FBI Joins Hunt for McStay Family - NBC 7 San Diego

FBI Joins Hunt for McStay Family



    FBI Joins Hunt for McStay Family
    NBC San Diego
    The McStay family has been missing since Feb 4.

    The FBI was to be briefed Friday on a San Diego County family that has been missing for almost two months. Sheriff's Lt. Dennis Brugos said investigators are focusing their search for the McStay family in Mexico, where the FBI has more resources.

    Businessman Joseph McStay, his wife, Summer, and their two young sons -- Gianni 4, Joseph Jr. 3 -- were last heard from Feb. 4.

    Investigators said surveillance video may have captured images of the Fallbrook family crossing the border on foot. At the bottom left corner of the video, a man can be seen walking hand-in-hand with a child.  Following him is a woman in a white jacket, holding the hand of another child.

    "There's a very high probability it's them,” said Brugos.

    The video was recorded at the San Ysidro border crossing Feb. 8, the same day the McStay's white Isuzu Trooper was found illegally parked at a nearby strip mall.

    Investigators also found e-mails indicating the couple had asked about passport requirements for traveling to Mexico with children shortly before they disappeared.

    Relatives said it's uncharacteristic of the McStays to simply pick up and leave the country without telling family members.

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    Tracy Russell, Summer McStay's sister, said the idea that the family may have planned to go to Mexico has made her even more worried.

    "I know I should feel a little bit better, but I don't," Russell said. "My mother is distraught. I don't think my sister would torture my mom like that."

    She last spoke to her sister on the phone Feb. 4.

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    Mike McStay, Joseph's brother, said he set up a Web site to field tips about the family's whereabouts and has forwarded any promising information to investigators.

    Neither Joseph nor Summer McStay is fluent in Spanish, relatives said. Summer McStay's passport is expired. Their youngest son's birth certificate, required for re-entry to the United States by minors under 16, is with a grandmother, relatives said.

    Detectives have no evidence that the family had financial problems or were facing threats.

    The couple left their dogs at home and food rotting in their kitchen.

    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.