What happened to the McStays and their two young children?
Joseph McStay's brother called the sheriff's department on Monday night and asked the deputies to check on his brother, who lived with his wife, Summer, and their two young children -- Joseph, 3, and Gianni, who is two years older -- in the 3400 block of Avocado Vista Lane, near Bonsall. Deputies said Tuesday that nobody in the McStay family has heard from Joseph, 40, or his family since Feb. 4.
Investigators quickly determined that the family was not at home and it did it appear to be gone on vacation. For example, no arrangements had been made to care for the McStays' pets. In fact, deputies went so far as to say Tuesday that "the totality of the circumstances surrounding their disappearance was quite out of character for this family."
"At this point, we haven't found anything that would suggest that they would have any problems with anyone or there was any involvement in narcotics trafficking or anything of that nature that would really point us in any particular direction," said Lt. Dennis Brugos with the sheriff's homicide detail.
NBCSanDiego first learned about the case from an e-mail sent in by Mike McStay, who said he was Joseph's brother. In addition to the information provided by the sheriff's department, Mike McStay said that Joseph has not answered his cell phone, which is now dead, since Feb. 4 and that the family's white 1996 Isuzu Trooper was found near in San Ysidro on Feb. 8. Brugos said that the vehicle was found near the border and that it was impounded at the time as an abandoned vehicle.
Homicide detectives are now handling the disappearance of the McStay family.
"It doesn't make sense, which is why we're involved," Brugos said.
Anyone with information about the case is being urged to call deputies at 858-974-2321 or 858-565-5200 after-hours. Tips can also be called in anonymously to CrimeStoppers at 888-580-TIPS(8477). A reward of up to $1,000 is being offered by CrimeStoppers for information leading to an arrest.