McStay Family Remains Found in Mojave Desert; Questions Still Remain

Friday, 15 Nov 2013 02:57 PM

By Michael Mullins

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The McStay family's remains are believed to have been recovered from a shallow grave in the Mojave Desert outside the California city of Victorville earlier this week. The family of four from San Diego, Calif., has been missing since February 2010.

Two sets of skeletal remains were discovered by an off-road motorcyclist on Monday. In one plot, authorities recovered the skeletons of 42-year-old Joseph McStay and his 45-year-old wife Summer, according to Joseph's father Patrick McStay.

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A short distance away in another shallow grave, authorities recovered two more skeletons that are believed to be the couple's two children, Gianni, 4, and Joseph Jr., 3, The Los Angeles Times reported.

Prior reports indicated that the family crossed over the Mexican border. However, it is unclear what happened to the McStay family after that point, CBS News reported.

Patrick McStay disputed such claims that his son took his family across the border. He told CBS Los Angeles that his son would have attempted to make contact during the past three years if he was OK.

"He would not have left without calling me or his mother," McStay said. "And for this time, almost four years from now. He would have picked up that phone or he would have got word to one of us that they were out there and doing OK."

"My son didn't walk away. They didn't walk into Mexico. They would never do that," McStay added.

The San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department was not ready to officially confirm the identity of the remains.

"It appears the remains have been there for an extended period of time. Age and gender are unknown pending examination by a forensic anthropologist," a statement released by the Sheriff's Department read.

When investigators first entered the McStay's home in February of 2010 they reportedly found no signs of a struggle. The family apparently left without providing food for their dogs, which were subsequently fed by neighbors.

"The bottom line," the lead investigator in the case, Troy Dugal, told The Los Angeles Times in 2011, "was that life was normal for the McStays up to Feb. 4, and on that day they just vanished."

"The love for my son and my grandchildren and my daughter in law — that's what kept me going," McStay told the Los Angeles Times on Thursday. "I'm not going to break down and cry. I'll do that later. The anger keeps me going."

"That boy, Joey, he's my oldest son. He wasn't only my son. He was my best damn friend," McStay added.

McStay swore that he would not rest until "I find out what happened, and why, and who."

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