(FOX NEWS) - A missing child case that rocked Hawaii to its core 19 years ago now may be solved.
An adorable 6-year-old boy named Peter Kema Jr. – known better by his nicknames “Peter Boy” and “Pepe” – vanished without a trace in 1997 after having been sent to live, his parents claimed, with a friend.
But in state court on Dec. 1, Peter Boy’s mother, Jaylin Kema, pleaded guilty to manslaughter, admitting, "I failed to protect my son."
“And what you did recklessly caused his death?” the judge asked.
“Yes,” she answered.
Jaylin and her husband, Peter Kema Sr., let an infected wound in the child’s arm go without medical treatment, she told the court. Prosecutors believe that, after enduring years of suffering from severe neglect and horrific mental and physical abuse, Peter Boy ultimately died of septic shock.
“Pepe’s siblings would testify that Pepe had a hole in his arm the size of a quarter that was so deep that you could put your finger in it,” Deputy Prosecutor Ricky Roy Damerville told the court. “The arm was swollen and red to the point he could not effectively use the arm and his fingers.”