Yup, it’s them

Per the Los Angeles Times: the bodies have been identified as the McStays. Or, rather, the adult skeletons have been identified as Joseph and Summer, and they’re assuming the child skeletons are of the two boys. Obviously, this was a homicide; dead people don’t bury themselves.

I don’t know what else to say, beyond that this is very, very sad. I mean, who massacres a whole family, including two children under five?

I really hope they find out who did this.

17 thoughts on “Yup, it’s them

  1. Holly November 15, 2013 / 3:47 pm

    Very unusual indeed. I don’t know of many serial killers who take out entire families, which leads me to believe perhaps it was some personal vendetta against this family. If one of the parents had some deal, they could have at least left the children alone. I will never understand or want to understand anyone who harms children. I hope this begins to bring some closure to the McStay’s family and friends.

  2. Kat November 15, 2013 / 4:53 pm

    I wonder now if it was them seen going into Mexico and if they met up with someone there or something happened to them there, or if it was something else entirely. Their discovery raises more questions than it answers. I read someplace though (and this could just be a wrong detail in the rush to get it to news) that the kids were found in a grave and the adults out on the ground, and I thought maybe murder/suicide?

    • Meaghan November 15, 2013 / 6:55 pm

      No, it was two different graves was what I heard.

  3. Michael November 15, 2013 / 5:01 pm

    I’m thinking there’s some kind of Mexico connection to this one as well.

  4. Susan Meyer November 15, 2013 / 5:52 pm

    I honestly Believe that it has to be someone that knew them. I cannot see a Mother putting her kids in a vehicle in the middle of the night and going off with someone that they had no idea who they were. I say it is close to home or close to the family is who did this.

    • Christy November 15, 2013 / 7:41 pm

      My thoughts exactly.

      • Frau Blucher November 17, 2013 / 3:47 pm

        absolutely. They had to know this person and probably had no idea what was going to happen. It doesn’t sound like they planned to leave and they wouldn’t have put their kids in danger.

    • Meaghan November 17, 2013 / 3:51 pm

      I’m picturing everybody standing around at the funeral looking at each other warily. 😦

  5. chris November 16, 2013 / 4:45 am

    That area of California has a ton of drugs and gang related violence I wouldn’t be surprised if drugs where involved somehow.

    • Holly November 16, 2013 / 12:41 pm

      I agree. Read several articles that state they were seen crossing the Mexican border. I also read that the mother, Summer, was tremendously protective of her two sons. They were her life and she was a stay at home mom. I feel like this was some kind of drug related issue, if not, perhaps they met up with people in Mexico and there were problems. I hope they never knew the kids were in danger. As a mom, I want to go before my kids. Very sad all around.

    • Justin November 16, 2013 / 8:11 pm

      Meaghan already mentioned it on her August 1st blog entry and updated the Charley webpage for Coral with the information. I don’t think they have recovered her body as of this time though.

  6. Elena November 16, 2013 / 8:19 pm

    My pet theory: it was a drug-related murder, but of mistaken identity. I have read about such cases before. Thugs wipe out an entire family who happened to look like a family they were targeting, or live in a similar house or apartment. They were just in the wrong place at the wrong time. The area where they were dumped is pretty bad, but the are where they resided is nice and safe.
    Also, it was never definitively established that they crossed the border. A family RESEMBLING theirs was seen crossing the border, but there is no way to tell if it were them or not.

  7. Kevin November 16, 2013 / 11:12 pm

    Back in the early 1980’s I lived in Miami, FL. My dads best friend at the time, a police sergeant, said this to him about ever considering moving drugs (my dad was an excellent deep-sea fisherman and scuba-diver, with an RV at the time): “one you get involved with it, you can’t get out. They don’t allow it.”

    • Meaghan November 17, 2013 / 2:56 pm

      Selling drugs, especially on a large scale, is poking death with a stuck.

      USING certain kinds of drugs is also poking death with a stick.

  8. Melissa Kent November 18, 2013 / 5:01 am

    OMG. As you know, Meaghan, as we’ve corresponded about it before, this is the case that most intrigues me. I can’t believe they’ve been found. I just hope those little boys didn’t suffer and they find the people who did this.

  9. Thom January 18, 2014 / 2:19 pm


    With regard to a possible love triangle – the only mention relating to that sort of issue was made by Chase Merritt who stated “But despite that public front, I know, prior to their disappearance they had not had sex in more than a year. . .Merritt added: ‘If I’m honest, I have no idea why he put up with it. He was such a great guy and he got his share of female attention. . .
    “I remember one woman in particular was all over him for a while” . . .
    “He (Joe) always said, ‘I have messed up one family before, I will not be unfaithful and ruin another one’.

    My conclusion: Given that Joe McStay said that he would not be unfaithful and ruin another one (family), it’s fairly certain that an unnamed woman was hitting on Joe McStay at some point and that he likely rebuffed her even though he may have been flattered by her attention. It’s reasonable and plausible that the significant other (SO) of this unnamed woman came to believe that there was an affair occurring between his woman and Joe McStay. If the SO confronted Joe about it the interchange could have become quite heated and physical very quickly. Realizing that he killed Joe, he then decided to prevent anyone from missing Joe by going after Summer. He would then have called someone that he trusted implicitly to help him dispose of the bodies and relocate the McStay’s Isuzu.

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