Who killed Joey and Summer McStay? – Review of the case


Joseph McStay

UPDATE:  Chase has been arrested and charged with murder.  Please click here to read.
I have done many stories on the McStays.  You can read those stories by following links in this story below or by putting McStay in the search above.

During the press conference, San Bernardino County Sheriff John McMahon told the media that Joseph and Summer had been identified through dental records.  The other remains they are not sure who they are, but it is safe to assume that they belong to Gianni and Little Joey.

Michael McStay, Joey’s brother and the rest of the family, were sitting in chairs around a conference table while McMahan spoke.  They were all visibly upset and if I didn’t know any better I would have thought that I was watching a funeral, instead of a press conference.

Back in Texas, Patrick McStay, Joey’s father, who I have become to know over the last couple of years, is alone, with his own grief.

I first met him when I linked him up with a Private Investigator that was willing to look into the case pro bono.  The PI, which I will keep anonymous for now, didn’t share too much info with me, out of professional courtesy for Patrick, but he did say that a search should be done near the area of the Old Bonsall Bridge, which is where the McStay’s family’s phone had pinged.

Summer McStay

No searches, to my knowledge, were ever done where the phones last pinged.  Det. Dugal sent a letter to the PI stating they had done a search of the immediate area in 2010 including business in the area, but nothing about the Old Bonsall Bridge.   He also told the PI that he could search the area, but to keep in mind that he would need permission from landowners to search on their property.  I believe the PI did do a cursory search of the area, but because of the terrain and legal issues of land ownership, he was limited, plus he was alone.

Through social media I learned there were several people during the course of the last two years that had tried to get a search together, but nothing ever came of it.  During the latest attempt, the volunteers were denied access to the area in Bonsall they wanted to search.  Eventually, I heard no more about it.

It would be my guess that somewhere in that area that has never been searched is the McStay’s cell phone that was probably pitched off the Old Bonsall Bridge.

Old Bonsall Bridge

During the 3 years the McStay’s were missing, part of me felt that the McStay’s met with foul play, but the other part of me didn’t.  I think the latter may have been naive, and full of the childlike optimism and hope that tends to cloud my judgement.  Although the surveillance video of the family crossing the border was impossible to see who it really was, I still wanted to believe it was them and they had decided, with reasons only known to them, to begin a new life elsewhere.

But, there was one part that couldn’t be ignored, that I couldn’t shake, that I became aware of regarding transfers from Joey’s bank account made through Paypal transactions.  The transfers were being done by one person, per Patrick and I thought it could be possible that person might have been sending it to the McStay’s.  We now know that probably never happened.

Here is  the transactions with the important info X’d out as compiled by Patrick:

2/6/10 – Request initiated – money from bank account to paypal acct in amount of $2000.00 USD
2/9/10 – $2000 balance landed in paypal acct. bank transfer complete
2/18/10 – e-check payment to XXXXXXXXX@gmail.com $3000USD. Transaction ID SRW06714LNXXXXXXX
2/18/10 = Bank account transfer initiated 2/15/10 is now complete in amt of $2000USD
2/24/10 – Transfer initiated to XXXXXXXXX@gmail.com $2000USD. Transaction ID 97L9863056XXXXXXX
3/4/10 – funds request from bank initiated.
3/9/10 – $2900 available from bank transfer
3/11/10 – payment for $3,000.00 USD to XXXXXXXXXXXXX@gmail.com sent
3/25/10 – eCheck payment of $3,445.00 USD to XXXXXXXXXXXX – Transaction ID: 4P167088KMXXXXXXX
3/25/10 – eCheck payment of $5,000.00 USD to XXXXXXXXXXXX (XXXXXXXXXXXXXX). Transaction ID: 7AG806806B4XXXXXX
3/30/10 – attempted to withdraw $2000 from UBOC. Declined.
3/30/10 – tried again. Denied.
5/5/10 – tried again. Declined.
5/21/10 – tried again. declined
6/1/10 – attempted to transfer $1,000.00 USD from bank account, ending in 1738. This transfer was returned by bank on Jun. 7, 2010 for the reason – The bank account is closed.
6/1/10 – attempted to transfer $1,000.00 USD from alternate bank account, twice. This transfer was returned by bank on 6/7/10 for the reason  – There was a bank processing error.
6/1/10 – attempted to transfer $1,000.00 USD from your bank account, ending in 2784. This transfer was returned by bank on Jun. 7, 2010 for the reason – This is an invalid bank account number.
6/2/10 – changed password

Patrick stated that Dugal who said that he knew the McStay’s “financials and their friends better than I know my own financials and my wife’s,” told Patrick:

“Doesn’t matter if someone isn’t on the account as long as they have the passwords and the account ID there is no crime!  I [Patrick] asked what if they hacked your account and Det. Dugal said again if they have your account ID and password there is not a crime.”

The account was finally frozen in March by the bank and not by SDSD.

The withdrawal’s began on Feb 6, the McStay’s went missing on the 4th and by the time the account was closed over a month and a half later, over $24,000 was missing.

Patrick stated that there is no one that had the Paypal password except for Joey.  I suppose the password could have been saved on Joey’s computer and someone accessed it that way, but if not did  someone hack into the account two days after the family disappeared or did they force Joey to tell them the password?

Patrick believes that if the SDSD had taken action earlier regarding the transactions that legal action could have been taken.  I believe that legal action over that missing money can still be taken and should be.  No one had the right to steal over $24,000 from Joey, and the fact that no one is answering for it is something the SDSD needs to explain.  Why have they NOT held anyone accountable for the missing money when it is known exactly who took it?

Patrick posted the following last summer and something I repeated during several interviews today:

“Remember it always comes down to “follow the money”.

Patrick also asks,

“So where is the money leading too? Who got or had access to Joey’s accounts and what have we seen happening, like the sale of EIP, the money taken from accounts before they were even known to be missing. The company business records attempted to be gained. We also have some one recently buying a boat that as we know hasn’t or doesn’t show any means of income. So where did the money come from.”

So, what is the answer to the Patrick’s question.  I will tell you tomorrow.
Go here for part two. 

You might also like, did the police rush to judgement on what happened to the McStays? 

The 67 inch apart tire tracks

 

69 thoughts on “Who killed Joey and Summer McStay? – Review of the case

  1. Well. Be that as it may. Doesn't prove the man capable of murder. We simply don't know who did this. And it's interesting that you profess to care so much about this case, yet don't seem to care at all what impact you may have on a person who may be totally innocent in all of this. There are all kinds of ways that people can be harmed–damage to reputation is one of these ways. Wrongful accusations are another.

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  2. Nice of you to be so fired up to defend a guy that has a string of very heavy charges, including violence against children under the age of five. Quite interesting that no one is persuaded into actually testifying. Two charges that he pled to make him a convicted felon. btw – A charge of Attempted Murder means the authorities believed that he tried to kill someone but didn't actually succeed. Hummmmmm . . .

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  3. I've wondered if maybe the eggs were left on the counter because they were getting ready to make breakfast on the morning of Feb 5th. The popcorn could have been left night before and the neighbors surveillance didn't record the Trooper returning from a quick trip to the market the night of February 4th. That could explain the pings at the Old Bonsall Bridge. How was the quality of the neighbors surveillance footage? Was it an older camera? Was the clock on the camera set at pm when it was actually it was am?

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  4. Empathy I believe says on her card readings she keeps getting “waterfalls”. She thought it meant Fallbrook. Any more info on if that was his company?

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  5. Not defending anyone. Just know enough about the criminal justice system to understand that you have to dig a little deeper to really know what happened. These are real people's lives we are addressing here. Hey, maybe you should give us all your name and SS and we can research you and publish our findings to the world at large. Perhaps we should all be up for exposure of this type. Think about it. What if you were in the hotseat? How would you wish that information to be handled?

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  6. That's an interesting point, only Summer spoke to her sister the morning of the 4th. But what if Summer and the kids were abducted earlier than was thought? Say in the early afternoon? The timeline on this is largely comprised of phone reocrds, and of course Joey's meeting with his business partner. There is a receipt from Ross for kid's stuff that was purchased with Summer's credit card, but other than this there are not all that many witnesses with direct contact to the family. You might be on to something, in regard to the timeline being off. If someone took Summer and the kids earlier, maybe a neighbor saw a vehicle enter the cul de sac then?

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  7. Why should I??? I have never abused anyone and . . . I don't have any criminal felony convictions. As a law-abiding citizen, I will never have to worry about what people think of me. As the old says goes, Karma is a beotch.

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  8. Response to Anon Nov 24 at 6:32 AM
    So sorry to spoil your fun, however, I believe in a wise man who once said that arguing with anonymous strangers on the Internet is a sucker's game because they almost always turn out to be –or to be indistinguishable from– self-righteous and inexperienced sixteen-year-olds possessing infinite amounts of free time. Since your experience in the real world appears to be so lacking that you feel driven to give all comers a 100 percent benefit- of- the- doubt – no matter their felonious criminal history – it is likely that you are one of that blessedly naïve group. Fortunately, those 16-year-olds usually grow up, but unfortunately for them and the rest of us, there will always be more 16-year-olds to replace them in the ranks of anonymous social media. So, adios my young friend and in the event that a twice convicted violent felon moves into the house next door to you, your mom and dad will recognize that such a person just might present “ issues”. Hopefully, your parents will have enough common sense to take all precautions necessary to protect you until you finally grow up.

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  9. I live in the area where they were found. You do not have to “know” the area. Anyone can pull off the freeway 50 yards into the desert. Anyone who has traveled to las vegas “knows” the area. It is not as remote as most people would think

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  10. Ask yourself who would benefit the most from this family being dead. Follow the money. Whoever is responsible for this tragedy, they were close to the family. The boys were killed because they knew the identity of the killer(s). If it were the Cartel, the bodies would have been found right away. They want bodies to be found to send a message. No disrespect to the family, but I think that family members and close friends need to ruled out as suspects first. I think this was a planned murder. I think the graves were already dug. Can you imagine anyone out there 50 yards from the I-15 freeway which is heavily traveled, with four people they just murdered, digging two giant holes. It took some time to dig those graves, shallow or not. The CHP patrol that area heavily. One more point. I was one of those who donated to the family website. I think that info should be made public. How much was donated, what it was used for, who had supervision over it. Etc. What I thought was odd is that the reward money for info helping find the family never changed. $1000 Just curious. Thoughts and prayers to the family.

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  11. I want everyone one out there to know that where they were found IS NOT an isolated remote area in the middle of the High Desert. If you are traveling to Las Vegas from San Diego or wherever from down the hill, as we desert folk call it, it is likely that you be taking the I-15 freeway through Victorvile. Shortly after Victorville if you look 50 yards off the freeway you can see the graves. I am sure many people over the years have pulled off in that very area to take a piss. Off roaders frequent the area every weekend because it is the only area that allows them to tear up the enviorment with their vehicles. Get off the remote isolated band wagon theory.

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  12. I saw a video of MMcS where he states that someone would need to know the area since there is a depression in the landscape making the spot invisible to traffic going by.

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  13. Yes, I was thinking that the killers could have waited for her around the corner from her house when she left to go to Ross (it seems that Summer took the family truck to go shopping) and they followed her to the store, then carjacked her when she came back to her car. While one killer pushed himself into the Isuzu with Summer and the boys at the mall the other killer followed them back to Summer's and waited outside the development or down the street. Later when Joey got home they were all forced into the Isuzu trooper and then once they exited the development they were followed by the other killer. This would explain why the Mcstay's truck was left in the driveway and why only the trooper is seen leaving in the neighbors surveillance. It would also explain how the trooper was found at the border. The killer driving his own car could have followed the trooper to the border and picked up his accomplice. The killers could have been people they knew or someone that was hired to kill the family (a hit). Too bad LE didn't get video surveillance of the mall parking lot.

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  14. There is so much we can't know. We only get these scattered reports. But the timeline seems flimsy. We don't actually know that the trooper in the neighbor's video, is the McStay's. And the last call made on Joey's cell phone could be a mistake–even made by the killers who were checking to see what evidence was there. If one piece to the timeline is off, it might mean that Summer and the kids were abducted earlier than thought. And that Joey never made it home. I've always thought it was odd that Summer is reported to call Joey on their land-line, then suddenly begins to text him? Though there was popcorn left out, there was no preparation in process for a meal. Most parents of children the age of those babies, prefer to feed them at home. It's just easier. So if Joey was headed home, why wasn't Summer getting dinner ready? This isn't a judgment on Summer–I'm thinking she and the kids were taken earlier than thought. And maybe they were used to encourage Joey to go somewhere other than home.

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  15. Hi fellow posters, I am making a huge apology to all of you, to a specific fellow poster and to the good folks that run these venues in which we are able to share our views with each other. Recently, a fellow poster pointed out to me that I was making unfounded assertions and basically, stated that doing this was unethical. After some thought, I realize that that poster was absolutely correct. In making spurious and nebulous assertions, I was possibly causing undue, and possibly, unwarranted, intrusions on others’ rights to privacy. I am very sorry for my lapse in judgment and have made myself a promise to stay away from these boards as I apparently tend to jump to conclusions and “post” before thinking out the impact. I will point out that I was slightly “infected” by the spirit and the almost universal desire to “help” bring the BGs to the forefront in this very sad case. From reading other folks’ posts, I see that I am not alone in my actions. I just pray that LE is not stymied or waylaid from their investigations by spurious and unfounded postings on various websites. Thank you.

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  16. To Anonymous Nov 24 6:32 AM
    I am offering a huge apology to you, our fellow posters and to the good folks that run these venues in which we are able to share our views with each other. You correctly pointed out to me that I was making unfounded assertions and basically, stated that doing this was unethical. After some thought, I realize that that you are absolutely correct and that I am wrong in that I made spurious and nebulous assertions, and possibly causing undue, and possibly, unwarranted, intrusions on others’ rights to privacy. I am very sorry for my lapse in judgment and have made myself a promise to stay away from these boards as I apparently tend to jump to conclusions and “post” before thinking out the impact. I will point out that I was slightly “infected” by the spirit and the almost universal desire to “help” bring the BGs to the forefront in this very sad case. From reading other folks’ posts, I see that I am not alone in my actions. I just pray that LE is not stymied or waylaid from their investigations by spurious and unfounded postings on various websites. Thank you.

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  17. Charles Ray Merritt AKA Chas and Chase, grew up in Hesperia, went to Apple Valley High School, and owned a home and business in that area. He was known to go target practicing with semi-automatic weapons very near where the McStays were found. His troubles aren't limited to a couple of brushes with the law when he was young: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Waterfalls-By-Chase/San-Dimas-California-91773/Waterfalls-By-Chase-Charles-Merritt-ripoff-Fraud-San-Dimas-California-171395

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