On December 21st, 3-year-old Orson and 4-year-old Orrin West were reported missing in California City. We asked viewers to send us their questions on the investigation into their disappearance. 17’s Perla Shaheen has been covering the case, and answers some of those questions.
Q: Have there been attempts to search for evidence at the Casa Loma Apartments?
I went to the Casa Loma apartments, a few days ago and spoke with some of the neighbors there, and they said that they did see Bakersfield Police and California city police officers, searching that apartment complex. At the beginning of the investigation but since then. I’m not sure if they’ve been back to those apartments.
Q: Why haven’t they updated the photos of the boys?
When I spoke to the California City Police Chief John Walker last, He told me that they did go through the adoptive parents phones, and the FBI also went through their phones. And since then, he believes that the adoptive parents got new cell phones. The only thing I know is that there were photos of the children on Jacqueline and Trezell’s phones, but I do not know why BPD or California City Police have not released those photos, I believe it’s the personal property of those parents. And so, investigators are not able to release those to the public. I know that many members of the public have been asking for photos of the boys, I spoke with the biological mother Ryan Dean, and she shared a few photos of them when she had them, and that was when they were, you know, one and two years old, I also spoke with the biological cousin of the two boys Rosanna Wills, and she told me she’s working to get the photos of the boys digitally aged, so that they look more as if they would today.
Q: Once these boys are found what is their fate? Will they be returned to the West family
A spokesperson from Child Protective Services told me the full process of what usually happens in these investigations, she would not specifically comment on this case so I can’t say with certainty whether or not these boys will be returned to the parents. I do know that there will be a court case in which Child Protective Services determines whether or not the boys can or should be returned to their adoptive parents.
Q: Do police have any suspects?
When I spoke with Bakersfield Police last, they told me they’re investigating anyone and everyone related to this case they haven’t ruled out any one suspect just yet. I am not certain exactly who they’re looking at if there’s one person in particular, they would not clarify they say that it would jeopardize the investigation.
Q: What’s taking so long to make an arrest?
Bakersfield Police have made it really clear to the public that this is their top priority right now, and no resource is being spared in searching for these two boys, so I have hope that they’re working on this case, behind the scenes and there is case development they’ve told me there is case development behind the scenes in this investigation, but for now, you know we can’t be certain why they haven’t made an arrest yet. I do know that they’re working. They’re working on it.
Q: Where did the adoptive parents work in the last year?
After some thorough research I found that Trezell was used to work at a company called Summer Breeze Icecream. I tried to look into the business and I couldn’t find much information, but for now, that is the only career that I can find under Trezell West’s name according for Jacqueline West I haven’t found much.
Q: Why hasn’t a lie detector test been done? I’d also love to hear the 911 call.
When I spoke with the California city police chief last and Bakersfield Police, they would not reveal if the adoptive parents have taken a lie detector test. I know the 911 call is of serious interest to a lot of the people who have been following this case, I’ve asked Bakersfield Police and California city police chief for that call, but they said they will not release the information because it could jeopardize the investigation.
Q: Have there been other “foster” children that were placed in their care? Have those kids been privately interviewed by professionals?
Trezell and Jacqueline West have six kids in total. Four of them are adopted so Orrin and Orson West are two of them. and then the other two, we don’t know their identities, BPD and California city police will not disclose whether or not they’ve interviewed those children, BPD has said that they’ve interviewed everyone and anyone related to the boys. So, in my belief, I think they have spoken to the other children.
Q: Who last saw the boys?
California City Police say that the adoptive grandma of the boys was the last person to have seen them. Other than that, I haven’t spoken with anyone who has seen the boys, other than one woman in the Casa Loma apartments who says she last saw them on September 23.
Q: What is BPD thoughts & comments on the neighbor’s camera footage of the West’s side yard the night the boys disappeared?
From what I understand from police everything in that footage goes along with trizol West’s alibi that night
Q: Were the four other children taken by CPS as we learned from Walker or did the West family volunteer to give them to FBI, as stated in Wanda’s statement?
We go by the facts that we hear from law enforcement and from the first time that I interviewed California city police chief Jon Walker, he stated that in these types of situations where two minors go missing. The rest of the kids in that household are immediately taken into protective custody, and then later into foster care. So from my understanding those other four children are still in foster care until a court case is settled, where Trezell and Jacqueline West can have their other kids back.
Q: Did someone take the boys?
Obviously we can’t say for certain. Law enforcement has repeatedly said that it’s unlikely those boys got out of that house alone. I mean it’s a very large city, geographically, it’s a large desert, right next to the home. It was a cold dark night, and it was during the winter time so it got dark at around 5pm. The fact that those boys could have gotten very far doesn’t seem to make much sense.
If we didn’t answer your questions here – we recently spoke with BPD and got more of an understanding of how they’re handling the investigation. Click here for the interview with BPD. Click here for an in-depth conversation with Chief Walker about the case.