Exclusive interview: Mothers of McStays determined to find family – *Inquiry into Mexican travel discovered *FBI resources called in *Joseph McStay hadn’t been well for months

Susan Blake and Blanche Almanze, the mothers of Joseph ‘Joey’ McStay, 40, and his wife, Summer, 43, respectively, have not given up hope of finding their children and two grandsons, Gianni, 4, and Joey Jr., 3, alive.

The McStay family of four, residents of Fallbrook, was last heard from on February 4. They have now been missing for eight weeks.

New evidence discovered

Blake said that new information became available on Monday, March 29 – evidence that an inquiry had been made from the family’s home computer on January 28 as to whether passports were required for children traveling into Mexico. Law enforcement authorities have focused the search for the family into Mexico since a review of tapes of individuals crossing the international border produced a family of four, roughly meeting the McStay’s description, crossing on February 7.

Both mothers said they find it hard to believe that their children would cross over the border into Mexico, especially with the children in tow.

“I have said from day one that if my son went over the border, he would have had to have been drugged or forced; there is no other way,” said Blake.

“I just don’t see my daughter taking [the children] out of their car seats and putting them into a taxi in Tijuana; she just wasn’t like that,” said Almanze. “She was always very concerned about the children being safely buckled into their car seats.”

FBI will join investigation

Lt. Dennis Brugos of the San Diego County Sheriff’s homicide division, who has been handling the investigation into the missing family, said the email inquiry into Mexican travel protocol now provides the means to call the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) into the case.

“The FBI has additional resources in Mexico,” said Brugos. “We will work with them, brief them on the case, and look forward to the added help.”

Brugos said the investigation has been focused in Mexico after the images were found on the tapes, but the family has still questioned whether it was their relatives or not.

“It was very difficult to tell anything for sure from the tapes because they were so fuzzy,” said Blake. “I could not tell for sure that it was my son.”

Blake said she had even more uncertainties when it came to the children on the tape. “My grandson, Joey Jr., who we call “Chubba” has a certain way he walks and that was not evident in what I saw,” she said. “Gianni, I couldn’t see very well at all.”

Blake said Almanze thought she recognized her daughter by her thin build, overall size and a jacket the woman was wearing.

Blake and Almanze both said they have been “pretty satisfied” with how law enforcement has been handling the case and hope results are realized soon.

“I’m pretty satisfied with what they are doing as far as the investigation into Mexico,” said Almanze. “I just wait every day to see if they get back to me.”

Almanze said she has been successful enlisting some help in Mexico herself, although she does not know anyone down there. A bus line has promised to keep circulating the flyers and a Mexican newspaper has been helpful about publishing information.

It has also now been confirmed with law enforcement that the last cell phone calls made by the couple were relayed from a wireless site near the family home.

Mothers vow to keep searching

Despite the stress they are under, Blake and Almanze have consistently spent their time traveling throughout multiple counties passing out flyers with pictures of the missing family and asking business owners to post the notices in their windows. Blake, who was residing in Ventura, and Almanze, who normally lives in Big Bear have relocated temporarily to assist in the search for their loved ones.

“I’ll do anything to help search for my son and his family,” said Blake. “I just have to find them.”

“I’m just trying to keep the flyers going in hopes that maybe someone has seen something; even if they didn’t think it was something at the time,” said Almanze. “I’ve been handing out flyers everywhere I possibly can.”

Joseph McStay had not been well

Blake has an added concern. She said her son hadn’t been feeling well for a few months before the family disappeared.

“My son had been sick since last August and he’s normally a very healthy person,” said Blake. “He’s an excellent surfer and soccer player. I even went to the hospital with him to try and see what was wrong; we thought maybe it was stress.”

Blake described Joseph’s symptoms as something similar to vertigo and said he complained of feeling “woozy.”

“When I last talked to my son, on February 4, he said he still didn’t feel good,” said Blake, adding that she has provided the Sheriff’s Dept with information she had on her son’s recent healthcare visits.

Communication volume high in household

At the time of the family’s disappearance, the mothers said Summer McStay was shopping online through Craig’s List for furnishings for the family home, part of a remodeling project they had underway, and was communicating online with a number of people with items for sale.

“The kitchen was practically done, but [Summer] was still shopping for a new couch and chair,” said Blake. The mothers both wonder if any of the people that had been in contact via email with Summer may have information as to the family’s whereabouts.

Personal profile

Blake said that the couple had been together for approximately six years and married after the children were born. She explained that Summer’s maiden name was Virginia Lisa Aranda, however she was also known to use the name Summer Martelli, a name she devised herself.

“[Summer] changed her name back in 1979,” her mother, Blanche Almanze confirmed.

After the family went missing, Blake said she discovered that her daughter-in-law was eleven years older than she was given to believe.

“I don’t know why she did that; I don’t care about her age if she and my son are happy together,” said Blake.

The investigation continues

Authorities say they are continuing to work with Mexican officials on the case and will look forward to the added benefit the FBI can bring.

“It is definitely still an ongoing investigation,” said Brugos, adding that to date no evidence of wrongdoing, foul play or criminal involvement has been noted.

Officials have conducted extensive searches of the family’s vehicles and home located in the Lake Rancho Viejo area of Fallbrook.

Susan Blake said she is trying to keep her son’s family home “going,” because “I know in my heart that Joey is alive. I feel that.”

In reflecting on the search and public communication efforts, Almanze said she feels a birthmark on her youngest grandson’s forehead has not been mentioned enough in the search and may have been noticed.

“Joey Jr. has a red birthmark on the right side of his forehead, close to his eyebrow,” said Almanze. “It’s a red, strawberry mark.”

And as the two mothers continue to update and pass out flyers throughout the community, they are comforted by supporters, they said.

“The town of Fallbrook has been so supportive,” said Blake. “Everyone has been so kind, considerate and friendly; it has been overwhelming.”

And these two mothers remain staunchly dedicated to the search for their son, daughter, and two little grandsons.

“The nights are the worst,” said Blake. “Your thoughts go different ways; you pray and you cry. I understand families that have one missing person, but four? I can’t help but worry if the babies are being fed; if they are okay. They don’t deserve this.”

The family has created a Web site, www.McStayFamily.com, to keep the case before the public eye. San Diego County Crime Stoppers at (888) 580-8477 has offered a reward of up to $1,000 for information that leads to an arrest in the

case. Anyone with information on this case may call the Sheriff’s Department at (858) 565-5200.

(previous story Mar. 25, 2010 2:10 p.m.)

Investigation into missing McStay family focuses on Mexico

Debbie Ramsey

Managing Editor

The investigation into the disappearance of the McStay family of four last seen on Feb. 4 is more focused in Mexico at this time, authorities said, after video surveillance tapes revealed a family generally matching their description was spotted crossing the US/Mexico border at approximately 7 p.m. on Feb. 7.

However, Sheriff’s Lt. Dennis Brugos said authorities cannot positively identify that it was the McStay family in the film footage they reviewed.

“Family members looked at the video and the clothing the family was wearing, and were ‘pretty certain’ it was them, but the film was shot from the rear, so there is a little bit of uncertainty about it,” said Brugos. “We are saying there is a high probability it was the McStays. Some of the family members were more certain about it than others.”

Brugos also said the family depicted on the tape “didn’t appear to be under any kind of duress when they were crossing the border.”

Assuming the family crossed into Mexico, Brugos said the focus of the investigation is now centered in Mexico.

“Our international liaisons are working with the Mexican officials,” he said. “It is definitely still an ongoing investigation.”

Brugos also confirmed that the investigation has not yet revealed any suspected wrongdoing, criminal involvement, or evidence of foul play.

“There is nothing that has jumped out at us that suggests criminal activity,” said Brugos. “If [the McStays] voluntarily left the country, there is nothing unlawful about that, but it’s a little unusual.”

Brugos said numerous questions have come to his mind, “Was this planned?” “Were they just going out for the evening?” “Did they plan on going out to dinner in Tijuana and something went wrong?” Brugos said if the family had been victims of a kidnapping, a demand would probably have been made.

“Generally if people get in trouble, family or friends hear about it,” he said. Brugos said relatives of the family have continually reported they have not heard from them.

“Many we have interviewed have said the family would never, ever go to Mexico,” said Brugos. “Now, as the investigation has progressed, some say they ‘might’ have gone there; that the husband may have gone there for a business purpose.”

Brugos said the family did use various cell phones in the past, but the corresponding phone they made calls from on Feb. 4 has not been recovered in the investigation.

“Those phones have not been found,” he confirmed.

Brugos remains baffled. “I’ve never seen a case like this. Sometimes people will take off for a weekend or slightly more without notifying anyone, but they don’t leave their dogs without food or water, leave food on their kitchen counter, and drop out of sight.”

Detectives have examined the Mc Stay family’s 1996 Isuzu Trooper that was discovered in an impound lot about four hours after they were believed to be seen on the video tape crossing into Mexico, as well as their home located in the Lake Rancho Viejo area of the Fallbrook/Bonsall area.

“We have not found any evidence of a struggle or a forced entry anywhere,” said Brugos. “If [the family] met with tragedy, I just have a feeling we would have known that by now.”

Joseph McStay’s business associates appear to be just as puzzled as law enforcement. “They are just as baffled as we are and concerned about the business that he was a partner in,” said Brugos.

Brugos did give significant credit to the Center for Missing or Exploited Children for a role they played in the investigation.

“We are very appreciative of what they have done for us in this investigation; they have worldwide contacts,” said Brugos. “They also brought in a team and spent hours going through the border surveillance tapes and narrowed it down to the segment we believe may have been the McStay family.” Brugos said the review of the tapes was no small task.

“The number of people that cross that border daily is around 100,000; I can’t say enough good things about that organization; they were very gracious,” he said.

The McStay family’s relatives have created a Web site, www.McStayFamily.com, to keep the case before the public and San Diego County Crime Stoppers at (888) 580-8477 has offered a reward of up to $1,000 for information that leads to an arrest in the case. Anyone with information on the McStays’ whereabouts has been asked to call the Sheriff’s Department at (858) 974-2321.

To comment on this story online, visit www.thevillagenews.com.

To read additional previous stories

Authorities distribute “endangered missing” flier pertaining to missing McStay familyhttp://www.thevillagenews.com/story/45499/

Homicide lieutenant says his team is not giving up search for McStay familyhttp://www.thevillagenews.com/story/45872/

61 Responses to "Exclusive interview: Mothers of McStays determined to find family – *Inquiry into Mexican travel discovered *FBI resources called in *Joseph McStay hadn’t been well for months"

  1. Anonymous   March 25, 2010 at 3:56 pm

    This "investigation" is a joke.

  2. SS   March 25, 2010 at 6:04 pm

    Why is Mike McStay posting on Insessions message board and making inconsistant statements? It appears that he was not close to Joseph McStay at all. Mike wants to put Joseph’s bankruptcy out there, but he had one also. Was Mike jealous of his brother? I think so.

    Was there anything to the Charles Merritt-Osborne thing with the identity theft?

    Were the storage pods full of things bought with a stolen identity?

    Summer, or whatever she chooses to call herself these days is behind all of that. Just a guess.

  3. vcl   March 25, 2010 at 6:34 pm

    good luck working with mexican officials, look at their
    system and all their corruption? I hope this family is okay
    and come home safe.

  4. WJM   March 25, 2010 at 9:20 pm

    I feverently hope law enforcement is actively searching/researching an alternative to the "voluntary Mexican exit" scenario. For instance, what happens in the hour or two after the family leaves home around 7:45PM on Feb 4th. We hear there may be at least one call to a business associate about an hour later from a very nearby location.

    In closing, it would be really helpful if LE put a little sunshine on this case.

  5. Jaime   March 26, 2010 at 7:12 am

    After reading up on this case, it’s very obvious to me that the McStay family left voluntarily due to many different factors. They’re probably living it up on a nice beachfront in Costa Rica.

  6. puffin dusty   March 26, 2010 at 8:14 am

    Isn’t it strange that they parked their car at the border rather than driving? In my opinion this is a red herring intended to through investigators off and search Mexico when they are still somewhere in the US. If they had gone to Mexico they would have driven.

  7. Get a clue   March 26, 2010 at 8:14 am

    So Lt. Dennis Brugos says, "If the family met with tragedy, I just have a feeling we would have known that by now." Not necessarily. No one knew for over a year what had happened to Amber Dubois. Lt. Brugos also raises the possibility that the family went to Tiajuana to have dinner?? Say what!?!? I don’t know of one person who would ever go to Tiajuana for dinner!! Especially when they have two little kids with them. This is absurd!!

  8. CLW   March 26, 2010 at 8:18 am

    The Sheriff’s department apparent nonchalance about this case is mind-boggling. If they have substantial proof that the McStays are OK then let them go public with it. The border video in question is just that. Conversely, we don’t have to have a physical crime scene for this family for them to have encountered extreme harm.

    There are two beautiful children involved. All of Fallbrok, including the editor here, should be asking serious and in-depth questions of law enforcement.

  9. Pink   March 26, 2010 at 11:28 am

    Jamie… it may seem obvious to you but absolutely nothing appears to point to them disapearing on purpose and living it up in Mexico. How are they going to do that without their money, which is still in the bank or their credit cards which have not been touched? Everyone said it is impossible to tell from the grainy image in the photo if it is them crossing into Mexico. In many ways I hope you are right but I don’t think so. I very much fear that they met with foul play. The police dropped the ball with Amber Dubois and they are dropping the ball here.

  10. Get a clue   March 26, 2010 at 12:13 pm

    To Pink: I absolutely agree with everything you said. Escondido PD really screwed up the Dubois case and the SDSD is doing the same thing. It’s disgraceful, really.

  11. hmmm   March 27, 2010 at 8:48 am

    To Get a clue..many of us have traveled to TJ for dinner..yes,its true….people do go there just to eat! And we also had our kids in tow with us…but those times were long ago and I agree its not something that MOST people would do these days..Just keep looking for these folks please…Americas Most Wanted should feature this story again…and again..and again cause someone knows the ending!!

  12. lindugh   March 27, 2010 at 8:48 am

    SS…. I like your theory. I think there is something very shady with this couple.

  13. Get a Clue   March 27, 2010 at 8:49 am

    I wanted to point out a mistake in the first paragraph where it mentions the border tape at "approximately 7:00 PM on February 7." Actually the border tape is on February 8th.

  14. kony   March 29, 2010 at 7:54 am

    there are alot of missing pieces in this story, why would tell their neighbors no about mexico.

  15. Ray (the real one)   March 29, 2010 at 8:54 am

    Anyone catch the NCT this Sunday? Gang stabbings kill one wound five. Well that night I went to Fallbrook to pick up my mail and on my return home, yes I now reside in San Marcos, I needed to move back closer to an American setting and where stores other than taco shops are open after 8:00 pm. At about 2:45 am I drove past the place where the stabbings happened, looked like the movie "colors", all those cholos in wife beater tee’s, long calf socks, white untied athletic shoes and dark baggy shorts, typical Mexican youth, I almost ran over one since the scuffle spilled out into Rancho Santa Fe Road. Went home, got my camera and watched the paramedics take away the bangers and cover the one with a sheet. These people are animals, live like animals, their culture is animalistic and peronic and they should be treated accordingly. Lucky for me, the "barrio" where this happened is a mile away, Where I reside, the only brown you see is mowing your lawn. now if you folks in the "friendly barrio" want to live like this among animals, more power to you but I just got tired of lowering myself to their standards and got the crap out of Fallbrook, seems others are doing the same. So think about the Mc Stay family and what your community is turning into.

  16. Pessimistic   March 29, 2010 at 9:15 am

    Ahhhhh…. San Marcos! The new HQ of the Real Ray. Thanks for sharing with us your new Paradise. There are a couple of immigrant neighborhoods over there and two well established street gangs – good luck keeping your stress levels down over there. I still prefer Fallbrook.

  17. mom of lots   March 29, 2010 at 5:56 pm

    A family member of mine went to Albertson’s the other day and met McStay’s best friend who was passing out fliers to get people back into what is going on and help if they can. He said that video surveillance (security cameras at their home) show the vehicle leaving on the last day known at approx 8:13pm. the video only showed the vehicle leaving (not who was in it). Joseph’s phone was ping-ed at Nessy’s burger/gas station area right there off the 76 and 15 approx. 8:40 pm- after that nothing. His friend said he used cash a lot- so the fact that there are no financial transactions of him being there do not mean anything. I thought this was interesting info that the media has not covered. Wonder if they left, filled up with gas there and picked up something to eat, never to return? Very strange. Was Joseph wanting to get away from danger that no one else knows about? His wife’s precription glasses that her mother says she NEVER leaves without were left on the kitchen counter so it seems unlikely she would plan on leaving for an extended time without them. I hope they left willingly and they are hiding out, but seems strange that they would do that and be this successful for this long. The only reason why they would not tell a soul about leaving is to protect them from the same danger. I think about this family everyday. Seems to me Joseph met with foul play and I suspect it was someone he knew or an aquaintance of someone he knew.

  18. story follower   March 29, 2010 at 10:51 pm

    Sems to me odd, after almost 2 months, that there’s only $1000 reward? With so many family members that’s the most they could come up with? $1000 barely pays for jack. Also, did the police dust the car for fingerprints right after it was towed before the family went through it? What if the family was taken in the car from their home and never made it to the border? Let’s think outside the obvious!

  19. Detec.   March 30, 2010 at 8:01 am

    I think that the family is hiding something. And they know they had to go away in order to stop whatever was coming. Maybe it was going to target her kids.

  20. Puzzle   March 30, 2010 at 10:50 am

    The lack of reward money has been a point of curiosity for many. It makes no sense. It would have been hard to abduct an entire family in a Trooper that had 2 large car seats in it and 2 adults. Not impossible though!

  21. Anonymous   March 30, 2010 at 11:25 am

    I think the $1000 reward came from SD Crimestoppers and not the family. This has always bothered me. I don’t remember any missing persons cases where the family & friends didn’t put up ANY reward money.

  22. hmm   March 30, 2010 at 12:25 pm

    Excellent posts ,18,19 20 and 21. IF this were MY family or even a close freind Id be on the evening news every chance I could..Id be raising HECK with the SDSO..Id be offering alot more than 1,000. reward..Something is NOT clear here..a family of 4 has gone missing and there should be outrage..instead its sorta been put on the back page..whats happened to their home?It is foreclosed now?..where are the interviews with HER family..the parents/grandparents..other than the brother we havent heard much from this family..

  23. Pink   March 30, 2010 at 2:05 pm

    Excellent point hmm. Perishable food was left out on the counter, glasses Mrs McStay needed in order to actually see were left behind and the family pets were left without food and water. Either the whole thing was staged to make it look like foul play or it actually was foul play. I don’t believe they just decided on a whim to take 2 babies to TJ for dinner!!

  24. mom of lots   March 30, 2010 at 6:17 pm

    hmm- my family member that spoke with his best friend said that both his vehicles are paid for and his home is on auto-pay. So, until the money runs out of the bank, his home is paid for.

  25. story follower   March 30, 2010 at 6:17 pm

    Doesn’t every family get passports to go to TJ for dinner? I have 4 sets of prescription glasses, you only need 1 at a time if your vision hasn’t changed. Doesn’t Cal Trans have webcams on all the freeways to be able to zoom in enough to see 4 or 5 people in that SUV? Maybe the husband talked his wife into "disappearing"? How difficult is it to purchase a cell phone and live on cash in Baja? No baja witnesses have come forward for the $1000 reward? For them, that reward would be significant.

  26. Paul   March 30, 2010 at 7:55 pm

    story follower how are they doing that without cash or credit cards?

  27. story follower   March 30, 2010 at 9:38 pm

    One of the family members and/or friend had mentioned in another article that Joseph McStay carried large sums of cash.

  28. hmm   March 31, 2010 at 9:05 am

    Some of the earlier TV reports said the McStays were planning on a house warming party with their friends from their old neighborhood up the coast..why would they plan that if they were going to leave?

  29. Pink   March 31, 2010 at 10:31 am

    Also it might be noted that while they may have checked online about passports for the children in late January they certainly didn’t have time to get them before they disappeared only a week or so later…

    • Chere Devereaux   April 22, 2017 at 5:55 pm

      Well what i think the brother has something to do with there murder for one why would the brother take the computer out and then take it back maybe he hiding something and someone that is involved they would point the finger at someone else and make it where the evidence is on someone else instead of the brother read the story or watch the video shows because ive been watching them over and over anf i don’t find nothing to charge merrit in this its someone else or the brother

  30. Well   March 31, 2010 at 12:02 pm

    They checked online about passports in relation for children and Mexico, not just about passports. Children do not need passports to enter Mexico via land entry. No need to get them if they were going to a vacation or what…

  31. Pink   March 31, 2010 at 1:50 pm

    This story just keeps getting more and bizaar

  32. Pink   March 31, 2010 at 1:50 pm

    OOPS I mean more and more bizaar by the moment

  33. OMG   March 31, 2010 at 4:16 pm

    Summer McStay’s actual birth name is Virginia Lisa Aranda. A review of public records shows the 43-year-old mother also uses the names Summer Martelli, Summer Aranda-Martelli, Lisa Aranda, Lisa Martelli and Lisa Aranda-Martelli.

  34. story follower   March 31, 2010 at 4:16 pm

    You can get an expedited passport in one day in downtown Los Angeles if you’re traveling within 2 weeks, but I’m sure the FBI and police already followed up whether they obtained a passport and took a one-way flight from TJ to Costa Rica. Also, I read earlier that Summer McStay is really Lisa Aranda-Martelli which sounds Italian. Why would someone go from Lisa to Summer? Maybe she was hiding from the mob?

  35. tk   March 31, 2010 at 4:49 pm

    Lots of good discussion here.

    Weren’t there reports of the kids car seats being left behind? If so, easy for an abductor(s) to ride in front while Mom and kids in back. If they were on their own, why would they leave car seats behind? When my kids were that age, car seats were always left in the vehicle.

    Weren’t there also reports of car being locked? No abductor is going to make sure the car is locked…….if the family is alone and plan on returning, they would lock the car. If family is trying to disappear, they are not going to lock the car……too much conflicting info…..

    My gut is they planned on returning….but why no car seats? Does not make any sense.

  36. keep it going   March 31, 2010 at 5:24 pm

    OMG/Story follower, why the two different screen names??

  37. mom of lots   April 5, 2010 at 11:02 pm

    hmmm….Joseph not feeling well, his wife not honest about her age, her names keep changing, someone googled how to get into Mexico with kids within a week of the disappearance….very fishy. Before finding out the info re: their computer showing someone wanted info on kids and passports to get into Mexico I thought they met with foul play. Now I believe someone in the house is responsible. I hope I am wrong. I hope they fled and are fine. I know there have been 2 substantial sightings of the McStays in Mexico that the FBI is following up on. I wonder if every member of the family that was "seen" is the original McStay family. I hope so.

  38. resident   April 6, 2010 at 10:32 am

    Ok, if this woman has used that many aliases, something is not right. The only people I have ever seen use that many names are the criminals. Is that an indication that she has a criminal record? Also, why did she lie to the mother-in-law about her age? That does not make sense. Just curious. Now it comes to light that someone in the household google passports for the kids and travel to Mexico? Sounds like this family is responsible for their own disappearance.

    The best case scenario would be if they were part of some witness protection program and their cover was busted, necessitating an immediate departure and relocation. The families may be aware of that and that is why there is no reward posted by them. But more likely, the family just wanted to disappear.

    Sorry….just thinking out loud….I read way too many mysteries for my own good. lol

  39. Ray (the real one)   April 6, 2010 at 11:10 am

    Mothers of McStays determined to find family: I know this will not be printed but my answer would be “in how many pieces”? Let’s face the facts here. Something is NOT right. Speculation suggests something illegal happened and someone issued a payback. Nobody can vanish for such a time without the worst happening, especially in Mexico. Nationally this story has become is far more detailed than what you read here and all suggest “illegal activities and foul play”. I think until something new comes up, this is not newsworthy anymore.

  40. Ray (the real one)   April 8, 2010 at 8:12 am

    Passport information on their computer is “no new evidence”. Homeland Security changed the law, a passport is required for travel out of the US and returning. You either need the full passport or the mini drivers license version that allows you to only limited travel, not on planes. If this is all the SDSO has, they are nowhere in the investigation.

  41. mom of lots   April 8, 2010 at 2:04 pm

    Ray- I disagree with you. It is NOT ironic that someone was googling on the computer wether it was required for children to have passports when traveling with their parents to Mexico and then their car is at the border within the week? To me, this proves that they went to Mexico willingly (or at least one of the parents did) and wether they met with foul play or not is a whole other issue. This evidence points that someone within their home is responsible for the family’s disappearance.

  42. puffin dusty   April 27, 2010 at 10:15 pm

    I checked the SDSCR today to see if a Conservatorship application has been made for either Summer or Joey McStay. Nothing filed as of yet. This is nuts folks. When people go missing and family nees to marshall assets and pay bills, they need to have a court order…ie . the Conservatorship. But no one is making this application. WTF? How do you keep a house paid, utilities etc, get into their bank account, obtain money, cash checks without a Conservatorship. Well…you can’t. THIS DOES NOT MAKE ANY SENSE.

  43. Staff   April 27, 2010 at 10:15 pm

    I believe Joseph McStay was very organized and his bills are being paid automatically out of his bank account. As long as his money holds out his bills are being paid.

  44. Ducks!   May 8, 2010 at 7:21 am

    “[Summer] changed her name back in 1979,” her mother, Blanche Almanze confirmed

    Odd. So, if born in 66 and she changed it in 79…then she had the money and info and went to court when she was 13 years old????

    Nah. Ain’t buying it and he exhusband (1994 divorce) said he ONLY knew her as Lisa NOT Summer.

  45. what's up?   June 27, 2010 at 9:13 pm

    anything new?

  46. OCNena   July 7, 2010 at 1:29 pm

    Nothing new? What is up with the house?

  47. Tawny   July 22, 2010 at 6:22 am

    Wonder if the father researched Mexico because he did plan to go, and for some reason was going to bring the whole family. Maybe to make it look like a vacation or because he thought he was safer with them coming along. Had a contact he was going to meet possibly in San Ysidro. Then somehow he got word that the meet-up was sooner rather than what he was expecting, and he told Summer to drop what she was doing and get the boys in the car. How did the car take off down the street did it peel out? Had to have thought he was coming back that night. Possibly called his partner to give update on changed plans. So the contact caught him off-guard. Had to be more than one guy for a whole family. McStay was possibly going to pay cash for something and they took his money. Something happened to them in CA, and whoever had something to do with it said get rid of the car.

  48. gg   January 9, 2011 at 7:11 pm

    @ Ducks note that with the info that she changed her name it said that she also lied about her age and she was 11 years older than she appear so she was actually 24 when she changed her name still i think it is odd that she Evan changed her name she must have be in some kind of trouble to change her name and lie about her age very odd

  49. pam   February 20, 2011 at 12:05 pm


  50. panzer   April 2, 2011 at 5:04 pm

    The addresses for Patrick McStay’s mortgage rescue company, Charles Merrit’s fountain company, and Earth Inspired Products are
    all the same. Michael McStay also is being sued for mortgage fraud.
    Summer has a web site advertising her notary services. She and
    Joseph have real estate salespersons licenses. She has multiple names. They had a recent bankruptcy and yet bought this home in Fallbrook. Everything about this suggests mortage fraud on a large scale.

  51. MissUnderstood   May 23, 2011 at 10:49 pm

    There’s something not right about this whole disappearance. I feel for the children who have been away from the only know they know for so long, but how is it that no neighbors saw them leave unless they snuck off in the middle of the night? A good mother does not pull her children from bed simply to leave without being seen, and said sleeping children do not leave very quietly if they don’t know where they are going. Small children have a way of knowing when your heart is racing which is what would happen if you were running from something. Drug cartel is hard to believe because the last case involving the drug cartel the body of a young girl was found stuffed with drugs. If this family had no problem with drugs and was not near the border there is no use of them. Imagine trying to remove four dead bodies, or even remove four people from their homes without neighborhood watch noticing. I can’t even leave the house without raising suspicion. This was definitely planned and half this family is in on it. Summer’s mother knows more than she is letting on, and that Mr. McStay’s father is way to calm about this. He seems more hurt than concerned. They expected that their accounts would be frozen, but since Mr. McStay owns his own business how would they know how much he makes? They could have been planning this for a very long time and no one would know it. I agree with the theory of them planning to through cops off their backs by parking by the border of Mexico. The first place I’d look would be Texas, Philippines, and Canada all places where they don’t really need passports, start looking at ferries cause that’s the only way to Canada passport free with small children.

  52. Kait   May 23, 2011 at 10:59 pm

    Have they looked into the option that the father learned of something he didn’t want to and was planning to take the children to the one place Summer wouldn’t look for them? I mean they stated that
    Summer had no intentions of leaving to Mexico but that does not mean that Joey wouldn’t. For all we know it’s another crazy black mail trick, they need more information from the ex husband.

  53. Guess Who   May 29, 2011 at 8:24 pm

    Why Summer changed her names several times? Was something wrong that she had to change her names several times? She bought stuff from Craigslist. Who did she buy or who did she interact with? I feel Summer and her previous life might have to do with this misteary.

  54. Education Shows   August 15, 2011 at 4:14 pm

    The amount of innuendos and assumptions here is staggering. Without links to reputable news sites, there have been claims from spousal murder to the mob.

    Below are some of the greatest hits thusfar.

    Was Mike jealous of his brother? I think so.:
    What in the world would lead anyone to that conclusion???

    Was there anything to the Charles Merritt-Osborne thing with the identity theft?:
    I think it’s safe to assume LE has already covered that topic. They never make the entire case public for all kinds of reasons.

    Were the storage pods full of things bought with a stolen identity?:

    Summer, or whatever she chooses to call herself these days is behind all of that. Just a guess.:
    Good thing LE doesn’t just guess before making such an accusation.

    Also, I read earlier that Summer McStay is really Lisa Aranda-Martelli which sounds Italian. Why would someone go from Lisa to Summer? Maybe she was hiding from the mob?:
    Because she likes it better? So… all Italians are now The Sopranos? That’s like The Real Ray’s rant on Mexicans, which was completely absurd.

    Sorry….just thinking out loud….I read way too many mysteries for my own good. lol:
    You’re not alone. Take a look at the other posts.

    I checked the SDSCR today to see if a Conservatorship application has been made for either Summer or Joey McStay.:
    If you’d have provided a link, I might have believed you.

    I can’t even leave the house without raising suspicion.:
    What the hell are you doing?

    This was definitely planned and half this family is in on it. Summer’s mother knows more than she is letting on, and that Mr. McStay’s father is way to calm about this.:
    This is nothing but baseless, loaded accusations, especially from a guy who says he can’t even leave the house without raising suspicions. You should be ashamed to write such a thing.

    The first place I’d look would be Texas, Philippines, and Canada all places where they don’t really need passports, start looking at ferries cause that’s the only way to Canada passport free with small children.:
    Not much of an international traveler, are we?

    Who did she buy or who did she interact with?:
    You don’t honestly think LE hasn’t been all over this, do you?

    I feel Summer and her previous life might have to do with this misteary.:
    Based on…???

    This just makes me me so sad. Four people are missing and instead of volunteering to pass out fliers or send fliers digitally to help out, you all come here and essentially accuse people of murder. I’ve seen not one link to a creditable source. Hell, I didn’t even see one link to a disreputable source. This is being the neighborhood gossip whispering rumors over the backyard fence.

  55. Ti   October 30, 2011 at 7:26 am

    I have to wonder if the husband was being poisoned. We’ve seen this in other cases. Sure, it’s possible he was legitimately sick but if he were hiding a terminal illness (which he might seek alternative treatment for in Mexico, or something) he wouldn’t have mentioned it at all. You never know, maybe someone was giving him something and got tired of waiting.

  56. Ti   October 30, 2011 at 7:30 am

    I forgot to mention, the car *could* be a red herring and if they had that much in their accounts, there is a chance they come have accounts elsewhere with money in it. That could’ve been left to take care of their affairs.

  57. Toula   November 5, 2011 at 8:04 pm

    Here is a possible scenario ::::::
    Summer and the family live by the sea. There she meets a rich man possibly
    A drug dealer from Mexico with lots of money! They fall in love however fate
    Intervenes and Joseph moves his family to another location
    The lovers plot the demise of Joseph and the subsequent disappearance of Summer and the children to Mexico
    To add credence to this we find Joseph ,s mother recognizes the kids and Summer but cannot recognize her own son? Joseph been trusting is asked to drive the family to some location on that fateful night …perhaps on a pretense
    Of viewing some renovation materials … He is disposed of by the lover
    It takes 4 days to get rid of the body The kids are distracted with toys
    Found in the car Then they all happily cross the border
    No money is needed here the lover has plenty. The kids assume a new identity
    No need for their old birth certificates get a haircut and they all live happily ever after except for Joseph of course

  58. alex   June 6, 2014 at 8:20 am

    Lisa Aranda is a Mexican name. Summer McStay is not Italian, she is Mexican or other Latin American

  59. edokla   November 12, 2014 at 1:43 am

    Knowing what has recently transpired with the arrest of Chase Merrit I would say that apologies are in order from many of you "dear readers" to the families of Joe McStay and Summer McStay.

    The business partner did it. Duh!? It proves the old adage: If you hear horses hooves, don’t look for zebras.

  60. edokla   November 12, 2014 at 1:43 am

    Knowing what has recently transpired with the arrest of Chase Merrit I would say that apologies are in order from many of you "dear readers" to the families of Joe McStay and Summer McStay.

    The business partner did it. Duh!? It proves the old adage: If you hear horses hooves, don’t look for zebras.


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