The past two weeks have been a true nightmare. On Monday December 21 our youngest two grandchildren/nephews/cousins were reported missing by their parents in California City. Our extended family, all who live hundreds and thousands of miles away from California City were notified and immediately were engaged with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), California City Police Department and the Bakerfield City Police Department.

Our priority is to find out where the boys are and their safe return. The truth has to and will come to light. There are also four other children affected that our family is working overtime to protect and shield from this nightmare. We have engaged with a team of private investigators and are proactively supporting the official investigation.

Orrin West and Orson West

We were and are still in shock, worried, heartbroken and fully cooperating with the authorities which included hours of interviews and questioning within less than 12 hours of the boys inital disappearance.

It should be noted that the two brothers are the youngest of four adopted siblings and share two older siblings who are the biological children of their adoptive parents. That is six children in total who are our primary focus.

The boys and their sibling joined our family legally last year when the parental rights of their birth mother were taken away by the State of California and the birth fathers collectively gave up their parental rights. From day one when the boys and their siblings came into our lives through emergency foster care our number one priority was to embrace them and treat them as our own. When the approval to adopt was granted last year we were ecstatic that they would have a permanent home. We will not disparage or bash the biological family of the boys but it should be noted that they were placed into the system for various reason and were adopted as a result. We are sure the pain and anger we feel is also felt by the biological family and our hearts go out to them.

There have been speculation and theories as to why we, the extended family, are not physically leading the volunteer search efforts on the ground in California City and why we have avoided the press. Those theories do not reflect that in less than 24 hours of the disappearance of the boys our extended family started receiving threats of physical violence including death threats. Family members who live thousands of miles away have also received these same threats. We were advised appropriately to avoid public spaces and crowds given the immediacy and intensity of these threats. In fact the boys home has been pelted with rocks, windows have been broken and vandals have attempted to break in. While we understand the anger and frustration felt by so many — this type of response has complicated our ability to lean in fully and has distracted from the actual search. All threats have been taken seriously by the FBI and local law enforcement.

Our priority is to find out where our boys are and their safe return. The truth has to and will come to light. There are also four other children affected that our family is working overtime to protect and shield from this nightmare.

We thank those who are standing in the gap by searching as volunteers and fully support all law enforcement agencies in fully investigating all possible scenarios and leaving no stone unturned. For those who have attacked us, wish us harm and ill will — we will continue to pray for you and ask that you direct your energy on helping the actual search.

If you have any information that can lead to the location of Orrin and Orson and unpack what has happened please contact the following agencies:

The Federal Bureau of Investigations — LA Field Office (310) 477–6565 *Covers the Central District of California

California City Police Department (760) 373–8606

Bakersfield Police Department (661) 327–7111

We are grateful to the reward funds that have been establish and plead with everyone willing to please help us find our boys and bring them all home safely.

The West/Watkins Family

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