Every Monday, I'm presenting a new mystery. Some have been solved...some remain unsolved to this day.
Children disappear. Women disappear. Men even disappear sometimes. But when an entire family disappears, it can be a real mystery.
The McStay family wasn't unlike so many other families in this country. The dad, Joseph, owned a successful custom waterfall business.
His wife, Summer, dedicated her time to raising their two children.
On February 9, 2010, Joseph's business partner, Chase Merritt, called his brother to tell him he hadn't heard from Joseph in five days. After trying to get in touch and failing, the family notified the police, who entered the home.
The house was empty. It looked as though the family had left suddenly. There were two bowls of popcorn on a futon in front of the TV and raw eggs on the kitchen counter.
The last time anyone heard from the McStay family was February 4th. The police tracked down a neighbor's surveillance camera and found that at 7:47 pm, the family's SUV pulled out of the driveway and drove off. No other cars were around. It never returned. The police tracked the vehicle to a tow yard in San Diego. It had been towed from a parking lot near the border.
For a while, the police were sure the McStays had crossed the border on foot. They had this footage from cameras at the border on the night the family disappeared:
Unfortunately, the family isn't living a new life in Mexico. On November 11, 2013, a motorcyclist found the remains of the McStay family in the desert near Victorville, California. McStay's business partner, Chase Merritt, was arrested for the murders.
Chase was the one who initially called Joseph's brother to say he hadn't heard from him in five days. The trial brought out gruesome details about the McStays' final moments that I won't post here. You can click if you want to read more. It appears money was the motive. Police think the family was killed in the home and transported to the desert. The house was being painted at the time, so the killer could have easily covered any blood spatter.
Four crosses were erected at the spot in the desert where the remains were found.