Early Monday morning, myself and Tim Miller from Texas Equusearch were met by Mike McStay, the younger brother of Joseph McStay to try to piece together what happened to his brothers family.
Joseph, along with his wife, Summer, and their 2 children, Gianna, 4, and Joseph, 3. vanished from their home Feb 4th and have not been seen or heard from since. We were joined by Kenneth Aranda, the younger brother of Summer, who flew in from Hawaii, where he lives. They allowed myself and Tim Miller from Texas EquuSearch inside the McStay family home. The brothers, bonded together through this tragedy, then take us to the location where the family’s car was found — just minutes from the Mexican border — all in hopes of digging up answers as to what happened to the McStays.
Entering the McStay house in Fallbrook, a nice middle-class suburb of San Diego, you can’t help but notice the eerie silence of an empty home, and ponder; what happened here in those minutes before the family left and literally vanished?
The home, which they had just moved to in Nov 2009, was being remodeled, so there was minimal furnishings. The stark white kitchen was almost finished being remodeled, except for a few unattached kitchen cupboard doors. According to Mike, their furniture was still in a container, awaiting the painting and re-tiling to be completed. But still, something seemed odd. Kenneth, a handsome kind guy, had not been in the house since his sister disappeared, and he appeared uneasy as he quickly darted from room to room.
What the house revealed was a busy family just moving in, living in slight disarray, but it also revealed that Summer was not the best housekeeper in the world. A dirty baby diaper lay on the floor, inside a morning jumper, beside the toilet in the bathroom off the kitchen. Piles of unwashed clothes were scattered about. “Something ain’t right here,” Miller says.
We headed upstairs to the master bedroom. The beds had been stripped, exposing blow up mattresses, one queen and one single. It looks like the whole family was sleeping in the master room. In what would be considered the kids’ rooms, there was a lot of new items, mirrors, etc. that had been purchased but not hung up. Although the house was in renovation, it was still oddly disorderly, cloths piled up in the master closet, not on hangers, actually there was no hangers at all. Except for 2 pairs of extremely high heel shoes, and a pair of never worn “Uggs,” there were no other shoes. Two new men’s shirts hung on what would be his side of the closet, and 4 fur coats were the only items hanging on her side of the large walk in closet. As Tim Miller from TES poked around the house, he was also struck by the lack of shoes. “Where are all the damn shoes? And where are their clothes and underwear, there’s no underwear here. Somethings not right here.”
The kid’s room looked barley used. His office was neat and full of papers. The garage was packed with clutter. We could barley walk around it most of the stuff looked new. “She was a bit of a hermit, so she bought alot of stuff online, she was a big online shopper” Mike said. “She was a bit of a recluse. Things were always arriving via UPS or Fedex, it drove my brother nuts.”
In defense of the condition of the McStay’s house, Police had also been through the house several times, and they have a tendency to be a little disruptive, to say the least.
The house was not homey, it was cold and unfinished…”You can still be renovating and have some sense of order.” Miller says. “There’s no order here, clothes piled everywhere.” Perhaps this disorder is a window into what was happening inside the lives of the McStay family.
Our next stop was to meet with law enforcement. Kenneth said goodbye — he had to return to Hawaii to tend to his wife and children, and continue on with his business.
Law enforcement had some evidence they needed Miller and Mike to see. I cannot, at this time, reveal what was discussed as it is part on the ongoing investigation. I can tell you this — it is crucial evidence, and as soon as I can release the information, I will. You will get it here first.
We then continued on to the place where the car was found. It was a nice, touristy strip mall, walking distance from the border…they allegedly parked there sometime late in the afternoon on the 8th, the mall closed at 9:00pm, and by 11:00pm that same evening, their car had been towed. The car could not have been there since the fourth because cars are towed from that mall nightly, so a car could not sit there for four days. So the big mystery is; Where were they prior to leaving their house on the 4th and parking the car sometime on the 8th??? We walked the short distance to the border entrance.
No signs of a struggle in the home, no ransom, no phone calls, no activity on their bank accounts. Nothing. Did they simply vanish on their own? Walk across the border? Or were they abducted and/or murdered.
Puzzled, we stand on the freeway over the border crossing into Mexico, I ask Miller, “so how do you start searching?” Miller replies “One of our resources is currently analyzing satellite photos from the border crossing” Perhaps that will begin to confirm or deny that the family even went into Mexico, willingly or unwillingly. “But, law enforcement has alot more investigating to do before TES can conduct an effective search.”
And that’s where the story ends for now..or is this where it begins? A family of 4 has literally vanished. Did they leave willingly? Are they the victims of a horrific crime, or is there something else going on?