NewsCovering Kern County


'Bakersfield 3' moms ask county for resources to solve cases

Posted at 3:11 AM, Oct 10, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-10 06:11:55-04

The families of the so-called 'Bakersfield 3' went before Kern County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday to ask for funding that will help get them answers in the disappearances and death of their children.

The mothers of 21-year-old Baylee Despot, 38-year-old James Kulstad and 35-year-old Micah Holsonbake  told County Supervisors that finding resolutions to their childrens' cases is made more difficult without proper law enforcement staffing.

"Things in this county are broken despite the efforts of our sheriff's and police departments," said Jane Parrent, Baylee Despot's mother.

The mothers called for Supervisors to allocate money for two new positions within local law enforcement to help with cases like theirs.

"All we hear is, oh the first 48 hours are so important, we need to act quickly. Well I am here to tell you that it took us more than 48 hours just to file the missing person's report." said Cheryl Holsonbake, Micah Holsonbake's mother.

"It felt very defeating. I think that's the only time in my life I have ever thrown my telephone."

The mothers asked Supervisors to consider grant funding that would go towards DNA testing, to speed up processing times.

They also asked for the Secret Witness of Kern County hotline, a way fo people to report information to law enforcement anonymously, to be better funded. Currently it's funded entirely by donations, which are said to have dwindled in recent years.

"I cannot imagine what you are experiencing," Supervisor Leticia Perez responded. "Thank you for being here and I think this body really cares about what you are experiencing. So I think we need to take action fast."

Perez then pledged $10,000 of her discretionary county funding, followed by $10,000 by Supervisor David Couch.

The families plan to make a similar plea to the Bakersfield City Council on October 17.

If you have any information on Kulstad, Holsonbake or Despot, notify Secret Witness at (661) 322-4040. All information reported to Secret Witness is confidential.