Adoptive parents in custody following killing of two California boys

Courtesy of: Kern County District Attorney's Office
Courtesy of: Kern County District Attorney's Office

(Los Angeles, CA) -- Two adoptive parents have been formally charged with killing their children after reporting them missing in 2020. 

Kern County District Attorney Cynthia Zimmer says the children, 4-year-old Orrin West and 3-year-old Orson West, were reported missing from the family's backyard in California City on December 21, 2020. Trezell West and Jacqueline West were arrested Tuesday night. Zimmer says the parents face several charges.

"I'm saddened to announce that the investigation has revealed that Orrin and Orson West are deceased,” Zimmer said. “The investigation has also revealed that they died three months before their adoptive parents reported them missing.”

Zimmer says this case is a  "no-body" homicide. Meaning the two children have not been located at this time, but evidence they have collected convinced a grand jury the two are dead. 

“I would like to emphasize that the fact that law enforcement has not found their bodies does not preclude a murder prosecution,” Zimmer said. “As a matter of fact, there have been many, hundreds of what we call no-body homicides prosecuted across the United States successfully.”

Trezell and Jacqueline are being held without bail on two counts of second-degree murder, two counts of willful cruelty to a child, and one report of a false emergency.