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?



  1. “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 parked there sometime around 7 p.m. on the 4th, the mall closed at 9:00, and by 11:00 that same evening, their car had been towed. We walked the short distance to the border entrance.”

    All the stories have mentioned the car being towed on the 8th, and that they clear the lot out every night.

    Has it been verified by LE that the family did in fact park the car on the 4th, or the 8th, or whatever day it was parked?

  2. Steph, do you know how it’s verified that the Isuzu was parked on 02/08? Does surveillance footage establish that it wasn’t there PRIOR to 02/08? Also, has LE verified that the family or a family member parked the vehicle, or is that unknown? Thanks.

  3. You seem to indicate that the family definitely parked the car on the 8th. Has this actually been confirmed by LE?
    If it hasn’t, which I think would be hard to do, it’s very misleading information.

  4. Can you tell us your thoughts? Do you think they are ok? did they pack up in leave or did someone else pack up to make it look that way.

    with out leaping le new evidence. of course.

  5. It sounds like what you saw was evidence of folks who have not fully unpacked, meaning.. the ‘missing shoe’s’ either are packed, or in another residence. Was there any evidence of older furniture, or did it appear as if everything was new? The home prior that they lived.. has it been checked, or any storage facilities that they may own. I suggested before on another site (Nancy Grace’s) that a thorough check of employee’s (past and present) and also other business’s that he may have been in competition with should be checked. Without knowing what the evidence is..it’s hard to guess which way this is going. I did a check on his business and it was absolutely thriving, they had many top of the hill customers..and his fountains were outstanding.

    Note* I lived in San Diego and TJ was a ‘very’ dangerous place.

    1. If his business was thriving why did he not pay his rent in san clemente from Aug to Nov and he and his wife had to be evicted in court?

  6. I don’t know Pala.. good question. Perhaps it was thriving, and they are not good with their money.. maybe they spent it and didn’t pay rent, but rather over extended themselves. I read the wife had an online shopping thing going on, that drove her husband nuts. If it is true they went over the boarder, no telling what could have happened to them, as I said..it is very dangerous there.

    1. Maybe. Or maybe the landlord wanted them out for another reason. Maybe they were told they could move into a new home and gave notice? Then the landlord wanted the place back. It is a strange document. It says it is an oral agreement, month to month, he is seeking less than $5,000 but the box for rent is not checked so maybe he just wanted them out.

  7. Do we have them missing before the 8th? When were the dogs found with no food and water? Because if this was on the 8th or later and they did walk into Mexico, maybe like many people they meet with foul play in Mexico? At 7pm it is dark so are they sure this is the McStay family or not? Who takes toddlers over the border with no car, after dark?

  8. What’s the matter Steph? Does the truth about being a SHIT journalist hurt your little feelings?

    Time to hit the bricks LOSER.

    1. Mike, perhaps you should get off my blog and look for you missing family
      I wish you all the best Face the truth, whatever it may be God Bless

  9. thanks for the report…i agree people need to actually stop thinking how nice these ppl are etc. and actually start looking at the circumstances that are emerging? Does anyone really know this family? Cmon’

  10. I’m a new poster but have been following this case for a while. I haven’t seen specific information on the condition of the dogs when Mike McStay found them. If they were abandoned on the 4th and not found until the 15th, they would have been pretty close to death without water for that long. Weather archives indicate no precipitation for that time period. All the information I can find indicates that dogs will be seriously ill after 4-6 days of dehydration. Do you have any information in this regard? Just curious.

    1. Says neighbors noticed dogs and began to feed them. Plus Mike McStay showed the shed where the dogs had a big bag of food seemingly opened to replenish their bowls from time to time.

  11. any new ideas gleaned from the fact they were seen leaving their house by themselves at 7:45 the night they were last seen and the husband called work an hour later? also it seems the husband had filed bankruptcy at some point. any information about this? seems strange they bought a big new house if they were having alot of financial trouble. how can you buy a house if you have bankruptcy on your credit?

  12. Nice post! You truly have a wonderful way of writing which I find captivating! I will definitely be bookmarking you and returning to your blog. In fact, your post reminded me about a strange thing that happened to me the other day. I’ll tell you about that later…

  13. I read and re-read the post re: the walkthrough. Why is MM so angry at YOU? You even offered an suggestion as to defend the condition of the house. I also wonder why there is such little speculation of Summer, as her personality certainly lends to her a being more difficult and unpredictable.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s