One of the most mystifying missing persons cases in recent history has just been blown wide open with the discovery of the bones of two bodies buried in the Mojave Desert. The McStay family -- father Joseph, mother Summer, and children Gianni, 4, and Joseph, 3 -- mysteriously vanished back in 2010. The family seemed to have abruptly fled their home north of San Diego, leaving their two dogs in the backyard. Authorities thought they'd fled to Mexico. But now it appears that the family was killed, with bones belonging to the McStay parents having been discovered in a shallow grave, and more bones nearby believed to be that of the children awaiting DNA testing.
The family's disappearance three years ago was very mysterious. Surveillance cams picked up their SUV leaving their driveway, but no one could tell who was in it. Then the vehicle was found parked in a San Diego shopping mall four days after their disappearance. They appeared to leave the house in a rush -- eggs were on the counter, left to rot. Their dogs were outside. Everything in their house was still there. They took no money out of their bank accounts nor used their credit cards.
Yet someone had apparently searched on travel to Mexico on their computer before their disappearance and then surveillance cameras picked up a family of four, looking much like them, walking hand in hand across the border. A waitress in Mexico then claimed to have seen the family and even described a birth mark on Joey Jr.'s head. Investigators eventually concluded the family had left of their own accord and were living in Mexico.
But family and friends insisted they would never leave their dogs behind with no food or water, let alone go silent on everyone they knew and loved and flee their life in their brand new home.
The family's case was so baffling it was featured on many TV shows, including America's Most Wanted.
Now it tragically appears that the entire family was murdered. But how? And why? And if, as has been bandied about before, this was a business deal gone wrong, WHY did the killers have to execute the children too??
I can't imagine how terrified they all were, being driven off to their deaths in the desert -- and how the parents must have been worried for their young children. Just tragic.
Hopefully finding the remains means that the killer or killers will soon be in custody.
Had you heard of this case?
Image via McStayFamily.org