The adoptive parents of two missing California City boys were in custody Tuesday night, charged with second-degree murder in their deaths, Bakersfield Police confirmed to The Californian.
Trezell West and Jacqueline West are charged with two felony counts of second-degree murder, two felony counts of willful cruelty to a child and one misdemeanor count of making a false report of an emergency, Bakersfield Police Department Lt. Jason Townsend said late Tuesday night.
The Wests are being held on no bail.
Brothers Orrin, 4, and Orson, 3, were reported as missing from outside their adoptive family's home in December 2020.
At the time, Trezell West said he had gone looking for firewood, according to previous reporting by The Californian. He had said Jacqueline West was inside the house wrapping Christmas presents. When the father returned, the boys were gone, Trezell West said, according to previous reporting.
The reported disappearance of the boys led to massive searches for them in both California City and Bakersfield, where they had previously lived.
California City Police Chief Jon Walker said in a press conference Dec. 28, 2020 he suspected foul play. Months went by, but the boys remained missing.
In March 2021, the Bakersfield Police Department became the lead investigators in the case, and partnered with the FBI, Kern County District Attorney’s Office and the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children and community groups.
Online Kern County Superior Court records indicate that Trezell West is to be in court Thursday for an arraignment on an indictment. It was not specified when Jacqueline West would be in court.