jail jumpsuit and shackles, agreed to the move as part of a plea deal reached earlier this month, Hawaii County Prosecuting Attorney Mitch Roth tells the AP. Kema pleaded guilty to manslaughter in exchange for a 20-year sentence, on the condition that he reveal where the remains are. The site in the Big Island's remote Puna district, to be searched at a later date, is in an area that police didn't previously search or consider. Police will return to the site for a more detailed search before Kema is sentenced in June, Roth said.

Kema and his wife, Jaylin, have long been suspects in the disappearance of the 6-year-old known as "Peter Boy," but prosecutors said they didn't have enough evidence to charge them until last year, when a grand jury indicted the couple on murder charges. Jaylin Kema pleaded guilty last year to manslaughter in the first official confirmation that the child was dead. In exchange for 10 years' probation and a one-year jail sentence with credit for time served, she agreed to testify against her husband if he went to trial. She also agreed to facts prosecutors laid out in court about abuse suffered by the boy and her failure to get him medical treatment. Prosecutors believe the boy died from septic shock from not getting medical care for an arm injury. (More Hawaii stories.)

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