HILO, Hawaii – Hawaii County Prosecutor Mitch Roth led a press conference on Wednesday, April 26, to talk about an emotional moment of closure experienced by the family of Peter Boy Kema, who was six-years old when he went missing in 1997.
“We went out to a scene in Puna and they showed us,” where Peter Kema Sr. disposed of the body decades ago, Roth told news media.
The 46-year-old Kema Sr. pleaded guilty to manslaughter and first-degree hindering prosecution in Hilo Circuit Court on April 5, 20 years after his son’s disappearance, finally admitting responsibility for Peter Boy’s death before Judge Greg Nakamura.
As part of Kema Sr.’s plea deal with prosecutors – which reduced his second-degree murder charge to manslaughter – the father agreed to direct authorities to the body of Peter Boy.
“On Sunday morning we met with Mr. Kema, his attorney, we had some police officers and myself,” Roth announced at the press conference. “We went out to a scene in Puna and they showed us where he disposed of the body.”
“Today, we took the family out to the scene and we showed them where Mr. Kema had disposed of Peter Boy,” Roth continued. “So, answering the question … where is Peter Boy, we kind of have a feeling of where he is. At this time we’re not going to be giving the location. And we’re not going to be doing that because we have some work to do. It’s a wide area and we’re going to be having different professionals come in,” to help find any remains.
Speaking of Peter Boy’s grandfather, Mr. (James) Acol, Roth said “when he got out there, the whole family said a prayer. One of the comments that he made was he said prayer to his wife Yolanda who had passed away. on her death bed he made a promise to her that he wouldn’t stop looking
Roth said that when Acol got out there, “he said ‘we found him’ to (Yolanda) and he ‘he’s now in your hands’. It was kind of a touching moment.”
“We felt it was important that the family had that opportunity to go to the area we made that an opportunity to them they of course wanted to go out there,” Roth said, and “we’re hoping that we can do our search without people going out and you know walking over the site and being amateur hunters and and you know possibly even disturbing the site.”
Roth relayed another story about the sire visit.
“As we were driving out this morning, we came across a patch of rain and we were in two different cars. And it was interesting, that both cars there’s a little conversation about the rain and in our car we talked about tears from heaven. In the other car they … they said that it was Peter Boy crying that ‘you’re finally coming for me’,” Roth said.
“I thought that was a really touching moment when we got to the location the rain stopped and clouds parted and there was sun and it was kind of a… it was a just a beautiful moment. It was sad, but it was very touching and kind of spiritual,” Roth said.