Support for LAist comes from
We Explain L.A.
Stay Connected

Share This

This is an archival story that predates current editorial management.

This archival content was written, edited, and published prior to LAist's acquisition by its current owner, Southern California Public Radio ("SCPR"). Content, such as language choice and subject matter, in archival articles therefore may not align with SCPR's current editorial standards. To learn more about those standards and why we make this distinction, please click here.


Skeletal Remains In Remote Desert Grave Belong To Family That Went Missing In 2010

We need to hear from you.
Today, put a dollar value on the trustworthy reporting you rely on all year long. The local news you read here every day is crafted for you, but right now, we need your help to keep it going. In these uncertain times, your support is even more important. We can't hold those in power accountable and uplift voices from the community without your partnership. Thank you.

The skeletal remains found just outside of Victorville in a remote desert, were identified as belonging to at least two members of the McStay family, who went missing from San Diego in 2010.

The bodies were identified as Joseph and Summer McStay, according to CBS 8; however, authorities are still investigating as to whether the other two belong to their young sons. The Fallbrook family had mysteriously vanished back in Feb. 2010 and their Isuzu Trooper was found abandoned days later at a shopping mall near the U.S.-Mexico border. U-T San Diego reported that investigators found on the family's computer online searches on passport requirements for children traveling to Mexico.

Back at their home, it appeared as if they had to make a quick exit, as their dogs were left behind, popcorn was sitting in bowls in their living room, and even rotten eggs on their kitchen counter,reported CBS Los Angeles. There were no signs of a break-in entry or struggle, and the family seemed financially sound. The San Diego county sheriff investigators transferred the case to the FBI in April.

"He would not have left or done anything without calling me or his mother," Patrick McStay, Joseph's father told CBS 8. "And for almost four years now, he would have picked up that phone or gotten word to one of us that they were out there and okay."

Support for LAist comes from

The bodies were first discovered on Nov. 11 by an off-roading motorcyclist who had discovered some bones by a shallow grave off by the highway. The San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department had spent three days excavating to uncover all of the remains. They confirmed to find two graves with skeletal remains, but found no evidence at the third site.

Related stories:
The Strange Story Of The McStay Family Who Was Found Buried In Desert
Four Human Skeletons Discovered In Remote Desert Graves
Mass Grave Being Excavated In The Middle Of The Desert Right Now

Most Read