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Father Says Desert Remains Are Those Of Joseph And Summer McStay

Clockwise from top left, Joseph McStay, Summer McStay, Joseph Mateo McStay and Gianni McStay.
Photos via
Clockwise from top left, Joseph McStay, Summer McStay, Joseph Mateo McStay and Gianni McStay.

Family Missing From Fallbrook Since 2010

The father of a missing family from the San Diego area says he was told by investigators that the remains of his son and his daughter-in-law were found buried in the desert near Victorville earlier this week.

KFMB says Patrick McStay confirmed Friday the family has been contacted by investigators from the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department. McStay says two of the four bodies discovered in shallow graves were the remains of Joseph and Summer McStay.

Friday at a press conference, Joseph's brother Michael spoke tearfully to the media.


"It's not really the outcome we were looking for but it gives us courage to know that they're together," he said.

San Bernardino County Sheriff John McMahon said two shallow grave sites were discovered with a total of four bodies. The adult bodies were identified as Summer and Joseph McStay. The other bodies are believed to be those of young McStay children, pending DNA identification.

McMahon added autopsies are expected to be complete by end of the day. He said the manner of death had determined to be homicide, but authorities not releasing a cause of death.

The McStays and their boys, Gianni and Joseph Jr., went missing from their home in Fallbrook in February 2010. The family's 1996 Isuzu Trooper was found abandoned four days later in San Ysidro, near the U.S.-Mexico border.

Investigators had believed the family left for Mexico voluntarily after being convinced four people seen on a dimly lit surveillance video walking into Tijuana were the McStays.


McStay added he doesn't know if the other two bodies found in the desert are his grandchildren.

The skeletal remains of four people were found in and near two shallow graves, in the Mojave Desert outside Victorville by a motorcyclist on Monday, according to the San Bernardino Sheriff's Department.

Sheriff's officials said a forensic anthropologist would assist in conducting the autopsies to determine the causes of death, ages and gender.

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