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Adoptive parents of missing 3 and 4 year-old California City kids speak out for the first time

Posted at 6:02 PM, Dec 23, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-24 12:21:50-05

CALIFORNIA CITY, Calif. — The adoptive parents of the missing California City boys spoke to the media for the first time Wednesday, detailing the Monday night their children went missing.

According to Trezell and Jacqueline West, their 3-year-old Orson West and 4-year-old Orrin West were in the backyard playing at their California City home, when they were last seen.

"I came in the house, I saw them there. I go in the house, I came back out, I didn't see them there," Trezell West said.

Moments before the children went missing, Trezell tells 23ABC News that he was gathering wood to start a fire because it was getting cold.

"I open up the back gate, I'm throwing wood, bringing it inside the house. My wife's inside, she was actually wrapping gifts so we thought it was a good idea that our youngest two go outside and play with chalk on the back patio," added West.

Shortly after, West says he saw they were no longer on the patio. He asked his wife Jacqueline if she saw them, she said no. That’s when he says panic set in.

"I realized that I left the back gate open and I panicked and came inside the house, searched the house, me and my wife. Once that didn't pan out, I got in the van, I looked down the street in both directions, it was getting dark, getting cold," West said.

Within minutes, West said he called the police.

Since then, California City Police, the FBI, and the Kern County Sheriff's Office have been investigating.

Police searched the couple's home Tuesday night, then interviewed the couple at police headquarters.

Meantime multiple search efforts took place, which included the help of the boy's biological mother Ryan Dean Wednesday. Dean made the trip to the boys' home from Bakersfield and spoke to the adoptive parents briefly.

The entire situation, regarding why Dean did not have full custody of her children is unclear, but she tells 23ABC that she has worked hard to get her life back on track and wanted to get custody of her boys back eventually.

But now, she thinks that will never happen and is blaming the adoptive parents.

"They did something, I feel like they did something and they know something. They did something. I feel like my kids are somewhere around here. I can feel it. And I feel like they are in the house and I feel like they did something," said Dean.

Trezell and Jacqueline say they understand her frustration.

When asked what their response is to the biological mom's accusations, Trezell West said "that's understandable. I would think the same thing. That's exactly the point, and if we can find our babies ... that's all I want, is to find our babies."

Since Monday, many of the Wests' neighbors were concerned that the couple did not participate in any search efforts, speak to any neighbors, or make any public statements.

West told 23ABC that they have been busy with the police investigation. On Monday, "First thing they did was tell us to stay in the house so they could get a hold of us, and they just had us sitting there and we wanted to keep searching ... but everybody came out in droves [to search] ... but we couldn't go outside."

According to West, police also told them "the best are out here searching."

"We're going through it," Jacqueline West said. "It's difficult. Everyone is making their own conclusions. They don't know anything ... we said what we knew," West said.

Cal City Police and various agencies were back out on the scene Wednesday, their focus was on the backyard, the area both parents said the children were last seen.

According to several neighbors, the adoptive parents were seen leaving with authorities Wednesday but said they did not have handcuffs on.

California City Police told 23ABC News that they are unable to confirm whether the parents have been arrested or detained.