Family of two slain California foster children file lawsuit – Los Angeles Times
The biological family of two boys who were killed by their adoptive parents has filed a federal lawsuit alleging civil rights violations and wrongful death.
The lawsuit names the adoptive parents, California Department of Social Services, Kern County Department of Human Services, and others.
Ryan Dean and Dana Moorer, the boy’s biological mother and grandmother, allege that the children were unlawfully taken from their mother and placed in the care of a couple who now face murder charges in their deaths.
Dean’s custody battle began when she came home from work to find Cinsere crying uncontrollably. Kern County social workers removed Cinsere from her custody that day, and Dean gave birth to Classic the following June.
The Kern County district attorney’s office charged the adoptive parents, Trezell and Jacqueline West, with two counts of second-degree murder and felony child abuse, among other counts.
Classic Pettus, 4, and Cinsere Pettus, 3, were reported missing from the couple’s backyard in California City on Dec. 21, 2020.
The Wests told investigators that the boys, who had been renamed Orrin and Orson West, vanished while playing in the yard, Kern County Dist. Atty. Cynthia Zimmer said.
Zimmer said that an investigation determined that the boys died three months before the Wests told investigators that they were missing.
Their bodies have not been found, and the criminal investigation continues.
The lawsuit alleges that the Department of Social Services incentivizes Kern County to remove children from the foster care system within two years. The grandmother of the boys was denied custody in March 2019.
For more on this story, please consider these sources:
- Family of two slain California foster children file lawsuit – The Los Angeles Times
- ‘You guys ruined my life’: Biological mother speaks out after $40 million federal lawsuit filed in Cal City toddlers’ deaths
- CAL CITY BOYS: Biological mother of West brothers breaks silence, files multi-million lawsuit