BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — The Bakersfield Police Department is taking over as the lead investigators in the case involving the disappearance of 3-year-old Orson West and 4-year-old Orrin West.
The two boys were reported missing in California City on December 21 by their adoptive parents.
"Due to facts now known to investigators, and the circumstances surrounding the disappearance, the City of Bakersfield is a historical nexus to the children," a BPD press release stated Monday. "The California City Police Department and Federal Bureau of Investigation will continue to have active roles in the investigation."
Bakersfield Police Sergeant Robert Pair was unable to comment Monday, whether police believe a crime in the boys case was committed in Bakersfield.
WATCH THE FULL INTERVIEW WITH SGT. ROBERT PAIR OF THE BPD:
"I would like to be able to tell you, but I can't and you know as well as I do that it's not just the public that are watching this. If there are people involved in this, then they are also paying attention to it as well and so I can't release specific details.
Pair was able to confirm that BPD has executed more than 20 search warrants in the case so far at residences in Bakersfield, California City and other jurisdictions.
Those warrants allowed police to search residences and collect various items, Pair stated.
The California City Police Department were the lead investigators for more than two months until Monday.
CCPD Police Chief Jon Walker said his investigators will continue assisting in the case.
"Over the past two months, our police department has worked tirelessly, putting in countless hours investigating the disappearance of the boys ... our department's hard work has made me extremely proud."
BPD is asking anyone who had contact with the boys in the past year, "regardless of the context" to contact the department through the Secret Witness hotline 661-322-4040.
"We understand the public outcry for information regarding the ongoing efforts to locate Orrin and Orson West. Significant resources have and will continue to be allocated to explore all tips, investigative leads and possibilities; however, specific information regarding law enforcement efforts, strategies and knowledge will not be released to protect the integrity of the investigation," the release stated.