The Norman Transcript

Nation/World

November 15, 2013

Bodies may be Calif. family

(Continued)

SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. —

The parents’ identities were determined through dental records. Police are awaiting DNA testing on the other remains but believe the skeletons are those of the couple’s boys.

The McStays disappeared without a trace from their home in Fallbroook, about 55 miles north of San Diego, in February 2010. There were no signs of forced entry at the residence or in their SUV, which was found parked near the U.S.-Mexico border.

Neither Joseph nor Summer had told family or friends they were leaving. When they were reported missing, authorities went to the house and found eggs that had rotted on the kitchen counter and two pet dogs in the backyard, indicating the family hadn’t prepared for an extended leave.

Nothing was missing from the home, and the couple’s credit cards and tens of thousands of dollars in bank accounts never were touched.

Their McStays’ disappearance launched what San Diego County sheriff’s investigators called their most extensive missing-persons search ever.

Authorities pursued hundreds of tips and eventually came to believe the family left voluntarily for Mexico. One of the pieces of evidence supporting that theory was a poor-quality video that appeared to show four people matching the McStays’ descriptions walking into Tijuana, Mexico.

Some family members doubted the video showed the couple and their children. The case was later turned over to the FBI.

McMahon said Friday there’s no indication — at this point — the family ever went to Mexico.

“We’re looking at all options and investigating this crime from the beginning,” he said, adding that Mexican authorities were not assisting in the investigation.

The investigation, which had faded from the news, cracked open Monday when an off-road motorcyclist called police to say there were some bones in a semi-rural desert area near Victorville. The remains were identified as the McStays after local authorities contacted the Department of Justice and asked if there were any missing-person cases involving a family of four.

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