CALIFORNIA CITY, Calif. (KGET) – Since last Monday, California City Police have only released bits and pieces of information on the investigation. Residents and neighbors still have so many questions. Here’s what we know so far.
It’s been a week since 3-year-old Orson and 4-year-old Orrin West were reported missing.
“It’s one thing when you see these stories on TV and they’re happening somewhere else and you repost those pictures and memes and everything,” said Thomas Brown, a California City resident. “But when it happens down the street. It hits different.”
Residents in California City continue to drive by their house looking for answers.
“We just dropped off some gifts,” Brown said. “We’re looking for something to do, some way that we can step up and do something with the community. Right now the only thing we can do is give gifts because they weren’t able to get gifts on Christmas.”
The adoptive parents of the two little boys say they reported them missing last Monday just before 6pm. But what happened before has the community worried. Trezol and Jacqueline West are the adoptive parents of the missing boys. Trezol says at around 5 p.m. – the boys were playing on their back porch. He says Jacqueline was inside wrapping presents while he went out the back gate to gather wood for a fire.
“I came in the house,” Trezol West said. “I saw them there, went into the house, came back out, didn’t see them there.”
Trezol says he and his wife searched inside the house and around the back yard. He then drove around the neighborhood calling their names and talking to neighbors. But saw nothing.
“I came home and I told my wife, ‘We need to call the cops’,” Trezol West said. “It’s getting dark and I need help, we’ve gotta get going.”
California City Police and dozens of locals searched the area for the kids on Monday night and all day Tuesday. The biological mother of the two boys came from bakersfield on Wednesday to help with the search.
“I just had to be here because my babies are supposedly missing from this house,” said Ryan Dean, the biological mother of both boys. “So I just need to be here right now.”
Neighbors say Bakersfield Police and the FBI are involved in the investigation. Police got a warrant to search the house and have been in and out with bags of evidence. They even dug up the backyard on Wednesday night.
“For some kids to come up missing, it’s terrifying,” said Eboni Brown, California City resident. “So thats pretty much where I’m at. It’s frustrating and I’m afraid for my babies.”
Dozens of residents organized a vigil on Saturday to pray for the safe return of the boys. The mayor and a couple of police officers came to show their support.
“I’ve seen such an outpouring of care and love,” said Jeanie O’Laughlin, Mayor of California City. “Everybody’s concerned, almost everybody I run into that’s the first thing they say – ‘Have you heard anything about those babies?’”
Police say the Trezol and Jacqueline have been cooperative. They went in willingly for questioning last week and have stayed out of the house while police investigate. They have four other kids – two are biological, and two are adopted. They told me all four have been taken into protective custody by the authorities.
“And thats all I want is to find our babies, that’s it,” West said.
It’s been a long week for members of the community here in California City. But the lack of information and the cold weather hasn’t stopped the search parties.