McStay Family under the magnifying glass

New book raises more questions about the McStay’s lives and troubling disappearance

Three years; not a word has been heard. In a new book released Feb. 8 on, a former Fallbrook resident reveals his research that adds multiple levels of complexity to the already puzzling three-year-old case of the disappearance of the McStay Family.

The local family of four – Joseph McStay, 40, Summer McStay, 43, and sons Gianni, 4, and Joseph Jr., 3, seemingly vanished three years ago on the evening of Feb. 4, 2010. Penned by Rick Baker, the book, “No Good-Byes – The Mysterious Disappearance of the McStay Family” contains information and suggests scenarios that have not been made public by anyone else. But plenty of speculation has taken place.

“It’s not just me; it’s the number of people around the world that are addicted to this case,” said Baker. “It’s amazing how many people talk about it.”

The author said his concern is over the well-being of the McStay’s young sons and he has offered a $25,000 cash reward to anyone who will show him one of the four members of the family and allow him to take a photo.

“I haven’t had any takers yet and was maligned by all sides of the extended family for offering it,” he said, but admitted he has been getting threatening phone calls.

“When word began to get out about my book being released, I started getting death threats from someone calling me from a blocked phone number,” said Baker. “I tried to get the number un-blocked but my cell service provider couldn’t do it.”

There could be many individuals that have a problem with Baker’s book. Based on his research, in tandem with a private investigation group, he has published copies of emails, other correspondence, and confidential bank records from the McStay’s accounts that he claims are authentic.

“The book is balanced and objective, and includes all the information we currently have available,” said Baker. “At this point no family members will talk to me. Summer’s family just stopped talking. Joseph’s family became toxic, hateful. They made a concerted, strategic effort to trash me and my publisher to try and keep the book from coming out.”

In the days following the McStay’s disappearance, many media outlets called them a “typical Southern California family.” Baker begs to differ by suggesting that:

• Family tension was high in various ways

• Summer was allegedly involved in a loan modification “scam”

• The possible “crime scene” at the house was compromised by family members.

• Summer was trying to purchase a homeopathic medication for anger management and her family said she “had issues”

• Summer had a bank account in North Carolina (perhaps $80-100K that her husband may not have been aware of)

• Summer was not happy with her life, age, heritage and appearance

• Money was transferred out of Joseph McStay’s account by at least two people following his disappearance

• McStay extended family members “looted” the home

• Law enforcement might be “biding their time” by not revealing everything they know

When asked what he thinks transpired, Baker simply said, “I do believe Joseph [McStay] is dead. I hope I’m wrong. Based on my research, it appeared Joseph worked very hard for his money; he wouldn’t leave it behind. Summer had no access to those accounts.”

In his book, Baker also reveals the official findings from a complaint Joseph’s father, Patrick McStay filed with the County of San Diego Citizens’ Law Enforcement Review Board alleging the Sheriff’s Dept. did not correctly categorize the case, did not provide for proper investigation; withheld information from him; failed to respond to his email and telephone messages, and more.

It’s certain that Baker’s research and findings will provide more food for thought about an already puzzling case that thousands are fascinated with.

“As of Feb. 5, thousands of copies had already been sold,” said Baker. “It is already #7 on Amazon’s Top 100. I am getting emails from all kinds of people – in the United States and Europe. “

Proceeds from the sale of the book, Baker said, will be donated to Texas EquuSearch, a non-profit organization that assists in searches for missing persons, and are not for his personal financial gain.

“For me, this case has always been about two innocent little boys who were forced to live out the consequences of their parents’ poor decisions in life.”

89 Responses to "McStay Family under the magnifying glass"

  1. Mom of lots   February 14, 2013 at 3:06 pm

    Wow, I will be purchasing this book. It’s understandable the families were upset as personal lives and problems were revealed in this book (all families have them), but it’s disappointing at the same time that they do not see this as an avenue to keep their case alive and possibly bring their family back, if not, at least the grandchildren. I have always had an unpopular theory that Summer McStay was responsible as she had aliases in the past, lied about her age to her mother in law….and now I am reading she had a secret bank account in another state? Joseph has always appeared to be a "what you see is what you get kind of guy", but Summer doesn’t seem totally stable. Not sure what happened, but the googling from the home computer on wether children need passports to get into Mexico the week prior to their disappearance says it all. Either Summer and/or Joseph are 100% responsible and either one or both left voluntarily.

  2. Mine Ours Theirs   February 15, 2013 at 1:35 am

    Same here Mom of Lots. I also feel that if the extended families on both sides cared about their children and grandchildren, cousins, sister, brother, they would give any information to writers, police, anything helpful to find their loved ones.
    I know I would. I would do anything to help find my missing family even if it meant sharing very personal things. That these family members are angry with the investigation, books, police work, things released to the public just makes me believe that they all know something……..portions and probably that the family is ok, or portions of the family is ok. Like Summer and her two sons, and the father is dead. But she could be fooling both families he is alive.
    Its very strange that there is not single sighting of these people. Whatever they did to get away with what had to be alot of money to live this long, must have been well planned.
    She did not have any access to his monies is another strange one which makes me think he knew she might kill him. But who ended up being able to get to his accounts with money? A brother? Someone who also looted the home?
    I am sure the police know this and are keeping it under wraps, but THAT person would be seeing to getting money to these guys to stay on the run.

  3. Old Town Fallbrook   February 15, 2013 at 4:18 am

    This all seems so interesting to me. Dateline did a story about them and had evidence of Joseph contacting his old college friends. I remember the quote saying "If he doesn’t want to be found, he won’t be found". I think we all just hope that the kids are ok.

  4. Criminology 101   February 15, 2013 at 9:07 am

    The only theory that makes any sense is that they are in the witness protection program and the family knows it.

  5. wondering in north county   February 15, 2013 at 9:28 am

    This is a true mystery and so disturbing because there are children involved, especially for the older son of Joseph as well left here to wonder where his dad is. The children had no choice in any of whatever went on with this family.
    So many blogs and sites out there with all kinds of info and or speculation the common thread seems to be that Summer is at the root of whatever went down.
    Comments ??

  6. Pessimistic   February 16, 2013 at 11:36 am

    If they, or an individual in the foursome, is not dead then the Witness Protection Program is the next best bet, but when that happens not even your immediate family gets to be made aware of it… If that is the case then they were most likely involved / linked with some slim shady stuff…

  7. Fallbrook Blues   February 16, 2013 at 1:25 pm

    I agree with comment 4.

  8. WhereAreThey   February 16, 2013 at 10:59 pm

    In Re: "Dateline did a story about them and had evidence of Joseph contacting his old college friends."

    I do not believe that statement is at all factual.

  9. Jerry Lamonica   February 18, 2013 at 8:33 am

    Just finished reading No Goodbyes. The book does make a few revelations one of which is Joe’s final cell phone call to Chase Merritt. For as long as I have been following this case I was thinking under the assumption that Chase actually spoke to Joe McStay. From the book we learn that only Joey’s caller ID appeared on Chase’s phone. Chase’s testimony is that he saw the number on his caller ID then called Joe the next day. This would contradict any theory that Joe was under no duress when the family left their home an hour earlier. Joe’s phone could have somehow ‘buttdialed’ Chase’s number (especially if that number was a "last dialed.") I wonder if the police or FBI have conducted a test to see if Joey’s specific model phone would have behaved this way if it was crushed or put under water. Might be worth trying.

  10. Fallbrook Mom   February 18, 2013 at 11:34 am

    Didn’t they go to Mexico?

  11. Stella   February 19, 2013 at 2:29 pm

    I’ve often thought that #4’s comment up above is correct. What aspects of this book are the families up in arms about? I don’t believe, however, that they would be in a witness protection program given all of Summer’s personal issues which almost appear to be bipolar related. Didn’t Dateline mention that Joe had been feeling ill prior to this disappearance? Also, what about the car being found near the Mexican border and those strange, unexplainable toys which were purchased at Ross and found in the abandoned car? This family is the most sought after in the world; I don’t believe that they could escape being sighted unless there were others helping them avoid detection but I don’t believe it’s witness protection.

  12. Route 66   February 20, 2013 at 1:43 am

    It took us 11 years, a $Trillion, and just in our troops alone, over 5500 lost lives and 10s of thousands forever maimed and wounded physically and emotionally – to find UsamaBinLaden.

    There’s not enough "skin in the game," albeit a "mystery and tragedy," to find this family of four…(with respects to the innocent children victims ).

    FUHS Class of ’76

  13. This is so sad   February 20, 2013 at 11:09 pm

    I don’t think anyone has the right to assume wrongdoing on the part of Summer McStay. So what if she changed her name? I changed my name when I got married. Then again after I got divorced. People can change their name. It’s not against the law. Fallbrook never fails to have all the gossips speculating and trashing people they don’t even know. I doubt that Summer McStay is bi-polar either. I love how you people spew bad views, but have zero basis for your arguments.

  14. Jerry L   February 21, 2013 at 8:56 am

    A likely scenario . . .
    Have read and reread this book, I have come to some definite, at least for me, conclusions. I believe Joseph and Summer and possibly the entire family are dead. I agree with Rick Baker that the Trooper was probably in that parking lot since the day of the disappearance. I do not think this family voluntarily left their entire lives, family, house, cars, dogs and money so that Joe McStay would have more time for surfing! If law enforcement is holding to this belief then either one of two things is true . . . they are in witness protection and the police are not allowed to reveal it.(this outward posture would allow them to not have to do pointless investigation) or the police are totally inept and are failing to investigate properly.
    I have always maintained that this case is probably either a straightforward abduction or car jacking. The McStays were either taken from their home at gunpoint or left the house hurriedly for a medical emergency (Summer or one of the boys taking ill) and later encountered their attackers. The phone call from Joey to his friend one hour later could certainly have been a desperate attempt by Joey to dial for help. (he had spoken to Chase earlier in the day so Chase’s number may have been the only chance he had when reaching for the phone under duress)
    So, despite all the stories of Summer being a whacko, family members not reporting them missing soon enough, the birthday party that wasn’t, the condition of the house and all these extraneous matters it appears that this family was not unlike millions of other families we all know.
    The McStays met with violence, the attackers may have simply needed their car after robbing a gas station. Another possibility is the children were grabbed. That video could indeed be the children and Summer’ clothing.
    I believe their bodies will be found! The place . . . right near where Joey’s cellphone last pinged. For this case to be solved someone is going to have to step up.

  15. JB   February 21, 2013 at 9:38 am

    I assure u they are not in the Witness Protection Program. There is no way the government (Witness Protection Program) would allow local law enforcement agencies to expend thousands of dollars and resources investigation and searching for this family if the federal law enforcement already knew where they were. Doesn’t happen that way. If that were the case, the locals would be notified and the investigation would’ve been dropped along time ago.

    Sometimes the most logical explanation is the correct one. Although the author introduces interesting evidence and theories, it appears that the family left willingly but in a hurry. Joseph apparently has his hands in a number of business opportunities, and likely got a lead on another – yet shady – business deal in Mexico. That was likely them crossing the border into Mexico, where they soon met their fate. Families who are trying to disappear would not leave $200k behind (you would need that $ if starting a new life), along with most of their personal belongings and medication. It’s evident that they thought they’d be right back.

    The only aspect that is odd, is their familys’ behavior and unwillingness to cooperate with investigators and the writer. As stated in the book, most people would do everything they could do to faciliate an investigation into a missing loved one. Their lack of cooperation, and even hostility, are odd.

  16. Pink   February 21, 2013 at 10:12 am

    The families "attitude" is what leads me to believe that they are in witness protection and they know it. JB is correct though about local law enforcement being notified by the Feds if that were indeed the case. Do we really "know" that law enforcement spent thousands of dollars investigating the disappearance or are they just saying that they did?? There is more to this than meets the eye (clearly) but if they aren’t in witness protection then, unfortunately, they are probably dead. There is a big reservation right next door to where the McStays lived, lots of places they could be buried. Nobody just "disappears" and leaves everything, including all their money, behind.

  17. Jerry L   February 21, 2013 at 1:02 pm

    For anyone, including the police, to believe the McStays voluntarily disappeared the following conversation would have to have taken place when Joey returned home at around 5PM.

    JOE: "Hi Hon, what’s for dinner?"
    SUMMER: "I don’t know how about running off to Mexico tonight?"
    JOE: "Sounds great, should we take any money with us?"
    SUMMER: "No that’s okay I have a few dollars in cash."
    JOE "Yeah, we don’t need money, we have each other"
    SUMMER "And you know we both hate our families and dogs, so let’s just go."

    Either the police are holding back positive proof they went voluntarily or they simply don’t know which way to turn this investigation.
    Another factor that mitigates against a voluntary departure is Joe and Summer’s apparent economical lifestyle. They bought a home is an area which was more affordable, Summer ‘shopped’ for many of her purchases to get a good price, they didn’t drive overly expensive cars, bought things on Craigslist. This is not a couple who decided to run away from home.
    I do not intend to use this forum to argue . . . but the last few posts here could be helping the case along.

  18. Mom of lots   February 21, 2013 at 3:33 pm

    So far, JB’s conclusions seem the least far fetched and the most likely to have happened.
    @This is so sad- everyone has the "right" on here to come up with whatever their theory is. Who really cares anyways? We are just making guesses. Anyone that reads this would understand that. Our comments do NOT carry weight at all inmthe grand spectrum of things. It’s called a discussion of thoughts and theories and were just the little people here.

  19. Bonnie W   February 26, 2013 at 2:29 am

    I find myself Googling once a month for an update on the McStays in the hope that something new has developed or indication that they are alive. I have always felt that the disappearance has something to do with Summer, but of course, could be wrong. If they are in the witness protection program, wouldn’t somebody somewhere have recognized them — the case has been so publicized. I agree with Jerry L about investigating where the cell phone last pinged but hasn’t somebody done that already and if not why not? In looking at the video of 4 people crossing the mexican boarder, I do see the similarities of the boys and Summer but it does not look like Joseph. That is somebody else.

  20. Carol E.   February 26, 2013 at 1:29 pm

    I have studied the video, and I agree that from what we know, the man is much taller and thinner than Joseph.

  21. Roma   February 27, 2013 at 9:08 am

    It is 430 pm here in New Zealand. At 3pm the network E! had the one hour show canisg The Family that Vanished’ I do feel for your family Mike and I do agree with a lot of the comments above. The painter could have been the last person called from the cellphone near the bridge. I highly recommend that all evidence be looked through again and Im sure there can be some enhancement to the video recording at the border!What stood out to me is that your brother became very ill and his wife, who has many aliases, was in search for some medication to help with anger and also the fact she told your mother she was not a part of their family of four! I truly believe in my heart, Summer’ is the culprit to all this and Joey has done this for her. Did Joey know Summer had these aliases? does the friend who got them together know this about Summer? Where is the painter now? I can not express enough how strong I believe Summer is behind all this.Is it possible they used different names and applied for Passports and flew from Costa Rica or Mexico to somewhere beyond the US/Mexico Coastlines? She is a mastermind and a controlling woman, I truly feel she has an evil presence within her and she is taking over the situation.I think also, they might of had young Jo’s birthmark removed as it is very distinct to have such a birthmark on the forehead.It might help contacting some national, local and international surgeons who have done a birthmark removal procedure.Another thing that captured my attention were the dogs, It is very sad to know they were left unfed and unattended to.I truly adore animals and hope they have been taken well good care of. The friend, in the documentary near the end, who lives in Costa Rica-I think he has some thing to do with it.For some reason, his facial expression released an instinct to me sensing me he is not at all being truthful. He could be someone to investigate. Is it possible to get PHONE RECORDS of both Cell Phones, Joey and Summer. It can be doneI have a lot of ideas going through my mind right now and since watching the full screening of this family of four who went missing in 2010. Please do keep in touch with me as it will be very much appreciated. I know Im millions of miles away but I would like to help as much as I possibly can.All possibilities should be taken into action!I truly hope some day the young boys are found and your brother too.Love to all, god bless

  22. Cobham   March 2, 2013 at 10:32 am

    Sadly Jerry L’s comment above [no 14] will almost certainly prove to be correct – supposing any bodies are ever found. It will turn out to be a ‘simple’ home invasion and kidnapping, or car jacking, that went awfully wrong. The most usual answer to a mystery is the most straight-forward one. But that said, it does not stop us praying for the safe return of all four.

  23. casteele   March 3, 2013 at 5:46 pm

    I suggest that a forensic accountant can check the store that the toys were bought,the store stated that they could not identify which of their stores the red sink and other toys were purchased(,and why buy boys a sink!!very strange,)surely the store can check all of the sales,they will have records etc,,I also agree that it is strange that a person uses 4 different names! why?? I also agree with the fact that the video does not look like Joe,the guy is a lot slimmer and taller,but I think it is Summer and the boys,also,as already said,why leave so much money in his bank account,and why no credit card purchase since there disappearance.

  24. casteele05   March 3, 2013 at 5:55 pm

    also,how come his brother got in the open window,and did not report the state of the house to police,very strange

  25. Jb   March 4, 2013 at 10:43 am

    Ok, I’m nearly finished with the book. VERY Interesting …. lots of details not previously revealed. Enough to change my theory of what may have happened. Without going into the details, although the author is implicating Summer, the evidence he presents indicates more so that the family – particularly brother Mike – had something to do with it, or knows what happened. Let’s just say the ‘crime scene’ (house) was contaminated – looted, cleaned, etc., by Brother Mike and Mom … before investigators declared it a crime scene. The police acutally had to order Mike to return the computer he took. The author suggests that Mike may have tampered with the evidence, deleting crucial messages and browser history, or even making it appear that they had left volunatarily. MIke and Joseph’s business partner also apparently made several withdrawls and money transfers from Joseph’s business account after the family disappeared. They either reik of guilt or greed. Very interesting …. read if you haven’t yet.

  26. Jerry L   March 6, 2013 at 7:56 am

    I have been following and studying this case for some time. Rick Baker’s book has helped me form a more definite opinion about what happened to the McStay family. From my earlier posts here one can see that I believe the entire family is dead.
    This case has been terribly compromised by law enforcement and the media. The number one factor contributing to this is the finding of the family car, the Trooper, near the Mexico border. The entire investigation seems to be based on the presumption that the McStay family drove the car to that location then was shortly thereafter captured on video walking into Mexico. This scenario raises more questions than it answers, the obvious one being "Where were they for four days?" prior to this. Law enforcement should be looking at the best evidence here . . . Mike McStay says it’s not his brother on the video, no one can identify the family as having been anywhere in the area. Where did they eat? Sleep? Where did they change the kids’ diapers? How did they purchase food, gas or diapers? Anyone with small children knows that traveling with them even for a short period of time is a lot of work. Since no diapers (either new or used) were found in the car and the video does not either of the ‘McStays’ carrying a bag I guest we can assume they decided to walk into Mexico right after the diapers ran out! If the McStays were planning to never return why were their cell phones not in the car? Why discard them in another location which could possibly give the police more clues? Why was the car locked? Rick Baker’s investigation leads me to believe that the killers, not the McStays left the Trooper in that parking lot. Since the parking lot was known as a ‘dump site’ the killers probably knew that leaving the car there afforded them the most time to make their getaway.
    So, where are the bodies?
    For the answer, let me recount a missing person investigation from a few years back. Shannon Gilbert disappeared in the quiet community of Oak Beach, NY. late at night after a client call (she was apparently a prostitute.) Witnesses saw her ‘running off into the night’ in a remote, swampy, marsh area on Long Island’s south shore. Subsequent searches for her turned up numerous bodies that had been dumped in the area. These became known as the Gilgo Beach murders. The case remains unsolved. Law enforcement conducted a massive search of the area . . . tracking dogs, helicopters, FBI special aircraft, foot patrols, and more. The result . . . no Shannon. But the answer was straight forward. Since there no was public transportation in the area, and no one reported picking her up as a hitchhiker, where was she? A year and a half later police decided to re search the area . . . her body was found a few hundred yards from where she was last seen and from where she last used her cellphone.
    The search for the McStays should revert back to area where Joey McStay’s cellphone last pinged. Although after 3 years there may not be any remains, I believe this is where the McStays will be found.

  27. TeaSnob   March 10, 2013 at 11:40 am

    I work in Law Enforcement in America and can tell you 1000 percent this family is not in witness protection. Mike and Patrick, along with other relatives, would be told not to look for the family.

  28. faxual   March 14, 2013 at 9:25 am

    Well I don’t work in law enforcement but it looks to me like this family left on their own and does not want any contact with their family. By now something would have turned up in the way of clues if any or all were deceased and it has not. Dead bodies can’t hide but living ones can very easily avoid detection if they wish.

  29. Brenda E.   March 23, 2013 at 11:24 am

    I believe that the McStays met w foul play in San Diego, their bodies transported out of the area and dumped in the desert in the U.S. Roving bands of carjackers or Satanists cruise our
    ommunities, the motive for murder is not always profit.

  30. 909   March 29, 2013 at 11:55 am

    Regarding comment #28, I think it’s harder to stay hidden if they are alive. At least three people, maybe four, including two children, have to have some interaction in public. Whether it’s going for food or supplies, just getting out of the house, etc, there’s movement. I highly doubt they are going to remain in a bunker underground and NEVER come up for air. Dead bodies if hidden well can stay hidden. Moving, live people especially a group of them – at some point are going to be seen.

    Keep in mind, the area around the bridge was never searched.

  31. F. Scott   March 30, 2013 at 10:35 am

    Fascinating story. The subplot is the hacking of the emails. This creepy subculture of citizen sleuth stalkers is disturbing to say the least. The News Corp hacking scandal

  32. Ns   March 31, 2013 at 7:23 am

    Summer surely has something to do with this.. But I think that she told joseph a week before they dissapeared that they’re in danger. And I believe that they thought that this is the only way to be safe. I’m not sure about the feds.. One thing is for sure either they ran away because they were in danger.. I read that there is a possibilty that summer killed joseph and is hiding now. Living the life of a unknown!

  33. Ng   April 1, 2013 at 8:18 pm

    Read the book, blogs, TV shows etc, as I re-read and break down the basics the theory I believe is JM was needing to meet someone and thinking this would be a quick maybe pick up of a ck- or paying someone, I feel he prob had a quick errand and as kids do, they wanted to go with dad- it wasn’t late, looks like they were having a snack – Summer might have been making breakfast for dinner and she could have either needed a ingredient so they all went together to do both things and return expecting to return shortly. Dogs were put out to get a bathroom break- and with kids in tow, off they went- I believe this was prompted by JM and business related because he did attempt to call his partner- perhaps the guy JM was meeting was late, or an argument over money escalated into a crime- leaving any witnesses likely the cause of all being killed- buried and whoever did this parked the car and prob went over the boarder. Back quickly to the computer search- perhaps this person JM was doing business wanted him to come to Mexico, this person convincing JM to start a business there so perhaps SM and JM were at least looking up information on future travel to Mexico as well as learning Spanish. I really believe this was business gone horribly wrong over money. JM’s open and trusting nature sadly put him in the middle of a bad situation, tragically he happened to bring his wife and kids along for this what was believed on the JM/SM part a quick meeting. The people I the video crossing the boarder looked like all they had was a small plastic bag- not loads of cloths as also reported to be dropped on the floor in a hasty packing job by the couple- don’t believe for a second JM would leave successful business, older son and be able to convince his wife to do the same- leave all family, esp her dogs. This was a tragic case of bad killers, and being in the wrong place wrong time.

  34. FourBySea   April 2, 2013 at 6:44 am

    To Ng- if a killer had driven their car to the border there would have been a print, a hair or *something* and there was absolutely nothing foreign found externally and internally during inspection of the vehicle by law enforcement. Also the neighbor’s video shows their vehicle leaving but the camera malfunctioned right afterward (according to Mike Mcstay) so we don’t know if they returned to the house that evening or in the 4 days afterward before their Trooper was towed from the lot at the border.

  35. Callahan   April 2, 2013 at 10:22 am

    Why does "Summer" say: "I can’t do this" on the video of the McStay family driving to their new home? Were Joseph’s "unexplained headaches" possible poisoning? How long were they together? Only one person could have a motive to depart with her embezzled funds and the kids. The dogs and Joseph weren’t part of the family of three… I don’t mean to be typical but I just get a sick feeling in my stomach when I look at, or think of Summer. Or whatever you call yourself today… You are reading this aren’t you?

  36. Fam04   April 2, 2013 at 1:17 pm

    Just saw the E! program with Lisa Ling. Lost an hour of my day because I could not quit watching. Surprised I had never heard of the McStay’s before considering their circumstances. What I am most puzzled by is why would Joey leave his mom and more importantly his oldest son and NEVER make contact or do anything detectable by others to hint at wanting to disappear. Every family has it’s issues and the McStays seem no different. As for Summer, even IF she had done something how could she have been so very successful without even a trace of evidence that she had done anything at all. Unless the mafia or similar criminal minds are at work here, the chance of any amateur(s) pulling off such a brilliant crime seems very very unlikely. Not even a clue….it is hard to believe. I hope against all hope that one day as the boys are older that they surface and someone identifies them. I still ponder why someone would disappear and not the very least tell your family you are okay–even if that includes telling them to butt out and never expect to hear from you again.

  37. mcccmar   April 2, 2013 at 2:55 pm

    i have no real idea of what happened but based on the reluctance of the family to get involved maybe THEY do know what happened – perhaps this was a voluntary disappearance and the family DOES in fact know where they are

  38. GreekGirl   April 2, 2013 at 6:49 pm

    It’s been three years and not a word not even one sighting. In the news an reports it says that Joseph’s cell phone pinged in that canyon area. It could have been very well where their bodies were put or maybe just his or just the phone tossed. Either way people just don’t vanish into thin air. Even the perfect murders get solved. Example Marth Moxley nearly 35 years later. I believe that Summer and Joseph are most likely dead but there is a pretty good chance those kids are alive. Probably being used for human trafficking. People make careers out of kidnapping. If those boys where sought they were being captured no matter what.

  39. janda67   April 10, 2013 at 7:10 am

    I also agree with commentor #4.

  40. FabulousFallbrook   April 10, 2013 at 9:33 am

    ..I Like comment #35 "You are reading this aren’t you?"
    I bet she is reading this too !
    I also like #33 comments, that makes sense to me

  41. FabulousFallbrook   April 10, 2013 at 9:41 am

    Alot of "Witness Protect Plan" comments, the case is now with FBI? Would they go to that extent to protect the family and announce the FBI is now looking into it to throw peeps off?? I don’t get it?

    I think they should RE- interview Joseph’s family and Summer’s side of the family so we could see what they have to say and their body language 3 years later….

  42. rose esperanza   April 10, 2013 at 4:56 pm

    I don’t believe for one moment they are dead.
    They are hiding in plain sight. the children are older and the parents have been living a nomadic life amoung the many homeless communities throughout the West Coast. Joseph looks nothing like he did previously he is 15lbs lighter and weather-beaten and gaunt. summer is now going by the name Maria Helena, and the family speaks Spanish fluently.

    There was no psychotic break, no abduction, no foul play.
    stop looking to the border, they are in and around the coastal area.

  43. emann-menifee   April 10, 2013 at 11:55 pm

    Now that I know more about Summer, I wonder if she has a boyfriend or a friend and together, they killed Joseph. This could be why it took four days before they crossed into Mexico and why the guy with Summer doesn’t look like Joseph in the border crossing.

  44. FabulousFallbrook   April 12, 2013 at 12:45 pm

    Comment #42 interesting… are you a psychic? I would like to hear more about your thoughts? It seems strange they had just moved to that home and was remodeling what happend that they decided to live on the streets ?
    I guess your saying they did have to flee from some kind of danger and chose to to do what your saying??

  45. Rose Briar   May 14, 2013 at 3:04 am

    a certain individual close to this family knows the whole story. I believe the family is buried very close to home, after being lured to an area by a person of “trust”. I don’t believe the McStays ever went to Mexico and their car was left near the border in hopes that police would believe that they escaped there. The home was staged to make it look like they left in a hurry. I think the one who did this had a vendetta against Summer, especially. Perhaps Joseph did not wish to lend the killer any more money and Summer was very vocal and the strong force saying no. The killer probably did not wish to kill the children but felt like he had no choice. To leave them alive would lead the law quickly to his door. This person feels that he/ she is “safe” from being caught since so much time has passed. However, I predict that an arrest will be forthcoming, when we least expect it.

  46. FourBySea   May 22, 2013 at 2:07 pm

    Interesting thought Rose Briar. Do you think this person is a "known player" in the case? I believe the description you gave could fit a number of individuals in the McStay circle. Any more thoughts?

  47. peeksneeka   June 25, 2013 at 6:56 pm

    I just wanted to reply to a couple of previous comments…
    Most of the time, 3 year olds and 4 year olds don’t need diapers because they are potty trained…
    Also, it’s not possible to "enhance" video footage like they show on CSI. You can only use the information(pixel size or quality)that was recorded. It is possible to enhance a video in terms of contrast or color saturation, but you can’t make something that is blurry or grainy more clear by enhancement unless you alter the actual information that is there.

  48. Georgina   July 10, 2013 at 7:35 am

    The video footage at the border is absolutely uncanny. The kids with the hats, surely was them? the kids at least. They wore beanie hats, especially to cover the birth mark on one of the kids. Whatever happened to them it must be related to the mother Summer, she’s been a dodgy character from day one, with legally changing her name various times. The only other route you can take is the craiglist, they were very active on that before they vanished.. they could have met a dodgy character. Another speculation is that the family came across a large sum of money (smuggled drug money?) while importing fountains from Mexico. Once they found the money, they needed to run in order to protect themselves

  49. East Coast Reader   July 20, 2013 at 11:28 pm

    If this family was murdered, I can only hope that the guilty party trips over his own two feet very soon. If the family wanted to get away from family problems, more power to them. If any other crime was committed, may justice be served!

  50. just my thoughts   August 4, 2013 at 9:56 am

    Maybe they are running from creditors and living in a rural area
    of Kansas – Missouri or Oklahoma etc.. , or even Texas near Joseph McStays’ father.. Patrick.

  51. katsbiz   September 29, 2013 at 12:47 am

    I truly think they are deceased and have been since they disappeared. Summer having alias names and a secret bank account..On one show about the McStays, it was mentioned shortly before they backed out of their driveway, there was a knock at their door during that evening. From whom ever it was, that did it. Summer had alot to do with all of this..There is no way you can live without having some monies on your person. Joe was feeling ill: think about it..Summer probably slipped something in his food. You literally cannot do anything, especially get up and drive, dump your truck and walk across a boarder when you are sick. No way. If you stump your toe, you will limp. I think Joseph was killed and dumped and buried somewhere before that picture was taken by video of "them" walking into Mexico. Three long years have gone by and no money has been taken from either bank account..How in the world can you thrive without something to help out with. You just cannot be undercover that long and not have someone spot you. When you are sick, from anything, you will need something…Medicine, liquids or bedrest..You just cannot jump up and run like that being ill. I believe Summer was driving that Trooper that night in complete fear. Summer’s shady history with different aliases, loan modification scam, stacking all of the monies from that in a different bank account in a different state tells the story on it’s own. She had no intentions of telling Joseph about that and he had issues with her on his own. She had no access to his account. This trip was not out of concern or love..It was from complete desperation and just driven out fear. I think she was either jealous of Joseph or just completely miserable within herself. He probably tried and gave it his best shot,,,,buying a house and trying at having a family. Something dreadful happened to him and I fear those children as well. She told lies about her age and how she was no part of her own family…That was clearly out of jealousy…probably of his Mother and even maybe of his oldest son. The relationship he had with them..She probably didn’t like it. You know, jealousy is only the devil’s advocate. She was very unstable, most likely emotionally and mentally. Somebody knows everything that happened to them…Unless you can live underground in a bunker for three years without ever coming to the surface to get food and water, I believe Joseph McStay is deceased along with his children. So sad…Being a parent with small children, Summer would have been seen somewhere buying food, clothing, and sufficient supplies for her children. As they are school age now…Nothing..This is so sad…

  52. JR   October 12, 2013 at 8:34 am

    I have read all your comments, all very interesting. Summer could not have been able to pull off a crime like that. I want to believe something bigger than what people are speculating happened. All families have their own problems but the McStays sound like a good family to me. Someone killed them, I think. Someone wanted them gone or they are kidnapped. It does not make sense to me why they left in such a hurry… more investigations need to be carried out. How would anyone even cross the boarder without being identified by anyone somehow. Kids at 3/4 years are very fussy and sometimes difficult to control. They would have made a lot of their childish demands/acts… just something at the border. You want to seriously tell me no-one saw some suspicious looking family? How about if they had new passports made for them? …then again, why would such a family need to have new passports with new identities. someone is not telling us something here! and why would they choose to travel, disappear at that time of the day… something about the neighborhood camera is also fishy? very fishy!

  53. Reader   November 15, 2013 at 7:45 am

    News Conference in a few hours…. Bodies found burried in Victorville… possibly the family. TV news saying definitely the parents…. very sad day…. I really hoped they were all alove in Mexico.

  54. andy   November 15, 2013 at 11:29 am

    Sadly it seems as though the Mcstay family has been found. Hopefully their discovery will yield some clues as to what happened. I saw the Disappeared episode a while back and the case has always bothered me. I seem to recall several sightings of the family in Mexico. Whoever reported those sightings would be a logical place to start. It certainly seems that whoever is responsible tried to cover their tracks by doing searches on travel to Mexico on the family

  55. unansweredqs   November 15, 2013 at 2:44 pm

    Still a lot of questions. We know, 1) They left in a hurry 2) They were killed 3) They were not in Mexico
    Yet there was 1) search about passports for Mexico, so they knew they were in danger or someone wanted to leave 2) the new toys found – someone either planned to take the kids or wanted to make it look like they were going to take care of the kids to convince either parent 3) the one hour away phone call was probably made on the way north

    So one of three things happened: 1) they were running away from danger together but got caught, 2) one of them trying to leave with a dangerous person thinking of a new life that included the kids, only it turned out they all got killed when something went awry or 3) they were taken in an invasion on their home which may have been business related with a drug cartel connection .

  56. sakara   November 15, 2013 at 2:47 pm

    Summer not the woman’s real name, 40something year old parents with kids under 5, middle-aged mom and dad both teenage thin, mexico, little boy with girl’s long hair…?


  57. Things happen for a reason   November 15, 2013 at 5:15 pm

    I also suspect illegal activity related to his business, perhaps a promise not kept, a transaction gone badly, resulting in the death of businessman and his young family. I am sickened by the horror all must have endured. In the end, I trust they went to the light..

  58. Nevin MacNevin,Glasgow   November 15, 2013 at 7:17 pm

    Sounds like all crime scenes and evidence have been so man-handled there’s little chance of ever solving this case. Does the business partner know something?Why did the police call the family to the news conference – subtle pressure? Tragic loss of life. Darling little boys. Must have been so frightening.

  59. sad ending for fam of 4   November 16, 2013 at 1:41 am

    This is the saddest story ever, When I first heard the breaking news a few days ago, that four bodies were found in the desert, I stated out loud "oh no, its probably that family, the one with the two kids", I sure wish I was wrong, and then hearing it on the news yesterday, it broke my heart. They are found now and maybe that will bring just a small bit of peace. I always knew they would not leave their dogs behind, they just thought they would be gone for a short time, but unfortunately met up with evil.. Im so sorry…
    Brenda E. comment 29 was the closest one of all. Sad but true Brenda, there are those type of people seeking out innocent folks, to harm, for no good reason.. RIP, Joseph, Summer and your precious boys…

  60. WonderingWhy   November 16, 2013 at 1:44 am

    The following web posting is very interesting as it was dated May 8th, 2012 and foretells the murders and the dumping of the McStay family

  61. WonderingAboutJail   November 16, 2013 at 2:00 am

    Sakara states in Comment above that Adelanto jail is just ten miles from the site where the bodies were found? What about a scenario where the perp is coming up from Fallbrook in order to pick up a buddy who is getting released from Adelanto jail. He decides he needs a car and decides to carjack the McStay’s who just happen to be near a local hamburger stand in Fallbrook. He has Joey and Summer sit in the front of the car while he sits in the back with the kids. Once he gets close to the jail, he directs them to the desert where he shoots all famiy members and buries the bodies. The perp then goes to pick up his buddy at the jail. They then drop the car at the border to either enter Mexico on foot (thinking that the authorities might already be looking for the vehicle) or to return north to their stomping grounds.

  62. Laney   November 16, 2013 at 2:48 am

    I want any persons involved in this quadruple murder, brought to justice. My first issue is Law enforcement assuming the family fled to Mexico, voluntarily. Every avenue should have been investigated. I had the feeling Law enforcement knew informmation, but it appears this investigation was severely botched.

  63. Ray   November 16, 2013 at 4:43 pm

    What type of animal kills children and their parents. I hope justice is swift in this case.

  64. sakara   November 16, 2013 at 6:03 pm

    I wonder about the jail connection, myself.

  65. Amyabelle   November 18, 2013 at 4:10 pm

    Is it possible this was a murder suicide?

  66. IWonderWhy   November 18, 2013 at 6:14 pm

    Didn’t Joey make a complaint to CPS that his eldest son was abused by the boy’s stepfather. An old website state that Joey received a letter the day before he disappeared that CPS had investigated and found no basis for the complaint.
    Michael James McFadden: Orange County Superior Court website shows felony convictions for: 245(a)(1) PC 7/16/1998 Pled Guilty 1/18/2000 and also a 422 PC 7/16/1999 Pled Guilty on 1/18/2000 PC 245. (a) (1) Any person who commits an assault upon the person of another with a deadly weapon or instrument other than a firearm or by any means of force likely to produce great bodily injury shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for two, three, or four years, or in a county jail for not exceeding one year, or by a fine not exceeding ten thousand dollars ($10,000), or by both the fine and imprison ent.
    PC 422. (a) Any person who willfully threatens to commit a crime which will result in death or great bodily injury to another person, with the specific intent that the statement, made verbally, in writing, or by means of an electronic communication device, is to be taken as a threat, even if there is no intent of actually carrying it out, which, on its face and under the circumstances in which it is made, is so unequivocal, unconditional, immediate, and specific as to convey to the person threatened, a gravity of purpose and an immediate prospect of execution of the threat, and thereby causes that person reasonably to be in sustained fear for his or her own safety or for his or her immediate family’s safety, shall be punished by imprisonment in the county jail not to exceed one year, or by imprisonment in the state prison.

  67. Old Posting   November 18, 2013 at 6:37 pm
  68. Avid follower   November 19, 2013 at 7:49 am

    Alot of theories here. Everyone is entiltled to their own opinion. This had nothing to do with cartels, the prison being close, carjacking, or anything else but two things. This family knew their killer well. It was about jelousy or greed(money) or both. For someone to kill the children can only mean extreme rage of jeolosy or the killer knew the kids could identify them. This was either a family member or someone who works with Joe in some capacity. The killing of the children eliminates alot of scenerios. Also, the idea that they got a quick phone call and all ran out to help someone makes no sense. Why would they bring the kids? Why not one stay with the kids and one go for the help? They were most likely taken from their home at gunpoint by surprise by someone who knew them.. That person had already planned the killing of the entire family.

  69. Not about Summer   November 19, 2013 at 2:34 pm

    I watched the video of the family driving to their new house in Fallbrook. The one where Summer says I can’t do this. It is apparent that it’s in context of she doesn’t care for the neighborhood or block or whatever. She sounds just like any of us who have house hunted & didn’t like a house or neighborhood. She sounds like a happy person interacting with her kids. Joe is definitely more psyched about the house than her. That’s IT. Too much nonsense about her doing anything to her family. Forward, the fact that they were found far from their house & buried makes me think it is someone familiar with the family & didn’t ever want them found. A carjacker or jail connection perp would just dump the bodies. Those types of killers are not connected to the family & wouldn’t be on the radar & therefor wouldn’t necessarily care if the bodies were ever found. Also I am going to assume the children found are their children. That leads me to believe the children were killed because they could identify the killer. Also the Rosetta stone & computer searches about Mexico- Joe did business in Mexico. He could’ve wanted to learn the language better & travel with his family there. Also the vehicle near the border seems to be placed there to throw the police off the trail. The police now need to actually do their job & find the perpetrator (s). I from day one would never, never, ever have believed they voluntarily left if I were an investigator on this case. I as a citizen never believed that. Never believed they "walked" into Mexico. Are you kidding me? How much time has been lost thinking they are living happily ever after without bank accounts or one single personal possession, cell phones, car? No contact with anyone. Sadly they were dead years ago. Look at people close to them. Probably someone connected with Joe’s business.

  70. Jerry L   November 19, 2013 at 4:02 pm

    I have commented here previously and have been a critic of LE in this case.
    I have heard now that the Mcstays were deadbeats with their old landlord in San Clemente. There is another aspect to this case that bothers me . . . think about this – Who has one hundred thousand in the bank after closing on a new house? Most people are totally broke after the closing (ay least normal working families) When purchasing a home most people stretch every dollar to buy as much as they can afford. I can see saving some money as reserve but not 100 grand. The car situation also baffles me. Why would the killers risk driving the car to the Mexican border after burying the bodies? The risk of a traffic stop or being videotaped by a surveillance camera would certainly outweigh a free ride to Mexico. You would think any killer would ditch the car immediately after the murder. These killers appear to be decidedly amateur and will be caught.

  71. Jheart   November 19, 2013 at 7:42 pm

    I am so sad to hear about the Mcstay Family. I prayed and still pray for peace and closure. I believe that their inner circle was quite small. Science will prevail. Intense interrogations are in order. Leave no stone unturned. Now that they have been located the guilty party or parties are worried whether or not they tied all loose ends. Now is the time to locate all their inner circle and let the investigating resume hardcore. Someone will crack.

  72. Not about Summer   November 21, 2013 at 1:36 pm

    About the Trooper & the fact that it didn’t appear that any type of scuffle or fight happened in the vehicle, couple of scenarios. First I’m certain they were taken from their house at gunpoint & were afraid for their children’s safety. Perp(s) probably used their children’s safety as incentive for the McStay’s cooperation. They could have been forced to drive to the perps vehicle & transferred. Then driven to Victorville. Scenario two, they could have driven to Victorville in the Trooper but didn’t put up any type of resistance trying to protect the children & not upset the children in the interim. They probably thought they were not going to be killed & if they did as were told they could save their lives. Were they killed at the gravesite? Did the perp park a vehicle near where the Trooper was found in San Ysidro prior to the abduction. How did the perp leave after dropping off the car? Almost seems like two people involved. As for the money in the bank, that is easily traceable. As we all know you can’t put large sums of money into a bank account in cash without triggering an IRS notification. You can deposit checks but those can be traced. The LE should already know where any funds originated. Joe might have co-mingled his business funds with his personal account? If it was cash from ill gotten means deposited then that’s not smart on many levels. If it’s illegal you now have bank / IRS attention. I don’t see him or her taking drug cartel money & putting it in the bank. Could it also possibly be money illegally laundered through his business? Using the theory that they got mixed up in the illegal drug/ money laundering trade then could there have been cash also in the home that someone knew about. Then the burying of the family makes sense. It’s not a random abduction. The perps have some connection to the family & don’t want them found ever as it might lead back to them. The up side to the killer-s thinking that the family will never be found may lead the killers to leave behind some clues & hopefully to their capture. What an absolutely monstrous crime.

  73. Jerry L   November 24, 2013 at 7:32 am

    It’s hard to believe the killer(s) would drive the Trooper to the Mexican border. If they were stopped by police at a traffic stop they would be caught. Make yourself the killer(s) How would you pull this off? The Trooper obviously wasn’t used to transport the bodies . . . police would have discovered this when they found the car. There would be forensic evidence that dead bodies were in the car. Moreover when police found the Trooper the fronts seats were for the ‘size and stature’ of the McStays. The killers certainly didn’t measure the bodies and return the seats to those positions when they left the car at the strip mall. Anyone driving a stolen vehicle after committing a crime has to know the first step in avoiding capture is to get rid of the vehicle. Once rid of the car the killer is in a sense home free. (Unless there is an eyewitness or video tape of the abandonment.) Is it possible the McStays did leave the car and it is in fact them on the border crossing video. This scenario would mean they were killed in Mexico and the bodies driven back to Victorville. So if only the McStays drove the car what happened?

  74. brent   November 25, 2013 at 1:45 pm

    here are a few things worth looking into —
    1. did the family tend to park their car in the garage? Did they that night? If so, then the perp could have ordered them in by gunpoint without neighbours knowing. Was there only one vehicle in the family?
    2. The motion sensor camera appeared to pick up their car not led or followed by another vehicle (how accurate is this?), suggesting a perp on foot, or perhaps a second perp in a parked car a distance away?
    3. Are there any other cameras with views of the roads leading into or out of the neighborhood? Sometimes, banks and convenience stores have cameras with views that include the road. Or, perhaps other homes in the neighborhoods with security cameras that happened to turn on during that evening? Same for police car cams — aren’t they always on these days? If a time-series of views from different vantages at different locations were put together, would that help identify any other vehicles?

    4. it may be that someone was waiting for them inside already when coming home, rather than someone of trust being let in.

    5. smart meters — is there detailed evidence of electric and internet use during the day of disappearance? Specifically, is there a time-sensitive record of peaks and use of these utilities that might help identify when people were home?

  75. Brent part 2   November 25, 2013 at 2:03 pm

    more things I would like to know abut this case —

    6. have investigators done a detailed analysis of cell phone pings and cell-tower locations for everyone in the inner circle in the 72 hours before and after disappearance? Are there any unusual patterns of calls, or locations out of sync with typical routes and call patterns? Also, how solid are the alibis for these folks?

    7. Are there any records of any family or associates having rented or owned a bobcat (or similar) digging machine? Does anyone have expertise with these vehicles, or perhaps have owned or rented a truck and trailer to move it?

    8. Are the dimensions (depth, width, etc) consistent with what can be dug with the bobcat machine? With other shallow graves found in the dessert, do many of those sites also have bobcat tracks near them, suggesting this is a more organized/experienced hit replicated elsewhere?

    9. Is there anyway to know whether the children were buried or thrown into the hole before the parents (where they below the parents?). If so, then this suggests that the parents were made to watch, which would suggest such a rage against the parents to make them watch their children die. This would suggest a very personal connection, and a psychopathic person with a history of mental health problems. Also the perp didn’t want the bodies to be found, so they are probably close to the family in some way.

    10. were the childrens fingerprints found on the popcorn bowls. If not, it suggest that this may have been staged after the crime. Was there any evidence that prints had been wiped from any surfaces (that is, is there a suspicious absence of prints in places where there usually would be prints?)

    11. When Michael returned the computer, is there anyway to know if somethings was removed? Were any passwords changed? web-histories deleted? instant messaging conversations erased? what reason was offered for taking this?

  76. David F   November 26, 2013 at 4:24 pm

    The evidence showing that there were two graves shows that the murders took place in two separate incidents. the killers could have very easily placed all four bodies in the same grave, but instead placed the adults in one grave, and the children in a separate grave. If the family had been held against their will from February 4th to February 8th, they would not have been walking so casually across the border, but would have been running for their life, so it wasnt the McStays that crossed the border. The Mom cooked popcorn for the kids, most likely waiting for Joseph to come home, while he was out. This is where it gets confusing as whether he was home at the time of the invasion or whether he was taken separately from Summer and the kids. The family had already been sealed their doom by the time, someone drove their car to the border, and wanted to lead the police to believe in that fabricated story. This crime was well planned, as they planted evidence on their home computer, and were able to leave the crime scene without any evidence. Holding the family against their will was now just a part of their plan, and depending on the killer’s motive would only tell how long the family remained alive. The killers are very familiar with the Victorville area, as this was the least likely place for someone to discover them while leaving the dead bodies or to recover them. There has barely been any rain during the past two winters, and the dust on top of the trail of evidence that came from the wind blowing the dirt across the grave estimates that the victims had been there for 2 to 3 years. The killers most likely parked the car in San Ysidro because it was parked illegally and the killers would not have wanted to be video taped by pulling it into some public parking garage, and didnt care about getting a ticket. The white sheets on top of the toys were placed there by the killers, as this is the only piece of evidence that shows some type of planning in their disappearance which the McStays seem to have been totally unaware of. The killer is someone that the family knew and allowed into their home to become familiar enough with them that they knew the kids, how old they were, the floor plan of the house, what time Joseph McStay worked, his schedule, and whether or not he would be away form home that evening. They were buried in the winter months, as if they pulled in digging equipment during the summer, this would have caused curiosity as to why they were digging so close to the freeway. The killers are most likely in the mining business, as digging holes in the desert was something that they are akin to, maybe some of the gold miners up in Lucerne valley. The killer is most likely someone who has lived in Apple Valley or Victorville their whole life and are familiar with the area, is self employed as that they do not have a Monday through Friday work schedule, not married, as they don’t have the morals to sustain their own relationship, and have a highly secretive network to allow collaboration between their peers. They most likely have enough money not to be concerned about robbing the McStays of their money, and don t have any kids as they have no value for other s kids. The killers would have frequented San Clemente as this was the prior residence of the McStays, and someone that has a car with high mileage to drive to the border, South Orange County and San Bernardino Counties.

  77. N   November 29, 2013 at 6:46 am

    It\’s beyond sad- weighing objectively the facts and trying to zero in on the killers bottom line objective is really terrifying.. Who would benefit with the entire family \’missing\’ rather than declared dead. Why the need to do such an elaborate coverup- unless you were perhaps a \’obvious\’ suspect and had made threats over the CPS allegations??..or you are a family member that owes money, knows that you can gain access and therefor only benefit financially if the family is \’missing\’. I do think we can rule out the theory that this family had met with a random criminal and had been murdered for no apparent gain out of the blue- I think they would have burned the car- with the family inside …a two bit criminal wouldn\’t rent a Bob-cat and bury the bodies 100 miles away- then drive an additional 60 to stage a run-away hoax. I mean heck, the cost of gas plus the time involved would negate any financial profit esp if the crime started as a home invasion robbery-nothing was taken of monetary value (except after they went missing) JM wasn\’t forced to make any ATM trips-the car was found- this was someone that didn\’t want to trip up- they stayed laser focused- kill, bury, and set up a missing person mystery- they didn\’t want anything to connect them- this was a set up and those graves were pre dug..this was done quickly-and was oh so personal-rage driven. I think the CPS attempt was the biggest rage building hate driven motive there is..

  78. Jerry L   November 29, 2013 at 3:19 pm

    N’s comment #77 is an excellent assessment of this crime.
    I would like to add this . . . let’s for a moment agree with the previous LE position that the family left voluntarily for Mexico. Now we find the bodies . . . which now means the computer searches about passports and the Spanish learning software was just a coincidence! LE could offer no other explanation for their disappearance simply because there was just no evidence of a crime. A key statement by LE has been overlooked. They never said they left voluntarily . . . they just said they didn’t know what happened. LE could never say they believe the family is dead (although they hinted at it when they said ‘something worse may have happened to them’) It is beginning to look more like an ‘inside job’ and not a random act of violence. Let’s keep going here. Good work, N.

  79. Mari   December 1, 2013 at 6:53 pm

    David F’s comment (#76) sounds like he is talking about Chase Merritt. I have read that he lives or lived in Apple Valley – not far from the burial site and very secluded. You may be on to something… I hope this case is solved soon. RIP McStay Family

  80. Jeanne   December 8, 2013 at 8:58 am

    I agree with 77 what was McFadden doing during this time……… If not him then something about the money, they had a lot if new money.

  81. Not about Summer   December 11, 2013 at 11:19 am

    In my opinion I have to agree with the person of interest being the business partner or the ex wife’s new guy against who the Mcstays allegedly made the CPS complaint. It really appears to be a revenge killing. The sheer anger to pull a family from their house & kill small innocent children. I really think this crime is of a personal nature. They never went to Mexico. That video we now know was nothing more than grasping at straws. The searches on the computer are just coincidences at best. Maybe the searches were for someone else. I have looked up stuff for someone else that had nothing to do with me. Not everything is what it seems. Here is the interview with the business partner. It is strange to say the least.

  82. Not about Summer   December 11, 2013 at 12:38 pm

    I just had a thought that hasn’t been explored yet. Is it possible that one of Joe Mcstay’s business partners was doing something illegal with bad people without Joe Mcstay’s knowledge (in the guise of the fountain business). And maybe ripped off the bad guys & placed the blame on the Mcstays. Let them be the fall guys. It has happened before. Fear is a great motivator. Was this why the business partner didn’t answer his phone that night. If that is the night the Mcstays really vanished. Did he know what was going to happen to them. But better them than him. That seems really possible to me. Someone else got them into this. By the time Joe realized it, it was too late.

  83. Liz   December 14, 2013 at 7:42 pm

    Well your theory seems very possible. I have always though that it was someone in Joey’s inner circle ie business partner that was involved. I hope and pray for justice for the Mcstays.

  84. Jerry L   December 16, 2013 at 4:29 pm

    I have a question . . . When Mike Mcstay goes to the house it is locked and he has to get in through a window. Under what set of circumstances would the doors be locked? An intruder gets in and forces one or more of the family to leave at gunpoint . . . then says, "make sure the place is closed up?"
    The family is leaving voluntarily never to return . . . "lets make sure no gets in to steal our silverware!" This one is why I cannot believe the SDSD was so inept. Did they really believe they left voluntary theory?
    The most likely scenario would be they left hurriedly but were expecting to return. So Summer leaves her glasses, the dogs are left out, and food is left on the counter. This points in a few directions . . . One of the kids was kidnapped and the others were forced to leave under threat. (most likely by phone) The doors may be locked in this scenario. The family may have left for a medical emergency then met with foul play along the way. The doors would be locked here.
    Another question . . . was Summer in the habit of leaving the dogs locked out of the house?
    I don’t own a dog but I know most who do would leave the doors unlocked when home with the dogs outside.

  85. Not about Summer   December 21, 2013 at 12:39 pm

    I also really believe the investigators need to take a much stronger look at his brother Mike. He ran the business after Joe died. He said weird things in the beginning like them looking for "two adult shallow graves" & two crosses for the children. Are you kidding me? They could have been in the ocean or dismembered or any number of scenarios if you are already thinking them to be deceased. Why shallow graves????? Which is where we know they were. Guilty knowledge. He worked in construction & knew what types of tire tracks (bobcat) led to the graves. He said peculiar things after they were found. And at the press conference after fake crying he did appear to crack a smile that he tried to hide. Called the killer(s) "individuals". I would have had stronger language for the murderer of children. Unless of course he was really referring to himself then it is very hard for someone to call themselves something really bad. At the cross raising memorial at the gravesite he’s looking at the camera while he’s wearing those big sunglasses. He’s concerned about who is looking at him. He also took the media on a tour of the house after his brother went missing. Killers will do that type of thing to try to manipulate how the media is spinning the story. I hope I am really wrong here. But it is someone very close to this family.

  86. kNu   December 24, 2013 at 5:38 am

    The Summer McStay North Carolina Bank Account with 80-100k is an assumption. Show us proof. You can’t can you.

  87. DeskDetective   December 26, 2013 at 6:09 pm

    This is only my opinion of what happened to the McStay family.
    1. The McStay family left the house to meet someone they knew at the bridge. This was in February, and because the neighbors surveillance camera showed the Trooper leaving at 7:45pm there was no daylight. And, I believe this was not for looking at a view. There were 2 toddlers along. Therefore, they left their home for an emergency, to help someone. (IMO they wrote something down at

    their home on paper by a phone, it could be just scribbles but it is related to a call from the killer)
    2. When they arrived at the bridge Joey got out of the vehicle, and Summer and the boys remained in their car seats. The boys had fallen asleep, the ride and the darkness put them to sleep. Joey went to check-out the situation but was caught off guard. He had a tazer used on him, and his arms tied
    behind his back with electrical cord. Next he
    appeared to Summer and told her Joey wanted her.
    She got out of the vehicle and followed him. She
    was not afraid because she knew this man. She was then tazered too. The rest was easy.
    3. IMO there was 1 killer, a man. There was no bob cat or back hoe used. I am in construction, and a killer wouldn’t use such items to dig graves under such circumstances. Though I believe the graves were dug beforehand, days in advance. The 3rd grave wasn’t finished because of the ground, hard to dig in. Remember if heavy equipment was used the soil or depth would not be difficult but the graves were shallow. Would heavy equipment be rented…would it be loaned by someone? This killer acted alone. He could not take chances.
    4. The killer drove the Trooper to the border, then took a bus or train home. No one helped him get back home, he couldn’t risk it.
    5. This is a premeditated crime. No gun was used, after they were tazered he choked them to death or stabbed them.
    6. Why were they killed? The age old reason…jealously and greed. Joey was making money. His business partners would need Joey to stay alive…if Joey died so did their businesses. They had nothing to gain by killing him.
    5. Summer had been married before. So her maiden name, 1st marriage name and her McStay name would be 3 legal names or a/k/a. Changing her name to Summer is nothing! It is common for women to change their names to what they feel represents who they are, I know several who have done so. It is usually done by a hippie/new age type person. Summer enjoyed the beach, and probably that lifestyle, maybe a vegetarian, candles, etc…I repeat changing her name was nothing.
    6. Mike McStay seemed to be unconcerned in contacting the police. He went on his trip, then came home, then called. He borrowed money from Joey, (maybe he was being cut off) he in the electrical business, if he called Joey for help…Joey and the rest would have dropped everything and took off, he would have been trusted. This is my opinion but many murders are committed by family, and no one can be ruled out. This grotesque crime was not done by pro but it was planned, and done by 1 person. Who would want to get involved in killing 4 people and 2 were basically toddlers? It would be to dangerous to involve other people. Even going to the house would be dangerous that is why they called Joey to come to the bridge. And the surveillance camera shows the McStay family leaving. But something was wrote down about the call. Doodles, name, bridge, etc…

  88. Rick Baker   April 17, 2014 at 6:25 am

    Please continue to pray for the San Bernardino Sheriff’s Dept. as they work to solve this case. We need to keep the McStay name in the news!

  89. Alison in UK   May 2, 2014 at 1:47 pm

    Hi, I’m in the UK, when is the book due to come out?


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