The latest MWAB news

I thought I’d do a run-down in the latest news in murder-without-a-body cases:

  • Per everybody, Antolin Garcia-Torres has been found guilty of the murder of Sierra Mae Lamar, a fifteen-year-old girl who disappeared from Morgan Hill, California five years ago. Her abduction and killing is of the most terrifying kind: she was just snatched off the street in a random act of violence.
  • In Iowa, Tait Purk has been found guilty of murdering his girlfriend, Cora Ann Okonski, who disappeared from the town of Tama on April 16, 2000. Unlike in Sierra Lamar’s murder, there wasn’t anything in the way of physical evidence here. However, Purk supposedly confessed to at least two other people that he had killed Cora and buried her body.
  • No charges have been filed as of yet, but Dale LaFleur‘s grand-nephew, Philip, has confessed to murdering him and the police are looking for the body. Philip is currently in jail for the 2015 murder of another man. He’s only 23 now, and Dale disappeared in 2011, so chances are Philip was a minor when he (allegedly) killed his great-uncle. (Not that it’ll matter.) He says he put Dale’s body inside his (Dale’s) car and dumped it in the Atchafalaya River. Police have said they’ve found an “object” in the river that might be the car. Fingers crossed.
  • And as for Peter Kema, alas, I don’t know anything more than I did three weeks ago: namely that Peter Sr. has led police to the alleged disposal spot. I seem to recall some article that claimed the remains were cremated and dumped at sea. If that is so, they’re almost certainly unrecoverable. But I don’t know if that information is correct. There’s a big difference between outright cremating a body and merely setting it on fire. I think if the cops had found something, they would have said so by now, but who knows?

Peter Kema’s dad leads police to alleged disposal spot

This just in: Peter Kema‘s father, who pleaded guilty to manslaughter earlier this month, has lead police to where he says he put his son’s body. This location is, of course, as yet undisclosed, but it’s somewhere in the district of Puna.

Here’s to hoping there’s actually something recoverable there, and this 20-year saga can finally be over.

Peter Kema denouement

Sorry everyone, the internet was kaput for much of this week. I could access it on my cell phone using data, but the house connection didn’t work. Michael and I have been having issues with our provider since November.

It goes like this: we had to cut down on our expenses so decided to switch our cable and internet package to just internet. The service provider said okay, and yet EVERY SINGLE MONTH SINCE THEN, they’ve billed us for cable, phone and internet, and the result is either our account gets overdrawn and we have to pay fees to the bank, or our service provider stops providing service — ALL service, not just the services we no longer want — because we can’t pay the bill. Then Michael will call them and remind them that we’re only supposed to be getting internet now, and they will apologize, reduce our bill accordingly and promise it won’t happen again. Then it happens again.

Anyway. Now we’ve got our internet back and Michael plans to switch providers because he’s understandably fed up.

So. It looks like the Peter Kema case may be finally reaching its conclusion. Peter’s mother reached a deal with the prosecution last year, pleading guilty to manslaughter and agreeing to testify against her husband. Earlier this week, Peter’s father also pleaded guilty to manslaughter. He was sentenced to twenty years and must serve a minimum of six, and he has agreed to lead police to the body. If he doesn’t follow through with that part, his sentence could be increased to 25 years.

At least they are going to jail, and this way Peter’s siblings will be spared the ordeal of having to testify. And I highly doubt Peter Sr., anyway, is going to get out after just six years. I expect he’ll have to serve the whole term, because the case is so notorious in Hawaii, and for the same reason I doubt he’ll be terribly popular in prison. Jaylin, unfortunately, is getting almost no time, even though she’s just as responsible for her son’s death as Peter Sr.

Peter’s parents did nothing but torture, neglect and abuse him his entire brief life. If there was any justice they ought to be getting a manslaughter conviction AND enough child abuse convictions stacked on top of one another to amount to life sentences for both of them.

I mean, read Peter’s Charley Project page to get an idea. Or take what it says in one of the articles I found about the case:

In Peter’s case the abuse started being documented when he was just three months old. After being brought into the hospital, x-rays showed old and new fractures in his shoulder, elbow, ribs and knees. He and his older siblings were removed from the home and they lived with their grandparents for the next three years.

Once he was back with his mother and father, his siblings reported Peter was again physically abused: suffering broken bones and black eyes, as well as enduring mental abuse like being forced to eat dog feces. But those reports came too late to save the six year old boy.

Why weren’t either of his parents charged with child abuse when he was an infant? Why were his parents allowed to regain custody of him? Jaylin’s parents loved Peter and they loved his siblings; it wasn’t like there was no one else willing to take care of the kids. According to the articles, since Peter’s death there have been “reforms” in Hawaii’s child protection system, in order to prevent more such tragedies. I certainly hope so.

We’ll see if Peter’s body can be found. It’s been 20 years so it may be unrecoverable. Here’s some articles:

Select It Sunday: Masayuki Kubo

This week’s Select It Sunday is Masayuki Kubo. I’m not sure who suggested it, Kat maybe. Blog commenter Hennylee put together a lovely spreadsheet of suggestions for me to go off of.

Kubo was 80 years old and suffering from Alzheimer’s Disease when he disappeared from Honolulu on June 23, 2001. He had a history of wandering off from home and getting lost, and then one day he went for a walk, got lost, and never came back.  There were possible sightings of him in the local area after his disappearance, leading to speculation that he was still alive, but I doubt that’s true anymore.

Holy wow, what happened here?

I was looking at Charley’s visitor stats and noticed that last month my average was nearly 19,000 independent visits a day. My usual average is 9-10,000 visits a day. When I looked at the page for April at first I thought there was a mistake, because most of the days seemed to hover around 10,000, sometimes more, sometimes less.

Then I saw April 21 and 22. 30,509 visits for April 21. And a whopping 198,839 visits for April 22.

Whaaaat?

The number of visits for the days after that are elevated, but not hugely so — around 15,000. And surprisingly, the most-visited casefile is not Peter Kema‘s, but Tammy Leppert‘s.

Did something big happen in Tammy’s case that I’m missing? The only thing I can find is that Tammy was the subject of this Reddit thread.

More on the Peter Kema indictments

As you all probably know, Peter Kema Jr‘s parents, Peter Kema Sr. and Jaylin Kema, have been charged with his murder. Well, I have just read comments Peter Boy’s siblings made to the media about the indictments, and it’s pretty heartbreaking.

Peter Boy’s younger sister is referred to as “Devalynn” in his Charley Project casefile; she later changed her name to Lina Acol. (She was sent to live with her maternal grandparents after Peter Boy’s disappearance, and was legally adopted by them.) She was only four years old when her brother disappeared but she remembers what happened. In the last few years she’s renewed her relationship with her mother, hoping Jaylin would tell her what really happened to Peter Boy. Lina even allowed Jaylin to spend time with her son. I can’t imagine how hard that must have been.

This is such an awful case. So many kids who are abused have literally no one who really cares about them. Peter wasn’t one of those kids. He had grandparents who cared about him and his siblings and would have taken them in if they could have.

I hope Jaylin flips on Peter Sr. and testifies against him. That seems like the best way to win this case.

Fox News article

This is the article I got quoted in: Parents indicted in cold case murder of Hawaiian boy by Malia Zimmerman.

“It was just absolutely horrifying the torture this child was subjected to,” said Meaghan Good, founder and editor of The Charley Project, a website that is tracking 9,500 unsolved murder cases including that of Peter Boy Jr. “I read all 2,000 pages about the case released by the Department of Human Services in 2005, and it very obvious what happened to Peter Boy Jr.”