CALIFORNIA CITY — After more than month, the investigation and search for two missing boys continues without a trace of them, according to California Police Chief Jon Walker.
Orson and Orrin West, ages 3 and 4, went missing from the home of their adoptive parents on Monday, Dec. 21. The adoptive father, Trezell West, had told media Dec. 22 that they went missing from the back yard while he was collecting wood for a fire from a nearby field.
Since then, multiple searches had been conducted of the home, the adoptive parents questioned according to police procedure, community and police searches conducted of the surrounding area around the home in the 10700 block of Aspen Avenue and as far out as the Silver Saddle Ranch resort’s main grounds, according to Walker.
“We’re still processing all of the information we do have,” Walker said. While California City Police Department remains the primary agency on the investigation, Walker said the FBI, Bakersfield Police Department and Kern County District Attorney’s Office are helping with the investigation, including analyzing evidence and providing manpower for some searches.
“They’ve been great as far as bringing additional bodies,” he said. “For instance, when we searched Silver Saddle, they brought a lot of bodies down to help us. The main resort is probably 20 acres with numerous structures, buildings and rooms.”
To date, no named suspects or persons of interest rhave been identified.
“We’ve been to the home at least four times interiorly,” he said. “We with the FBI did a complete search of the backyard. The second or third night after they went missing, we totally excavated the backyard. The search has been completely thorough.”
The most recent search occurred Friday, Jan. 22, when officers from multiple agencies gathered “statistical” information of the home’s size and using drones for aerial imaging. Officers also examined the back gate, through which led to a vacant lot adjacent to the backyard.
Walker said his department has put “countless” hours into the search for the missing toddlers, on top of his officers’ normal day-to-day responsibilities in the community.
Walker added the department still maintains regular contact with the adoptive parents throughout the investigation and described them as cooperative. They no longer remain located at the California City home, having relocated back to Bakersfield.
Foul play continues to be suspected, according to Walker, and has maintained over the course of the investigation that two toddlers could not have just simply walked out of the yard on their own without a trace.
“Someone out there knows something, they know where these boys are what’s happened to these boys, yes there has to be someone,” Walker said.
CCPD has received a ton of tips since the investigation began, none of them bearing much in the way of information.
“What would I really hope is that people provide specifics,” Walker said. “Where, when, names of people you spoke to and information they gave you, or if you are that person, how can I contact you, where can you take me and what can you show me.”
He added CCPD receives a lot of “speculation calls of ‘I think this is what happened.’” While appreciative of the calls, Walker said his department can’t follow up on those types of calls.
Walker added that those private investigators who become involved are welcome to conduct their own leads, but urged them to share information with CCPD.
“If you find something, call us with the information and allow us to come out and do our investigation,” Walker said. “Take a photo, give us a call, write down the information and give us a specific place to search. There are so many places we would like to search but we would really like to direct our resources somewhere specific.”
Multiple businesses and organizations have put up reward money for information relating to the missing boys, including the extended adoptive family.
— Richard Jones, owner of Preferred Towing and GreenStone Cannabis Dispensary, has offered a combined $20,000 for information leading to finding the boys.
— Murphy’s Pool and Spa has offered $5,000 for information.
— The West/Watkins family has offered $30,000 for information on the boys’ return.
— The City of California City is offering $25,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of person/persons responsible for their disappearance.
— Ron and Smith are offering $10,000 on behalf of Victory Baptist Church for information that “will bring the boys home.” West Coast Realty is offering $10,000 on those same terms.