A $25,000 reward has been provided by California City in connection to the disappearance of two California boys reported missing on December 21.
ABC 23 reports that the reward was approved by California City council members on Thursday and will be matched to a $25,000 reward already in place, donated by area businesses.
As CrimeOnline previously reported, Orson and Orrin West, ages 3 and 4, were last seen on December 21 at a home in the 10700 block of Aspen Avenue, in California City, at around 5:45 p.m.
KTLA 5 reports that the boys’ adoptive father, Trezell West, said the children were in the backyard playing when he stepped out briefly to open a gate and gather wood. The boys’ adoptive mother, Jaqueline West, said she was inside wrapping presents.
During a previous press conference, Trezell West explained that he accidentally left the gate open after gathering wood.
“I open up the back gate, I’m throwing wood, bringing it inside the house. My wife’s inside, she was actually wrapping gifts so we thought it was a good idea that our youngest two go outside and play with chalk on the back patio,” West said.
“I realized that I left the back gate open and I panicked and came inside the house, searched the house, me and my wife. Once that didn’t pan out, I got in the van, I looked down the street in both directions, it was getting dark, getting cold.”
On December 31, the California City cannabis dispensary, GreenStone, said it “will pay up to $10,000 … to the person, or persons who provide information leading to the finding of Orrin and Orson,” marking the first reward offered in the case.
On the same day, Rick’s Preferred Towing shop offered the second reward. Another business added in additional funds shortly after.
Numerous agencies, including the FBI, have been working nonstop in an effort to find the boys. Volunteer groups have searched throughout the neighborhood and the surrounding desert.
“Our hearts and prayers go out to these babies,” Greenstone dispensary owners, Rick and Amanda Jones, told 23ABC. “We hope offering a reward for information will help.”
Chief Jon Walker with the California City police indicated that there’s no evidence yet that the children ever left. He added that none of the neighbors have seen the children since the West family moved into the neighborhood in September.
“I can’t comment on that, whether I think they’re alive or not. I do suspect foul play,” Walker said. “We have not been able to put together how the boys got out of the yard or where they’ve gone…someone knows. And I would hope that person would come forward.”
The California City Police Department said no one has been ruled out as a suspect in the boys’ disappearance at this time.
The West couple adopted the boys in 2019. They have four other children, including two biological and two adopted children. Walker said the couple’s other children are now in the care of CPS.
“Until we determine one way or another what happened to the [missing] children, the other four children are taken out of the home,” Walker said.
Anyone with information on the case should contact the California City Police Department at 760-373-8606.
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[Featured Photo: Orson and Orrin West/Police Handout]