Two foster parents in California who were tasked to take care of two toddler boys after their parents allegedly abused them have been arrested and charged on Wednesday, March 2, for the murder of the two children after months of searching for the missing boys and their bodies.

Thirty-five-year-old Trezell Phillip West and 32-year-old Jacqueline Gabrielle West were arrested by the Bakersfield Police Department for the charges of second-degree murder, willful cruelty to a child, and making a false report of an emergency, according to the Daily Beast.

Two children were under their care during this time: 4-year-old Orrin West and 3-year-old Orson West, whose birth names were Classic and Cinsere Pettus. Police officers said that the foster parents waited over three months before reporting the children missing, ABC 7 reported.

“This morning, I'm saddened to announce that the investigation has revealed that Orrin and Orson West are deceased,” District Attorney Cynthia Zimmer said. “The investigation has also revealed that they died three months before their adoptive parents reported them missing.”

Although they have not found the bodies yet, Zimmer said that the police has found evidence that they have yet to disclose that puts the guilt on the Wests for the disappearance of the children, with over 50 witness testimonies being heard before the charges were brought forward.

“I would like to emphasize that the fact that law enforcement has not found their bodies does not preclude a murder prosecution,” Zimmer said. “As a matter of fact, there have been many, hundreds, of what we call no-body homicides prosecuted across the United States successfully.”

The couple has maintained their innocence in the matter, claiming that they only want the children to be returned to them safely and that they believe the two are still out there, waiting to be found.

Charles Pettus, who was the children’s biological father, has held on hope that the children will be found alive in the future, and that he can be reunited with them. The children were taken away from him after it was found that a relative was abusing the underage boys.

“I don’t want my kids to be deceased, I want them to come back home because my kids is all I got,” Pettus said. “They took my family, they took my kids away from me, my kids are my life. No matter how long it takes, how hard it’s going to be, I won’t give, I will never give up.”

The Wests have four other children which are currently in police custody. The couple has been denied bail as of press time.

Trezell and Jacqueline West was arrested on Wednesday after police officers found evidence that their foster kids Orrin and Orson West were murdered under their care. This is a representational image. Fallon Michael/Unsplash.

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