“Large amount of case development”: Bakersfield Police Department discusses taking the lead on the California City missing boys case

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BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) – It’s been more than two months since 3-year-old Orson and 4-year-old Orrin West were reported missing in California City. Today, a major development, Bakersfield Police are taking over the investigation.

“I believe there’s a large amount of case development in this investigation,” said Sgt. Robert Pair, with Bakersfield Police Department. “But unfortunately due to the nature of this type of work, we just cant put that information out there.”

Those mysterious developments led Bakersfield Police Department to take the lead on the investigation. BPD has been on the case alongside the FBI since the beginning, supporting the California City Police Department’s 13 officers.

“They’ve got quite a few more resources, even though we do have dedicated resources for this,” said Jon Walker, Chief of Police in Californian City. “And we will continue to dedicate those resources, that will be our primary function.”

BPD says there are several reasons for this change.

“A large part of the interviews and follow-up needs to be conducted in Bakersfield,” Pair said.

There are also many parts of this story that lead back to this city.

“Bakersfield is a historical nexus for the boys,” Pair said. “The adoptive family, the biological family, and the boys grew up predominantly in Bakersfield.”

Sgt. Pair wouldn’t say whether he believes the boys are still alive or where they could be.

“I’m not going to speculate on where the boys are, and I don’t have more information indicating they’re in Bakersfield versus some place else,” Pair said.

As the lead agency on this case, BPD has some new responsibilities. The department is now in charge of compiling information, conducting the majority of interviews, and processing evidence.

“We’re not going to end this case until we know the facts, so it will be brought to light based on continued investigation and where the details lead us,” Pair said.

Members of biological family say they’re happy BPD is taking over the case and wish it happened sooner. Anyone with information on the boys is asked to the secret witness line at 661-322-4040.

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