Nineteen years after 6-year-old "Peter Boy" Kema disappeared in Hawaii, his parents have been charged by Hawaii County prosecutors with second-degree murder.
His parents, 45-year-old Peter Kema Sr. and 46-year-old Jaylin Kema have been the prime suspects in the case for years, but were only formally indicted on April 28, according to KHON.
Hawaii County prosecutor Mitch Roth said of the indictments:
"We’re not going to get into the facts today, because we want to try this case in the court versus in the media, but it is a very important case and we’re quite pleased with the work the police department did, our deputy prosecutors, our victim witnesses, our staff, the other agencies that played a role, other witnesses that came forward to help us. This was not just a one-office endeavor. This was a partnership of many different people working together, collaborating to make this day happen."
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Deputy Prosecutor Ricky Roy Dammerville said a fresh perspective was key to re-investigating the case, although the boy's body was never found. Without that body, prosecutors are missing a key piece of evidence.
The parents have denied wrongdoing in relation to the case, The Independent reports.
In 2015 Peter Boy's younger sister, Lina Acol, urged her mother to reveal something about the case, saying "we all want to know what happened."
Dammerville pointed out that Peter Boy would have turned 25 on May 1. He disappeared in 1997.
"We'd like to thank the members of the community ... civilians that came forward over the years and helped move this case forward. Even the community didn't forget."