One year ago today, a California family completely vanished. For the family members left behind, there are many questions, and almost no answers.
Joseph McStay, his wife Summer, and their two young sons, Joe Jr. and Gianni, have been missing since February 2010, and Joe’s brother Mike, says nothing makes any sense, and he refuses to stop looking for them.
As Joe and Summer’s Fallbrook home sits empty and in foreclosure, Mike continues his search for his brother who he says, “just doesn’t do this kind of stuff,” and maintains a website called mcstayfamily.com, on which he has information about the missing family like their current ages, the last place they were seen, and the questions he and the family still have.
In one of his recent posts, Mike spoke about his brother, saying, “He’s the guy that puts money away for a rainy day. He’s always been very wise with money, always good with people. ... He’s just steady.”
The family reportedly has $100,000 remaining in the bank, and to add to the already odd circumstances, just four days after the McStay family was seen, their white 1996 Isuzu Trooper was found in a parking lot near the San Ysidro border crossing into Mexico. The car, as well as Joe’s work truck were completely paid off, so voluntarily leaving them behind seems strange to Mike.
Working with Mexican authorities, the Sheriff’s office, the FBI, and U.S. Border Patrol are still working on the case. The video from cameras at the border crossing near where the Trooper was found is too grainy to say for sure, but Homicide Detective Troy DuGal believes the McStay family can be seen walking toward a turnstile into Tijuana at the San Ysidro pedestrian crossing on February 8th, 2010.
Going along with the inconclusive video footage, DuGal said records on the family’s computer show that the week before they went missing, inquiries were made about passport requirements for traveling to Mexico with children. A Spanish language educational disk was also found.
“The physical evidence indicates it is probable the family left the residence voluntarily and traveled into Mexico” for unknown reasons, said DuGal “I am confident the McStays have not traveled out of Mexico unless they are using an assumed name.”
However, Mike McStay, says his brother and his family had no reason flee, but thinks they may be under some kind of protective custody, though no reason could be thought of.
A restaurant worker in El Rosario in Central Baja California thought she might have seen the family there in May, and in October a family matching the McStay’s description was seen in Ensenada, but they turned out to be Canadian.
While McStay says he understands that each day that goes by reduces the likelihood of finding his family alive, he, like DuGal, says he won’t give up. In fact, family members still place ads about the missing McStays in newspapers and on radio stations.’’
“I don’t expect to stop until I find out what happened to my family, period. We’re just asking for help, for someone that knows something to just come forward.”
Officials have rejected McStay’s theory of protective custody.
Anyone with information on the whereabouts of the McStay family is urged to contact Sgt. Dave Martinez of the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department at 858-565-5200. Anonymous calls can be made to 888-580-8477.
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