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Who killed Joey and Summer McStay? – Review of the case

Joseph McStay

UPDATE:  Chase has been arrested and charged with murder.  Please click here to read.
I have done many stories on the McStays.  You can read those stories by following links in this story below or by putting McStay in the search above.

During the press conference, San Bernardino County Sheriff John McMahon told the media that Joseph and Summer had been identified through dental records.  The other remains they are not sure who they are, but it is safe to assume that they belong to Gianni and Little Joey.

Michael McStay, Joey’s brother and the rest of the family, were sitting in chairs around a conference table while McMahan spoke.  They were all visibly upset and if I didn’t know any better I would have thought that I was watching a funeral, instead of a press conference.

Back in Texas, Patrick McStay, Joey’s father, who I have become to know over the last couple of years, is alone, with his own grief.

I first met him when I linked him up with a Private Investigator that was willing to look into the case pro bono.  The PI, which I will keep anonymous for now, didn’t share too much info with me, out of professional courtesy for Patrick, but he did say that a search should be done near the area of the Old Bonsall Bridge, which is where the McStay’s family’s phone had pinged.

Summer McStay

No searches, to my knowledge, were ever done where the phones last pinged.  Det. Dugal sent a letter to the PI stating they had done a search of the immediate area in 2010 including business in the area, but nothing about the Old Bonsall Bridge.   He also told the PI that he could search the area, but to keep in mind that he would need permission from landowners to search on their property.  I believe the PI did do a cursory search of the area, but because of the terrain and legal issues of land ownership, he was limited, plus he was alone.

Through social media I learned there were several people during the course of the last two years that had tried to get a search together, but nothing ever came of it.  During the latest attempt, the volunteers were denied access to the area in Bonsall they wanted to search.  Eventually, I heard no more about it.

It would be my guess that somewhere in that area that has never been searched is the McStay’s cell phone that was probably pitched off the Old Bonsall Bridge.

Old Bonsall Bridge

During the 3 years the McStay’s were missing, part of me felt that the McStay’s met with foul play, but the other part of me didn’t.  I think the latter may have been naive, and full of the childlike optimism and hope that tends to cloud my judgement.  Although the surveillance video of the family crossing the border was impossible to see who it really was, I still wanted to believe it was them and they had decided, with reasons only known to them, to begin a new life elsewhere.

But, there was one part that couldn’t be ignored, that I couldn’t shake, that I became aware of regarding transfers from Joey’s bank account made through Paypal transactions.  The transfers were being done by one person, per Patrick and I thought it could be possible that person might have been sending it to the McStay’s.  We now know that probably never happened.

Here is  the transactions with the important info X’d out as compiled by Patrick:

2/6/10 – Request initiated – money from bank account to paypal acct in amount of $2000.00 USD
2/9/10 – $2000 balance landed in paypal acct. bank transfer complete
2/18/10 – e-check payment to $3000USD. Transaction ID SRW06714LNXXXXXXX
2/18/10 = Bank account transfer initiated 2/15/10 is now complete in amt of $2000USD
2/24/10 – Transfer initiated to $2000USD. Transaction ID 97L9863056XXXXXXX
3/4/10 – funds request from bank initiated.
3/9/10 – $2900 available from bank transfer
3/11/10 – payment for $3,000.00 USD to sent
3/25/10 – eCheck payment of $3,445.00 USD to XXXXXXXXXXXX – Transaction ID: 4P167088KMXXXXXXX
3/25/10 – eCheck payment of $5,000.00 USD to XXXXXXXXXXXX (XXXXXXXXXXXXXX). Transaction ID: 7AG806806B4XXXXXX
3/30/10 – attempted to withdraw $2000 from UBOC. Declined.
3/30/10 – tried again. Denied.
5/5/10 – tried again. Declined.
5/21/10 – tried again. declined
6/1/10 – attempted to transfer $1,000.00 USD from bank account, ending in 1738. This transfer was returned by bank on Jun. 7, 2010 for the reason – The bank account is closed.
6/1/10 – attempted to transfer $1,000.00 USD from alternate bank account, twice. This transfer was returned by bank on 6/7/10 for the reason  – There was a bank processing error.
6/1/10 – attempted to transfer $1,000.00 USD from your bank account, ending in 2784. This transfer was returned by bank on Jun. 7, 2010 for the reason – This is an invalid bank account number.
6/2/10 – changed password

Patrick stated that Dugal who said that he knew the McStay’s “financials and their friends better than I know my own financials and my wife’s,” told Patrick:

“Doesn’t matter if someone isn’t on the account as long as they have the passwords and the account ID there is no crime!  I [Patrick] asked what if they hacked your account and Det. Dugal said again if they have your account ID and password there is not a crime.”

The account was finally frozen in March by the bank and not by SDSD.

The withdrawal’s began on Feb 6, the McStay’s went missing on the 4th and by the time the account was closed over a month and a half later, over $24,000 was missing.

Patrick stated that there is no one that had the Paypal password except for Joey.  I suppose the password could have been saved on Joey’s computer and someone accessed it that way, but if not did  someone hack into the account two days after the family disappeared or did they force Joey to tell them the password?

Patrick believes that if the SDSD had taken action earlier regarding the transactions that legal action could have been taken.  I believe that legal action over that missing money can still be taken and should be.  No one had the right to steal over $24,000 from Joey, and the fact that no one is answering for it is something the SDSD needs to explain.  Why have they NOT held anyone accountable for the missing money when it is known exactly who took it?

Patrick posted the following last summer and something I repeated during several interviews today:

“Remember it always comes down to “follow the money”.

Patrick also asks,

“So where is the money leading too? Who got or had access to Joey’s accounts and what have we seen happening, like the sale of EIP, the money taken from accounts before they were even known to be missing. The company business records attempted to be gained. We also have some one recently buying a boat that as we know hasn’t or doesn’t show any means of income. So where did the money come from.”

So, what is the answer to the Patrick’s question.  I will tell you tomorrow.
Go here for part two. 

You might also like, did the police rush to judgement on what happened to the McStays? 

The 67 inch apart tire tracks


69 thoughts on “Who killed Joey and Summer McStay? – Review of the case

  1. Heartbreaking news about this family. I felt the same about the video. I was just sure it had to be the family. 🙁

  2. All of the stories I saw had authorities saying their bank account was untouched. That was why they were not thinking foul play. Were they unaware of all this?

  3. Now that they know the family was murdered, the authorities should do everything they can to track down the owners of the paypal and gmail accounts as quickly as possible and bring justice to this poor family. Such a shame.

  4. If these were my family members I would be absolutely furious. People get murdered for their ATM pin all the time. This is a huge amount of money to go missing. But not enough to keep a family going for 3 years. What the hell were the authorities thinking?

  5. Here are my two cents as an armchair detective:

    From all I've read, it seems that Joseph McStay's business partner Chase Merritt (birth name Charles Ray Merritt) is a likely suspect. According to some information he's an ex-con and through sites like MyLife I see he's lived in Rancho Cucamonga and Apple Valley (which is right next to Victorville). People living in those areas (the Inland Empire) know about Victorville. Victorville isn't well known in other parts of So Cal, including San Diego, because it's a remote and boring place. I've read that Joseph met with Chase in Rancho Cucamonga the day he went missing. My theory is that Chase either asked Joseph to borrow money and Joseph said no or Chase concocted a plan to kill the family and steal their money. Summer would have known Joseph was going to meet Chase and could have identified him if Joseph went missing. I don't think Joseph returned to his house, or if he did he was not alone. I think Chase came down to Fallbrook/Bonsall with Joseph's phone and texted Summer pretending to be Joseph and saying he had been in an accident near where the cell phone pinged (or another emergency situation which would have gotten her out of the house in a hurry). He also called his own cell phone from Joseph's phone to try to establish an alibi that he was in Rancho Cucamonga at home when he wasn't. He could have killed Summer and the kids in Bonsall or bound them and killed them in Victorville. The burial spot is right next to a very small airport and that could've possibly concealed any sounds of wrongdoing (such as gunfire in the case that they were shot, which is unknown). They were likely killed and buried the same night they went missing. The shallow graves demonstrate that this wasn't the work of a sophisticated killer or drug cartel but rather someone who was in a hurry. He buried them quickly and got back on the 15 fwy and could have gotten home to Rancho Cucamonga in 30-40 mins from Victorville. At some point he could have realized that he was going to be one of the last people to see Chase alive and realized he had to focus the investigation as far south as he could. San Ysidro makes for the perfect place to stage the car so that it looks like the family could've gone to Mexico or that it was a hit by a Mexican cartel, etc. This news article highlights Chase as a potential suspect: If he was convicted of burglary he has a knowledge of breaking into homes (assuming in that case that Summer and the kids were taken under the threat of violence). The Ross toys in the back of the car were bought on Feb 3, a day before they disappeared, and because of the McStay's computer searches for bday party invitations I think the toys weren't related to the crime. According to UT San Diego they were bought at the Vista, CA Ross and not at the Ross near where the car was found. I think the searches about Mexico and children's passports and learning Spanish might not have anything to do with the crime either. It could've been that they were planning a trip to Cancun or another tourist location in the future. Summer might not have wanted to travel to Tijuana with young children, but maybe she wouldn't have been as worried about other cities. There is also the potential that Chase visited the family at home in the past and planted those searches. It wouldn't be strange to meet with your business partner in your home. I wouldn't be surprised if Joseph and Chase met weekly to discuss business and one week they'd meet in Fallbrook and the next they'd meet in Rancho Cucamonga. This is just my take on what could have likely happened from all of the facts I've read about the case. In any case, the discovery of the McStays definitely points to a personal connection rather than some conspiracy about organized crime or a Mexican drug cartel.

  6. His last phone call to the business associate, only a minute, has always been suspicious to me, with no call back from said business associate. I personally think it may have been Joseph giving us a tip, the number would have been on speed dial.

    As for the texts, the cops have all the texts and it's not easy to imitate someone else. I think Joseph came home and somehow they all got lured out.

  7. Don't overlook the McStay's employee, Dan Kavanaugh. According to several associates and former girlfriends, he would not have a problem killing the entire family, including the children. His past is extremly violent and dark. Perhaps, he was paid to do it by Chase Merritt. I also believe the Michael McStay knows more that he is currently sharing with the police. Especially regarding some missing money. The grave sites will yield valuable clues in this case because this crime was not committed by a Master Criminal. No, this crime involved unconscionable and heinous acts of mental deficients.

  8. The killer is someone close to McStays. Perhaps Joey did mention about trip to Mexico i.e do the kids need passport etc. My money is on Chase Merritt. He didnt expect there was a neighbors cctv otherwise he wouldnt have made that call to his own number, one hour after! There were no signs of foul play In the house because he'd threaten to kill the kids if Joey or Summer make noises getting into the car. Summer didnt even take her glasses with her.

  9. My thoughts exactly. I also suspected the business partner. The kids were killed because they could identify him

  10. I have a question about the 8:38pm phone call Joseph made. I've read that it was a 1 minute call, and that it was a voicemail message left by Joseph himself. Also, that Chase said that Joseph was all business and sounded calm and not under any type of duress. Do you know if these are true facts?

    Sadly, it seems that the this poor family never made it out of the Bonsall area. I still cannot believe that LE did not do a comprehensive search of that area. That boggles my mind.

    I agree with Patrick McStay, LE really did a poor job of investigating this.

  11. Jerrie:

    I thought you were going to “tell us tomorrow”? I would love to hear the answer to Patrick's question, please.
    Also, can you please tell me who MM is? I know people aren't referring to Mikey but a different player with the same initials. Thank you!

  12. I think its important for Patrick McStay to be know, if indeed Charles Ray Merritt, is a suspect, that he has registered a home with the San Bernardino Courts a while back which is located just 15 miles away from the grave sites, and literally takes three turns to get there from that residences driveway. It is in an isolated area, and sadly if what I read is true than according to Rick Baker someone already leaked information and Joseph and Summer were tied up, which would sadly make sense. I hope this information helps.

  13. It has taken me longer than expected because of all the research I have done. I will be working on finishing it all up and posted it on Tuesday. MM is probably McGyver McCargar.

  14. I have spoken to Patrick and he has told me numerous times that RB has been wrong many times. If I am clear on this an electric cord was found but the part about them being tied up or even one person being tied is wrong.

  15. It upsets me that false info was allowed to be spread by the media for so long. The general public being told that no money was taken led people to believe the McStays left willingly or were snuffed out by a Mexican cartel (what a joke!) or that Summer was a murderer. I feel so badly that the family had to listen to these crackpot theories for so long and had people treat their relatives as if they were at fault.

    –Shannon in San Diego

  16. If McGyver (what a name!) was painting I wonder if the McStays gave him a spare key or showed him where one was? That might explain the lack of forced entry.

    –Shannon in San Diego

  17. It isn't McGyvar. It is Michael James McFadden who is the MM.
    From the cell phone calls, it is obviously Chase Meritt who is the prime suspect. The bodies were found near his home. He probably killed MM, buried him in grave #1, drove the car to Fallbrook and got the rest of the family.

  18. Jerrie: Has Patrick shared this information with you? If so, are you comfortable telling me who the person(s) is?

  19. Joseph did has some property in Mexico and yes they could have been planning a trip to go there next summer. I don't believe it had anything to do with what happened to them, but the police took that and a grainy video to conclude they went to Mexico for good. The fact that left their dog behind, left at night, text messages, and a million other clues was disregarded and ignored. Even a PI who investigated the case, told them there was foul play. There was more evidence that left INvoluntarily that voluntarily, but the police decided the latter was what happened. And you couldn't shake them from that thought no matter how much information the PI and Patrick threw at them. It was like they were NOT going to let anyone prove their theory wrong, even when it got to the point so much information was dug up that did prove they were wrong.

  20. When I googled charles chase merrit, a few results came up. The ripoff report on business called Waterfalls in Ca caught my eyes. Im not sure if its the same person though. The report was in 2006. I dont know if Joey knew that before he decided to make him a partner.

  21. If you read Chase's article on this, you wouldn't think he had anything to do with it.

  22. Law enforcement should have been following those transactions. MORONS, total morons. Why don't the cops ever want to do their jobs any more. So useless.

  23. @Anonymous, I'm the OP. I just read the article. From what I've read on here it sounds like DK is a better suspect, but I'm not altogether convinced that Chase isn't a suspect from that article alone. I do think it's interesting that he seems to have lived at some point (perhaps even now) not far from where their bodies are found. It's possible that DK could've done it alone and hid their bodies up there, but in my experience most San Diegans don't know that area (Victorville) and if they wanted a desert location to stash a body in they'd first think of the deserts in East San Diego or Imperial Counties. The article does make me less suspicious of Chase but simply a guy saying, “I didn't do it” doesn't completely rule him out for me either.

  24. I do believe Patrick McStay has his finger on the pulse of what happened, but I wouldn't completely discount the police. They may be holding information back in order to assure that when they do make the arrest they are able to present a bullet proof case. At least this is what I want to believe. There are compelling suspects in this case, but for all we know this was a case of mistaken identity. Was there ever an investigation into who lived in the McStay's house before they purchased it. Manson sent his killers to go after a music producer he had a gripe with, who had moved from the house they entered. Sometimes things aren't what they appear to be. Whatever happens, it's important that the actual killers be caught. What they did was unthinkable. And they are certainly capable of doing this again, if they haven't already done so. They have to be stopped.

  25. Compilation of interesting old and recent postings: From the following website: “. . . Other strong stressors and possible reasons to leave include the unsuccessful resolution of their CPS case alleging abuse of Joseph's son by a previous marriage – and the accused allegedly threatened S.M.(Summer) in a conversation with J.M.(Joey). Quote: “Muzzle your wife–or I will” . . . “
    From the following website: “I think they ran! I think she was going to be prosecuted along with her other co-workers over that mortgage remodification business, and there was a CPS issue with the older son, and threats. I think they up and ran.” From the following website
    “Basically everything about her past is a mystery but there were a ton of emails leaked in the book where it showed her darker side. She was involved in Loan Modification scams and on top of that had an ex-boyfriend released from prison a few weeks before they went missing, and they also had the CPS investigation going against Joseph’s 13yr old son’s (step-father) from a previous marriage. The kids New father was said to have a lengthy rap sheet and a charge for attempted murder in his past . . ”

  26. Other charges filed against Michael J. McFadden (per Orange County Court Index) included:
    459/460(a) PC – Burglary 07/16/1998 02/25/2000 Dismissed
    422 PC – Assault 07/16/1998 02/25/2000 Dismissed
    273.5(a) PC – Domestic Violence 07/16/1998 02/25/2000 Dismissed
    12022.7(d) PC – Infliction of great bodily injury on a child under the age of five … 07/16/1998 02/25/2000 Dismissed
    422 PC – Assault 07/16/1999 02/25/2000 Dismissed
    240 PC – Attempt to inflict violent force on another person. 07/16/1999 02/25/2000 Dismissed
    245(a)(1) PC – Assault with a deadly weapon other than a firearm 07/16/1998 01/18/2000 Pled Guilty
    12022.7(d) PC – Infliction of great bodily injury on a child under the age of five… 07/16/1998 02/25/2000 Dismissed
    422 PC – Criminal Terrorist Threat 07/16/1999 01/18/2000 Pled Guilty
    664-187 PC – Attempted Murder 07/16/1998 02/25/2000 Dismissed

  27. Though there is no real way to no without checking the court files on the above, it would appear that every charge made on 7/16/1999 was dismissed. He did plead guilty to assault with a deadly weapon–he did not use a firearm. And he plead guilty to Criminal Terrorist Threat. Not sure exactly what you have to do to be convicted of those charges–but certainly he seems prone to losing his temper. But these charges were also over ten years old by the time of the McStay disappearance. Could be he is a habitual abuser. Could also be he was young in a bad relationship, perhaps he's worked to better himself. It's impossible to know just looking at this.

  28. Thanks for the input. But please realize that ten years ago MM would have be 38 years old which is hardly young and certainly old enough to contain oneself when getting angry. I've been around a lot and noticed that most people never get charged with attempted murder, even if the charge was dismissed. That still leaves two very big charges that he pled guilty to. I wonder what the charges were concerning children less than five years of age was about. Also, most 38 year old people don't assault other with deadly weapons.

  29. Thanks for responding, Jerrie. Okay, so the information I read about Joseph leaving a message is inaccurate. Yesterday I read Chase Merritt's Daily Mail interview and in the comment section he reiterated that Joseph never left him a message.

  30. I was thinking the same. The killer might got the wrong person. Or they were looking for money previously hidden in the house. Have police checked the previous owner and their connection? As the previous owner only owned the house for <10 months (Jan-Nov 2009) before bought by McStays.

  31. DK definitely seems like a POI in this case. However, I just can't wrap my head around these transactions. On the one hand, DK must have known something happened to Joey since he felt free enough to pilfer Joey's accounts thinking there wouldn't be repercussions. But on the other hand, how could someone smart enough to plan and execute an abuction–including planting a search on a computer to Mexico (if the search wasn't done by a family member planning a future vacation), burying the body out in the desert so that they would never be found (at least he thought they would never be found), using gloves to drive the car to the border so that there wouldn't be any fingerprints, and not leave behind any discernable trace evidence–be stupid enough to implicate himself by then using his own email address to pilfer funds out of the victim's account? Isn't that strange? It just seems odd that the person would go through a lot of trouble to hide this heinous crime, and make it look as if Joey and his family left the country, only to then implicate himself.

  32. Yes. But don't we still want people to be held innocent in the eyes of the law, until PROVEN innocent?

  33. It's not McGyver. It's the other. The other is the only one with the charges described.

  34. I admit I have been slightly swayed by the Daily Mail article as well. But that close proximity between Rancho and Victorville has bothered me since the moment I heard it was the McStay Family burried there. I immediately remembered where CM had lived and know this area too well. It was so coincidental. With that said, I thought I saw that DK had lived in San Dimas. That is pretty close too!

  35. Yes, that is what I have been told, that no message was left. The cell phone records show a call, but not if anyone picked up and answered.

  36. Response to Nov 20 at 7:27 PM: You have it backwards. Under our system of justice, all parties are assumed innocent until “proven GUILTY”. Therefore, the state (prosecutorial & investigative authorities) have the onus to prove the guilt of a defendant, rather than require defendants to prove their innocence. With that said, this requirement however, does not alleviate the responsibility for the this state to follow-up on all relevant and reasonable lines of inquiry surrounding criminal activity. Given that this POI has had such a plethora of charges on his rap sheet, one can reasonably surmise that it is indeed reasonable for SBCS to dig deeply into his associations, activities, travels, and his alibi. Further, public discussion of criminal activities that are already a matter of public record is indeed healthy and vital to our society's freedom of speech.

  37. I think the authorities are investigating again. My point isn't that there shouldn't be an investigation into any viable suspect, but rather that a police record, such as the one shown, does not automatically equal guilt of murder. There are lots of people of interest in this case with police records. Doesn't mean they murdered anyone. It's really possible that the killers in this instance had no police record. And I don't agree that discussion of prior convictions or charges is necessarily healthy. People do make mistakes and they are also capable of positive change. We should be careful in this process not to create more victims by a callous indifference to the impact on someone else's life, of what we publish.

  38. This next may have no relevance, but it's interesting that what was left out in the McStay home was popcorn, eggs, a banana. There was no food that would indicate preparation for dinner. My thought was, could this indicate what time Summer and the kids were abducted? Children require structure and children that age would certainly have been on an eating schedule. Was the popcorn a snack to tide them over until Joey got home. Or was it a post dinner treat before bed? Were Summer and the kids abducted much earlier than we see the trooper leave? Could she have been making them an afternoon snack when a knock came to the door? OR was the plan that the family would go out to eat, eating schedule be damned, and it was while they were out that something occurred? This case really is puzzling.

  39. Well. Be that as it may. Doesn't prove the man capable of murder. We simply don't know who did this. And it's interesting that you profess to care so much about this case, yet don't seem to care at all what impact you may have on a person who may be totally innocent in all of this. There are all kinds of ways that people can be harmed–damage to reputation is one of these ways. Wrongful accusations are another.

  40. Nice of you to be so fired up to defend a guy that has a string of very heavy charges, including violence against children under the age of five. Quite interesting that no one is persuaded into actually testifying. Two charges that he pled to make him a convicted felon. btw – A charge of Attempted Murder means the authorities believed that he tried to kill someone but didn't actually succeed. Hummmmmm . . .

  41. I've wondered if maybe the eggs were left on the counter because they were getting ready to make breakfast on the morning of Feb 5th. The popcorn could have been left night before and the neighbors surveillance didn't record the Trooper returning from a quick trip to the market the night of February 4th. That could explain the pings at the Old Bonsall Bridge. How was the quality of the neighbors surveillance footage? Was it an older camera? Was the clock on the camera set at pm when it was actually it was am?

  42. Empathy I believe says on her card readings she keeps getting “waterfalls”. She thought it meant Fallbrook. Any more info on if that was his company?

  43. Not defending anyone. Just know enough about the criminal justice system to understand that you have to dig a little deeper to really know what happened. These are real people's lives we are addressing here. Hey, maybe you should give us all your name and SS and we can research you and publish our findings to the world at large. Perhaps we should all be up for exposure of this type. Think about it. What if you were in the hotseat? How would you wish that information to be handled?

  44. That's an interesting point, only Summer spoke to her sister the morning of the 4th. But what if Summer and the kids were abducted earlier than was thought? Say in the early afternoon? The timeline on this is largely comprised of phone reocrds, and of course Joey's meeting with his business partner. There is a receipt from Ross for kid's stuff that was purchased with Summer's credit card, but other than this there are not all that many witnesses with direct contact to the family. You might be on to something, in regard to the timeline being off. If someone took Summer and the kids earlier, maybe a neighbor saw a vehicle enter the cul de sac then?

  45. Why should I??? I have never abused anyone and . . . I don't have any criminal felony convictions. As a law-abiding citizen, I will never have to worry about what people think of me. As the old says goes, Karma is a beotch.

  46. Response to Anon Nov 24 at 6:32 AM
    So sorry to spoil your fun, however, I believe in a wise man who once said that arguing with anonymous strangers on the Internet is a sucker's game because they almost always turn out to be –or to be indistinguishable from– self-righteous and inexperienced sixteen-year-olds possessing infinite amounts of free time. Since your experience in the real world appears to be so lacking that you feel driven to give all comers a 100 percent benefit- of- the- doubt – no matter their felonious criminal history – it is likely that you are one of that blessedly naïve group. Fortunately, those 16-year-olds usually grow up, but unfortunately for them and the rest of us, there will always be more 16-year-olds to replace them in the ranks of anonymous social media. So, adios my young friend and in the event that a twice convicted violent felon moves into the house next door to you, your mom and dad will recognize that such a person just might present “ issues”. Hopefully, your parents will have enough common sense to take all precautions necessary to protect you until you finally grow up.

  47. I live in the area where they were found. You do not have to “know” the area. Anyone can pull off the freeway 50 yards into the desert. Anyone who has traveled to las vegas “knows” the area. It is not as remote as most people would think

  48. Ask yourself who would benefit the most from this family being dead. Follow the money. Whoever is responsible for this tragedy, they were close to the family. The boys were killed because they knew the identity of the killer(s). If it were the Cartel, the bodies would have been found right away. They want bodies to be found to send a message. No disrespect to the family, but I think that family members and close friends need to ruled out as suspects first. I think this was a planned murder. I think the graves were already dug. Can you imagine anyone out there 50 yards from the I-15 freeway which is heavily traveled, with four people they just murdered, digging two giant holes. It took some time to dig those graves, shallow or not. The CHP patrol that area heavily. One more point. I was one of those who donated to the family website. I think that info should be made public. How much was donated, what it was used for, who had supervision over it. Etc. What I thought was odd is that the reward money for info helping find the family never changed. $1000 Just curious. Thoughts and prayers to the family.

  49. I want everyone one out there to know that where they were found IS NOT an isolated remote area in the middle of the High Desert. If you are traveling to Las Vegas from San Diego or wherever from down the hill, as we desert folk call it, it is likely that you be taking the I-15 freeway through Victorvile. Shortly after Victorville if you look 50 yards off the freeway you can see the graves. I am sure many people over the years have pulled off in that very area to take a piss. Off roaders frequent the area every weekend because it is the only area that allows them to tear up the enviorment with their vehicles. Get off the remote isolated band wagon theory.

  50. I saw a video of MMcS where he states that someone would need to know the area since there is a depression in the landscape making the spot invisible to traffic going by.

  51. Yes, I was thinking that the killers could have waited for her around the corner from her house when she left to go to Ross (it seems that Summer took the family truck to go shopping) and they followed her to the store, then carjacked her when she came back to her car. While one killer pushed himself into the Isuzu with Summer and the boys at the mall the other killer followed them back to Summer's and waited outside the development or down the street. Later when Joey got home they were all forced into the Isuzu trooper and then once they exited the development they were followed by the other killer. This would explain why the Mcstay's truck was left in the driveway and why only the trooper is seen leaving in the neighbors surveillance. It would also explain how the trooper was found at the border. The killer driving his own car could have followed the trooper to the border and picked up his accomplice. The killers could have been people they knew or someone that was hired to kill the family (a hit). Too bad LE didn't get video surveillance of the mall parking lot.

  52. There is so much we can't know. We only get these scattered reports. But the timeline seems flimsy. We don't actually know that the trooper in the neighbor's video, is the McStay's. And the last call made on Joey's cell phone could be a mistake–even made by the killers who were checking to see what evidence was there. If one piece to the timeline is off, it might mean that Summer and the kids were abducted earlier than thought. And that Joey never made it home. I've always thought it was odd that Summer is reported to call Joey on their land-line, then suddenly begins to text him? Though there was popcorn left out, there was no preparation in process for a meal. Most parents of children the age of those babies, prefer to feed them at home. It's just easier. So if Joey was headed home, why wasn't Summer getting dinner ready? This isn't a judgment on Summer–I'm thinking she and the kids were taken earlier than thought. And maybe they were used to encourage Joey to go somewhere other than home.

  53. Hi fellow posters, I am making a huge apology to all of you, to a specific fellow poster and to the good folks that run these venues in which we are able to share our views with each other. Recently, a fellow poster pointed out to me that I was making unfounded assertions and basically, stated that doing this was unethical. After some thought, I realize that that poster was absolutely correct. In making spurious and nebulous assertions, I was possibly causing undue, and possibly, unwarranted, intrusions on others’ rights to privacy. I am very sorry for my lapse in judgment and have made myself a promise to stay away from these boards as I apparently tend to jump to conclusions and “post” before thinking out the impact. I will point out that I was slightly “infected” by the spirit and the almost universal desire to “help” bring the BGs to the forefront in this very sad case. From reading other folks’ posts, I see that I am not alone in my actions. I just pray that LE is not stymied or waylaid from their investigations by spurious and unfounded postings on various websites. Thank you.

  54. To Anonymous Nov 24 6:32 AM
    I am offering a huge apology to you, our fellow posters and to the good folks that run these venues in which we are able to share our views with each other. You correctly pointed out to me that I was making unfounded assertions and basically, stated that doing this was unethical. After some thought, I realize that that you are absolutely correct and that I am wrong in that I made spurious and nebulous assertions, and possibly causing undue, and possibly, unwarranted, intrusions on others’ rights to privacy. I am very sorry for my lapse in judgment and have made myself a promise to stay away from these boards as I apparently tend to jump to conclusions and “post” before thinking out the impact. I will point out that I was slightly “infected” by the spirit and the almost universal desire to “help” bring the BGs to the forefront in this very sad case. From reading other folks’ posts, I see that I am not alone in my actions. I just pray that LE is not stymied or waylaid from their investigations by spurious and unfounded postings on various websites. Thank you.

  55. Charles Ray Merritt AKA Chas and Chase, grew up in Hesperia, went to Apple Valley High School, and owned a home and business in that area. He was known to go target practicing with semi-automatic weapons very near where the McStays were found. His troubles aren't limited to a couple of brushes with the law when he was young:

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