In a tragic turn of events, police on Friday confirmed that four bodies found last week in the Mojave Desert are those of the missing McStay family. Joseph McStay, his wife Summer, and their two small children mysteriously disappeared in February 2010.
They had just moved into a beautiful home in Fallbrook, California, just north of San Diego. On February 4, 2010, the family’s Isuzu Trooper was seen on a neighbor’s video surveillance, backing out of their driveway. They were never seen or heard from again.
Police investigated their disappearance, and their story made national headlines. The circumstances in which they vanished were bizarre, to say the least. Below is a timeline of the events known before and after the McStays disappeared.
January 28, 2010
Someone uses a computer inside the McStay home and does searches for traveling to Mexico with children.
February 4, 2010
Summer and Joseph exchange text messages.
A neighbor’s surveillance video captures the family’s Isuzu backing out of their driveway.
Joseph’s phone last pings to a cell phone tower in Fallbrook. He reportedly calls a coworker to talk about work. This is the last time anyone ever hears from Joseph or Summer.
February 8, 2010
The family’s car is towed from a parking lot near the border of Mexico.
February 10, 2010
San Diego County Sheriff’s deputies do a welfare check on the McStay home. They never go inside and determine that everything seems to be ok.
February 13, 2010
Joseph’s brother Mike is worried and breaks into their home to see if they are inside. It appears that the family left in a hurry – their two dogs are in the home and hadn’t been fed, and eggs are left out on the counter.
February 15, 2010
Joseph McStay’s family reports them missing.
March 5, 2010
Police release surveillance video to the public of four people who resemble the McStay family crossing the Mexican border. The video is from 7 PM on February 8. Joseph’s mother says she does not believe that it is him, but the rest of the family seems unsure.
April 9, 2013
Police say they believe the McStay family is in Mexico.
November 11, 2013 A motorcyclist finds human remains in two shallow graves in the northern Victorville desert.
I have to admit, I was part of the camp who thought the McStays ran off to Mexico. The computer searches, the surveillance video from the border, and their abandoned car had me pretty convinced that for whatever reason, they felt the need to suddenly flee the country.
Now it appears as though they never went to Mexico at all. And if they didn’t, someone sure went to the trouble to make it look like they did.
Patrick McStay, Joseph’s grieving father, told CBS News that he knows of three possible suspects who may have a motive to want the family dead.
Hopefully, charges will come sooner rather than later, and the McStays’ loved ones can finally get some answers.
– Sheriff: Remains of McStay family found; Source says one body’s hands were bound
– McStay Family Update: Joseph McStay’s father says he suspects three people in family’s 2010 disappearance, murders
– McStay Family Found Dead