Homicide lieutenant says his team is not giving up search for McStay family
Monday, March 1st, 2010
Issue 09, Volume 14.
A lieutenant with the San Diego County Sheriff’s homicide detail said in an interview this morning "we are not giving up" on the search for the McStay family of four who was last seen Feb. 4.
Lt. Dennis Brugos was referring to himself, his staff of detectives and cooperative agencies when speaking about the ongoing investigation into the disappearance of Joseph McStay, 40, Summer McStay, 43, and sons Gianni, 4, and Joseph "Joey," 3, who were residing in a home they had purchased last November in the Lake Rancho Viejo community of Fallbrook/Bonsall. The family was reported missing by Joseph’s brother, Michael approximately two weeks after they were last seen.
Brugos said Michael McStay was coming down from Orange County to meet with detectives again today on the case. Family members have insisted that it is "completely out of character" for the couple to be out of touch for this length of time.
Investigators had searched the McStay’s home and two vehicles by Feb. 21 – one of which was found in a tow lot near the US/Mexico border. A canine search and rescue team was deployed in the search process as well. In summary, Brugos said no new leads were gained in those searches.
Family members have insisted that it is "completely out of character" for the McStay’s Advertisement
[ Pala Mesa Resort ] to be out of touch for this length of time.
Earlier in the investigation, Brugos said detectives were working closely with Mexican officials to view video tapes of the border crossing areas and more.
"We have not found any hard evidence of any of the family members crossing the border, but we are still reviewing information," said Brugos.
"We have two deputy sheriffs that work across the border and do things like check the hospitals, morgue, airports, bus stations, talk to cab drivers, and more," he added. "It’s very helpful [to have the deputies down there.]"
Brugos said detectives are still talking with McStay’s business associates.
"We are in daily contact with them," he said.
Investigators have reported that McStay appears to have been in business with two other individuals.
"I think it’s kind of a partnership business; three guys working together; I’m not sure how much interest each of them own though," said Brugos. But, Brugos did think the other partners were continuing to operate the business.
"As far as I know they were trying to keep it going," he said.
Writer's Note: In earlier versions of this story, Joseph and Summer McStay's ages were listed incorrectly based on information provided by the Sheriff's Homicide Division. We have amended their ages based on information from the McStay family Web site.
Comment #1 | Monday, Mar 1, 2010 at 6:30 pm
Thats odd all the other websites including the sheriffs and amw say they are 40 and 43.
HOMICIDE TOLD US OTHER PAPERS HAD REPORTED IT WRONG. WE WELCOME A CALL FROM A FAMILY MEMBER, HOWEVER.
Comment #2 | Monday, Mar 1, 2010 at 8:43 pm
I happen to have the California Birth Index. Summer (not her birth name) was clearly born on December 27, 1966. I am not a family member, but I highly doubt the State Birth Index is wrong. I withdraw my previous comment about poor journalism by the Valley News, if the Sheriff's office is, indeed, the ones who are misreporting the ages of these people. Whoever is providing incorrect information out of the Sheriff's office is really doing a disservice to this family by releasing erroneous information. It's really too bad.
|Get a Clue|
Comment #3 | Tuesday, Mar 2, 2010 at 3:09 pm
Praying for the McStay's, their families and friends. I'm still curious why no one responded to my earlier question of what date, and what time, and where the McStay's were last seen in Fallbrook? In the bank. grocery store, gas station, or by neighbors? Someone had to have seen them.
Comment #4 | Tuesday, Mar 2, 2010 at 3:56 pm
I use to Walk their dog Bear every day, So I know the Mcstay family, they are the nicest people I ever know. I am praying for them, so are the people in San Clemente.
Comment #5 | Tuesday, Mar 2, 2010 at 4:47 pm
Really who cares if they are off by a few years in there age, does it really matter. NO... they are missing and that's the point.
Praying for the McStay's
|Get a Clue|
Comment #6 | Tuesday, Mar 2, 2010 at 5:45 pm
Thanks, Mary & the OC for posting. I didn't know the McStay's. But I am very concerned for them. What I saw of them on the Youtube videos they just seemed like a wonderful, loving family. I pray for their families and friends daily.
Comment #7 | Tuesday, Mar 2, 2010 at 8:44 pm
THEOC I continue to pray for the family but I do think it matters the difference in age if you are looking for someone. It was a little more than a few years off. Glad to see it was updated. Very glad to see people are continuing to read the articles hopefully someone will see it that knows something.
Comment #8 | Tuesday, Mar 2, 2010 at 8:44 pm
Jennifer, can you at least clarify if the pictures of the missing people that have been shown are in fact the McStays? I'd say that is more important than a birth day.
|Get a Clue|
Comment #9 | Tuesday, Mar 2, 2010 at 9:14 pm
Cranky, What are you talking about???
Comment #10 | Wednesday, Mar 3, 2010 at 12:11 am
Her age does matter,and her name matters. I wonder why she had so many names and no one can figure out her real age. What is she running from? Did you know one Joey's business "partners" is an ex-con? Scary hu? I saw that on the news today.
Comment #11 | Wednesday, Mar 3, 2010 at 8:26 am
I got your back on this one Cranky, you beer drinking, feather-ruffling, antagonist! Makes total sense compared to complaining about minute details caused by the missing victim herself.
Let's hope this gets solved/resolved this week, with all of them being voluntary missing (for whatever reasons), and end wasting taxpayers resources. But then again, if it turns out as something ugly in the end - then go bankrupt figuring it out.
Comment #12 | Wednesday, Mar 3, 2010 at 8:27 am
Lt. Dennis Brugos was referring to himself, his staff of detectives and cooperative agencies when speaking about the ongoing investigation into the disappearance of Joseph McStay, 40, Summer McStay, 43, and sons Gianni, 4, and Joseph "Joey," 3. He said shoud we mcstay or mcgo regarding this case and chose to Mcstay until found.
Comment #13 | Wednesday, Mar 3, 2010 at 10:21 am
Pessimistic, If it were your family members would you consider it wasting taxpayers resources? I think not!
Comment #14 | Wednesday, Mar 3, 2010 at 2:25 pm
Investigators should definitely look at Joseph McStay's financial records and business dealings with partners. Something is definitely suspicious about a seemingly ordinary family just up and dissapearing without a trace. If it is foul play, then someone took the time to make sure they would not be found. In such cases, the perpetrator is usually someone who knew the the victim(s). The vehicle found near the border may have been left there as a ruse to throw off the investigation. All avenues should be explored.
Comment #15 | Saturday, Mar 6, 2010 at 4:29 pm
No that you may read this, Anonymous, but if you do - what part of my comment at #11 to you need me to expound upon. Read it very slowwwwwwwly and get back to me. Hyper-sensitive are we?
Comment #16 | Sunday, Mar 7, 2010 at 3:35 pm
Controversy over information leaked by blogger/bad journalist.
Article Comments are contributed by our readers, and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Valley News staff. The name listed as the author for comments cannot be verified; Comment authors are not guaranteed to be who they claim they are.
Comment #17 | Tuesday, Jun 28, 2011 at 9:57 am
I would be investigating Cavanaugh. I have a feeling that someone else was in that home.The house looks haunted.Eerily,reminds me of the movie the Messengers 2007.