BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KERO) — After the news of the arrest of the West Boys' adoptive parents came out, emotions remained high within in the community.
Many community members gathered at the Liberty Bell in front of Superior Court with signs and candles remembering the boys’ lives and taking turns talking about their experiences and memories during the search over the last fourteen months.
“It’s heartening to see that the community cares about these children and it’s heartening that we’re out here praying,” said District Attorney Cynthia Zimmer.
Alongside District Attorney Zimmer, the family of the West Boys, representatives from the NAACP, Kern High School District, and devoted community members spoke their thoughts.
“It’s painful, hurtful.”
“It’s just unbelievable.”
With strong emotions, the boys’ biological cousin Rosanna Wills praised the efforts of local law enforcement: “I want to thank the DA and the police department. We wanted answers the day it happened but we [had] to learn the hard way, but we just want to thank you for what you’ve done to arrest them because we are really exhausted.”
Even though the biggest question the community is asking remains unanswered, Wills said they are relieved the ones responsible are in custody.
“We’re happy because they are locked up. We know who did it, we just want to thank God for giving us the strength for dealing with this whole process, it’s been tough.”
Community supporter Diondra Key said she wants justice to be served: "If you didn’t want to care for them or protect them you should have just given them back to the system.”
“Keep your kids close, when you see something, say something. It’s time to come together, be a community and support each other at this time.”
Thursday morning, Trezell and Jacqueline West will appear in court for their arraignment.