The former director of the state Department of Human Services says the state should not have returned “Peter Boy” Kema to his parents.
He was last seen alive in 1997 at the age of six.
Lillian Koller recently released the first of four books she wrote on the case, titled “Peter Boy: Hawaii’s Most Notorious Case of Child Abuse and Murder.”
Koller was the head of DHS under Gov. Linda Lingle, from 2003 to 2010.
In 2005, she helped push for the release of 2,000 pages of confidential documents that detailed the abuse that Peter Boy endured. Koller says he continued to suffer injuries, but was still allowed to stay with his parents.
“The system knows this. They’re the ones taking the interviews. They’re the ones making the reports to the court. They’re the ones making the recommendations of whether or not parental rights should be terminated or we should continue to try to rehabilitate these parents despite their refusal to take responsibility,” she said.
Peter Boy’s parents, Peter Kema Sr. and Jaylin Kema, recently pleaded guilty to manslaughter for his death. As part of the plea deal, Peter Kema Sr. must reveal where his son’s remains are.
As for Koller’s book, it’s now available on Amazon.
In a statement, DHS said: “The Department of Human Services Child Welfare Services Branch is committed to the safety, permanency and well-being of Hawaii’s children, which includes a commitment to maintaining the confidentiality of information protected from disclosure by law. DHS will provide a comment after we have had an opportunity to read the book in full.”