NewsWest Boys Trial


DNA testing on evidence from Wests' home found very few matches to Orrin and Orson

DNA Investigation (FILE)
Posted at 2:04 PM, Apr 26, 2023
and last updated 2023-04-26 17:34:34-04

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KERO) — DNA testing conducted on items gathered from Trezell and Jacqueline West's California City home found very few matches to the couple's adoptive sons Orrin and Orson, according to testimony Wednesday.

The couple is facing second-degree murder charges in the disappearance of the two boys. Prosecutors allege that the couple killed the boys months prior to reporting them missing.

On Wednesday, Kern County Regional Crime Lab Criminalist Jeehak Kim testified to a number of items taken from the Wests' home. These items included mattress covers taken from the children's rooms, blankets, and toothbrushes.

Testimony given Tuesday revealed that investigators were able to gather DNA profiles for Orrin and Orson due to paternity testing that was done in 2018. Investigators also used DNA profiles for the biological parents, Ryan Dean, Charles Pettus, and Ralph Mosley, as well as the Wests and their other children.

Kim used all these DNA profiles for comparative testing against the items collected from the Wests' home, including a used diaper. He also tested DNA collected from car seats in the Wests' van.

The used diaper had been collected from the Wests' trash a year after the investigation began. Kim testified that when he tested the DNA profile against the others, Orson was excluded. Testing to determine if Orson was a potential contributor was inconclusive, Kim said. Two of the Wests' other children could not be excluded, Kim testified.

During cross-examination, Kim clarified that when the tests were inconclusive, it means there was not enough statistical support to conclude whether a person contributed DNA or not.

Out of the various mattress covers and blankets collected from the children's bedrooms, Kim was able to exclude Orrin and Orson as potential contributors for most of the items. For a few items, Kim testified that the sample was a mixture of contributors and he either could not exclude the boys as potential contributors along with other members of the family or testing was inconclusive.

Kim also tested DNA samples collected from the car seats within the Wests' van. He said that samples taken from two of the car seats were also a mixture of contributors and again, Orrin and Orson could not be excluded as potential contributors.

This article will continue to be updated throughout the day.