Missing Family Relative: Video Too Grainy to Tell

Surveillance video shows four people walking hand in hand into Mexico

By Mari Payton
|  Saturday, Mar 6, 2010  |  Updated 9:24 AM PDT
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Grainy Video Raises Hopes for Lost Family

NBC San Diego

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Grainy Video Raises Hopes for Lost Family

Surveillance video shows four people walking hand in hand into Mexico.
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A relative of a missing Fallbrook family says surveillance video that shows four people walking hand in hand into Mexico is too grainy to tell if it’s really them.

Joseph McStay, 40; his wife Summer, 43; and their two young children, Gianni and Joey Jr. vanished more than a month ago from their Fallbrook home. They left their dogs unattended and rotting food in their home. There were no signs of a struggle.

Sheriff's investigators have had very few leads -- until now. They say the video may show the family crossing the U.S. Mexico border into Tijuana at the San Ysidro Port of Entry Feb. 8. The McStay’s white Isuzu Trooper was found in a parking lot nearby later that day.   

“The lead detective calls me and says ‘I need you to come down and look at something.’ My first question, ‘is it a body’?” Joseph’s brother Mike McStay said.

Instead, the news seemed promising.

“My spirits were lifted, they are alive or there is a possibility they are alive, we are getting closer,’ he said.

But hope diminished quickly.

“It's very grainy, shadows, no definition to shape,” he said. “I basically told them I couldn’t tell… I cannot make a positive identification from the quality of that video.”

Still, he said he's trying to remain optimistic. 

“Half my family is missing, everything is in disarray, it's just a nightmare,” he said. “Ultimately I just want my family home safe.”

NBC San Diego tried to get a copy of the surveillance tape but was told that investigators are working to enhance the image, so it can eventually be released to the public.

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