Jeff Widener  /  AP
Peter Kema Jr., known as Peter Boy, is shown in a photo provided by family members. Thousands of pages of records detailing the case of the Hawaiian boy missing since 1997 have been released on the Internet.
updated 5/31/2005 10:03:05 PM ET 2005-06-01T02:03:05

A sister of a long-missing child known as Peter Boy told a psychologist nearly seven years ago that she saw the boy dead in a box in her parent’s closet, according to documents unsealed by the state on Tuesday.

Peter Kema Jr., whose disappearance has remained a mystery since 1997 but is under renewed scrutiny, had a tragic childhood of abuse, humiliation and torture by his father, the confidential case files reveal.

The sister reported seeing Peter Boy punched, forced to eat dog feces, tied in chains and rope, and placed naked in a garbage can by his father.

She gave the information to a clinical psychologist for the state in June 1998. That was five months after the boy was reported missing to police — and nearly a year after the father reported he gave the 6-year-old boy away to a family friend.

The girl also told the psychologist that she saw Peter Boy dead in her father’s car trunk. The report, however, also said the girl thought the boy was alive in Honolulu.

It was unknown whether the girl was Kema’s older half-sister or his younger biological sister because her name was blacked out. Other siblings’ names were blacked out, but not those of Peter Boy’s parents, Jaylin and Peter Kema Sr.

Peter Kema Sr.’s attorney in Hilo, Steven Strauss, declined to comment about his client, the case or the release of the documents. The couple have denied any wrongdoing. After an initial plea for the public’s help, they’ve remained out of the spotlight.

2,000 pages to the public
The girl’s testimony was in roughly 2,000 pages that the state released to the public Tuesday on the Internet. The state released the confidential documents under a directive by the state Human Services Department to help solve the case and to open the child protective system for public review.

The files were forwarded to police and prosecutors last month.

“Outrage? It’s beyond that. I don’t understand why it has taken eight years. I just don’t understand it,” said Human Services director Lillian Koller, who began pushing for the release of the internal files after she took over the agency three years ago.

Koller said she hopes the information will “shake loose some memories, bring forth some new witnesses and ... appropriately bring forth an intolerance in the community to allow something like this to go on and on.”

Looking for ‘Auntie Rose’
Peter Kema Sr. told authorities he had taken the boy to Oahu while searching for a job in August 1997 and put the child in the care of a family friend there, “Auntie Rose Makuakane.” Police say they have found no trace of her existence, and Kema said he has not seen the boy since then.

Peter Boy was born on May 1, 1991 and hospitalized about three months later. Doctors concluded the fractures to his arms, leg and ribs were signs of child abuse.

He was immediately taken into state custody, along with his two older half siblings, but they were returned to his parents by a Family Court judge in 1994.

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