A California couple has been charged with murder in connection with two young boys who disappeared last year.
According to Bakersfield Police Department Lt. Jason Townsend, Trezell West and Jacqueline West were arrested Tuesday and charged with second-degree murder, willful cruelty to a child and making a false report of an emergency.
Both suspects are being held behind bars without bail, according to Bakersfield.com. They were arrested at around 8 p.m. in an unincorporated area of Bakersfield.
As CrimeOnline previously reported, Orson and Orrin West, ages 3 and 4, were last seen on December 21, 2020, at a home in the 10700 block of Aspen Avenue, in California City, at around 5:45 p.m., according to what their parents told police.
Trezell West said that the children were in the backyard playing when he stepped out briefly to open a gate and gather wood. 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.”
Trezell West said he called 911 after neighbors indicated they hadn’t seen the boys.
Although the boys were living in California City at the time of their disappearance, Bakersfield police are heading the investigation and said last March they had executed more than 20 search warrants in the case, including at the home of their adoptive grandparents.
Townsend declined to release additional information about the arrests except to say they were taken into custody. Kern County District Attorney Cynthia Zimmer scheduled a news conference for Wednesday.
The story is developing. Check back for updates.
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[Featured Photo: Orson and Orrin West/Police Handout]