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Neighbors react to Jacqueline and Trezell West murder charges

“I did always think that sounded really fishy."
Trezell West and Jacqueline West, California City
Posted at 4:19 PM, Mar 02, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-03 01:15:13-05

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KERO) — Law enforcement believes they now know what happened to the missing West Boys and who’s responsible.

Kern County Attorney Cynthia Zimmer confirmed that there’s sufficient circumstantial and direct evidence to believe that Orrin and Orson West were dead three months before their adoptive parents, Jacqueline and Trezell West reported them missing in December 2020.

The couple is now booked in jail and charged with two counts of second-degree murder, child cruelty, two counts of willful cruelty to a child, and a false report of an emergency.

Orrin and Orson West

See Our Full Coverage of the West Boys Disappearance

9:15 AM, Feb 25, 2022

More than a year later some questions are finally being answered about the missing toddler brothers, Orrin and Orson West. For Thompson, it didn’t come as a big surprise to her that the people arrested were the adoptive parents Trezell and Jaqueline West.

“I guess I was shocked that there was finally a conclusion, but I really didn’t feel like there was a definitive answer,” said Thompson. “But I did always think that sounded really, really fishy. Even watching the interviews when it first happened and everything. The body language, and just I don’t know, they didn’t even seem emotional. They didn’t seem distraught.”

Thompson’s dad and stepmom live directly behind the adoptive parents’ old residence in California City, where they were first reported missing. They say cracks are wide enough to see inside their backyard from the pool, but Thompson said her parents never saw the boys or any children at all.

“Even my parents say, within [those] six months they were supposed to be renting that house, they never once saw anybody. And their kitchen door faces the back of the house, and they’re there several times a day, and they never say anything. No lights on at night, or anything.”

But neighbor, Jorge Quelopana saw something during his daytime walk weeks before the boys were reported missing.

“I remember seeing a van. I believe they had a white van. They had backed it up against the door, completely! Like they were trying to seal the scene, so that nobody could see who was going out or going in.”

Quelopana said he's seen kids at or by the house before but never the missing West boys. He added that the news that the Wests are being charged with Orrin and Orson’s murder came as no surprise to him or other neighbors.

“How can two kids disappear in an hour and fifteen minutes? He (Trezell) says he came out and started combing the streets looking for the kids after forty minutes, forty-five minutes, when he realized they were not there? I mean forty minutes is nothing for a couple of kids. They should be hanging around.”