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Buried Secrets: Who Murdered the McStay Family?

Aired July 6, 2014 - 19:00   ET


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There's the house.

KAYE: This is the house?

RANDI KAYE, CORRESPONDENT: February 2010, a young family of four building their American dream vanishes from their home in suburban San Diego. No signs of struggle or any apparent plans to flea, gone without a trace.

SUSAN BLAKE, MOTHER OF JOSEPH MCSTAY: There is no way they left willingly.

KAYE: Then nearly four years later, 100 miles from their home ...

KAYE: 911, what are you reporting.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I found what it looks like a cadavers. If you can just go.

KAYE: Mother, father, and two young sons found dead, buried in shallow graves in the Mojave Desert.

JOHN MCMAHON, SAN BERNARDINO SHERIFF: That has never happened in this county.

KAYE: Brutally murdered.

PATRICK MCSTAY, FATHER OF JOSEPH MCSTAY: Who is so cold-blooded that they killed children?

KAYE: How did they get there? Who killed them? Exclusive interviews, surprising clues.

STEPH WATTS, INVESTIGATIVE JOURNALIST: Whoever did this to the family are just well-planned out.

KAYE: Buried Secrets, Who Murdered the McStay Family?

PATRICK MCSTAY: From day one, I just have this gut feeling that I was never going to see them again. I just knew. Something told me I was never going to see them again.

KAYE: Four years ago, Patrick McStay lost everything he loved. Four years ago, his son Joseph, daughter-in-law Summer, and their two little boys four-year-old Gianni and three-year-old Joseph Jr. vanished.

PATRICK MCSTAY: I'm not thinking they (inaudible). I really don't.

KAYE: How did you find out that they have gone missing?

PATRICK MCSTAY: Friday, I tried calling him, couldn't get him. Sunday, I tried calling him, I couldn't reach him. Now, I'm getting little worried.

KAYE: Worried since Patrick says he rarely went a day without a phone call from his son.

PATRICK MCSTAY: Every time I talk to him, the last words out of my mouth when we --before we hang up the phone "I love you son."

KAYE: All right. If he was in trouble or -- and have the ability to reach out to you, do you think he would have called you or do you think he would have?

PATRICK MCSTAY: No, absolutely.

WATTS: This case is unique. I've never seen anything like it.

KAYE: Free lance investigative journalist Steph Watts has followed the case closely from the beginning.

WATTS: They just literally disappeared and nobody noticed for days.

KAYE: Thursday, February 4th 2010 began as an ordinary day in the McStay home.

PATRICK MCSTAY: In that morning, I spoke to Joey on the phone.

KAYE: But he didn't lead on anything was wrong ...

PATRICK MCSTAY: No, nothing was wrong.

KAYE: ... in your last conversation.

PATRICK MCSTAY: No, everything is fine.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: His planning of having a lunch meeting with a business associate around new (ph) so he had to quickly wrap and get out of the house.

KAYE: Summer spent the day caring for the kids overseeing their home renovation.

Do they have any plans for that weekend?

PATRICK MCSTAY: Yes. They had little Joey's birthday party scheduled for that Saturday, the 6th.

KAYE: But little Joey Jr. never made it to his third birthday party. Instead, the family of four left their house after dark that Thursday evening, two days before the party. The door is locked. The family car, gone.

WATTS: At 7:47 PM, the neighbor's video surveillance catches the SUV leaving the home. It appears on what we learned about what's in the home that they left quickly.

KAYE: Their two beloved dogs, Gary (ph) and Digger (ph) left outside without food or water.

PATRICK MCSTAY: I know Bear (ph), the big on. And let me tell you something, that dog is like family. Summer, that's her -- that's like a kid and one of her kids and there is no way.

KAYE: They would have never abandoned like that.


KAYE: Food was also left out, eggs rotting on the kitchen counter, coffee grinds scattered about.

BLAKE: If you took off really fast, but be coming back.

KAYE: Susan Blake is Joseph McStay's mother.

BLAKE: Your thoughts are going wild. What violent (ph) they'd be missing? Something's not right here.

KAYE: The family's sudden disappearance stunned nearly all who knew them. A true mystery that baffled investigators. San Bernardino Sheriff John McMahon and his team of detectives are now in-charged of the investigation.

Do you have any thoughts on what would have made the McStay's leave their home on February 4th and in such a rush?

MCMAHON: At this point no.

WATTS: Why would they take their children, they are four and three, out of the home at 8:00 at night? It's dark. What was it that got off four of them out of that house? And out of that house in a hurry?

KAYE: Were they forced to leave or do they leave on their own? Early evidence pointed the investigation south to Mexico.

WATTS: Law enforcement was convinced if the family had gone over to Mexico willingly at this point.

KAYE: But Patrick McStay was not. So he launched his own investigation from his living room in Texas.

Since your son disappeared, I mean, what is a typical day for you like?

PATRICK MCSTAY: Just get up in the morning, get on computer, check and see if who would -- if anyone has e-mailed me, what's going on in my Facebook today, who's contact me, has anybody sent me any information.

KAYE: So how many hours a day you're investigating this?

PATRICK MCSTAY: Whenever I'm awake.

KAYE: Which is most of the time, Patrick hasn't gotten a good night sleep in more than four years.

WATTS: Patrick McStay as far as I'm concerned is one of the best investigators on case. He's working tirelessly to find out what happened to his son.

KAYE: Do you think if he was having a problem or if somebody had been threatening him, he would have called you?

PATRICK MCSTAY: I thought he would have but I find that later that apparently he didn't.

WATTS: Was this random or was this extremely orchestrated. And as the pieces begin to come together, it's looking to me like it was extremely orchestrated. So we have to ask ourselves why?

KAYE: Why did the McStays leave their home on a moments notice and why would anyone want this beautiful young family to vanish without a trace? Shocking clues from the people who knew them best when we come back.


KAYE: In the month before they disappeared, Summer and Joseph McStay's lives appears picture perfect. They certainly didn't look like they had any plans to vanish.

Joseph's younger brother Michael says they had it all.

MICHAEL MCSTAY, BROTHER OF JOSEPH MCSTAY: Everything is going good. They have these two beautiful boys who surf and hang out at the beach.

Everybody loved Joey. The boys were fro-life (ph) and Summer was a great mom.

KAYE: They were living the American dream. Joseph worked from home building his custom water future business, while Summer raise their sons.

MICHAEL MCSTAY: They love the beach. Summer love the beach. Joey love the beach.

KAYE: And they loved each other. Joseph's father Patrick.

PATRICK MCSTAY: Couldn't keep his hands off Summer.

KAYE: Do they have a good marriage?

PATRICK MCSTAY: They had problems just like anybody else, I mean, you know, the thing it can done because they love each other. KAYE: McGyver McCargar was Joseph's close friend and former roommate. He knew Summer through his real estate (ph) and introduced her to Joseph back in 2004.

MCGYVER MCCARGAR, FRIEND OF JOSEPH MCSTAY: Love at first sight for Joseph. When joke (ph) was with them, it was like, "Hey, face yourself," you know, I don't want anybody hurt here.

KAYE: There was no denying Joseph and Summer had an instant connection.

PATRICK MCSTAY: The two have met, locked eyes, and that was it.

KAYE: Gianni, their first son was born in 2005 and less than two years later, Joseph Jr. arrived.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Summer was a mama bear. She wanted the best for her kids, she was very protective.

PATRICK MCSTAY: Now, I make (ph) that you don't mess with those kids. She's just very protective woman, not afraid to anybody.

KAYE: Shortly after Joey Jr. is born, Joseph and Summer got married in a small intimate ceremony in Orange County, California. Melissa Geller was one of Summer bridesmaids.

MELISSA GELLER: She looks so beautiful. It was a great day. It really was.

KAYE: But there was something missing. Joseph's mother Susan remembers Summer side of the family was absent.

BLAKE: The night before the wedding, Summer had told me that she had called them and said, you know, don't come.

GELLER: I know she wasn't super close with her family.

KAYE: Something that always concern Joseph's mother.

BLAKE: I have asked Joey like, you know, what's going on? Why don't we -- can't we all get together in this and that and I would always felt like I was brushed off as if there is something going on.

KAYE: But the McStay's family troubles weren't inclusive to Summer side of the family. There were other issues, Joseph's past.

BLAKE: I know Summer was very jealous, very, very jealous of, you know, obviously the first wife.

KAYE: In his early 20's, Joseph married a woman named Heather. They had a son together.

MICHAEL MCSTAY: She was the love of his life and when they broke up, it just broke his heart.

KAYE: Heather and Joseph's young romance broke down after six years of marriage. She filed for divorce in August of 1998 siding irreconcilable differences.

BLAKE: He would have done anything and everything but, you know, things happen and I love that, you know, the decision was made that, you know, they're going to be good parents together.

KAYE: Joseph and Heather agreed to share custody of their son Jonah.

MICHAEL MCSTAY: He loved Jonah. He still wanted to be as much as a father as he could.

KAYE: Friends say, when Joseph married Summer, she welcomed Jonah into their new family with open arms.

MCCARGAR: I remembered her helping hand making lemonade stand, you know, and she was totally embracing it.

KAYE: Chase Merritt, a friend and colleague who did work for Joseph's company doesn't agree.

CHASE MERRITT, FRIEND OF JOSEPH MCSTAY: Summer had the idea of Joseph spending time with Jonah and taking time away from his other two boys and her.

KAYE: Did she like Jonah?

MERRITT: I can't say whether she like him or not. She didn't act like it.

KAYE: Merritt claims Joseph simply put up with Summer's controlling behavior.

MERRITT: Joseph loved her to death. You know, he thought she walked and loved (ph) even though she had a lot of problems and then she -- and he talked to me about them.

KAYE: Joseph also confided in Merritt about his own problems. Most recently, his mysterious health issues.

MERRITT: Extreme dizziness, nausea, he went to the doctor several times and they couldn't find anything wrong.

KAYE: Merritt says Joseph wondered if his own wife may have potentially been to blame.

MERRITT: Somebody had told him that maybe he should stop eating at home.

KAYE: Did he truly believe that maybe she was trying to poison him?

MERRITT: His statement to me was, you know, maybe I should take heed.

KAYE: What would be the reason or the motive that Summer would ever consider poisoning him?

MERRITT: We never talked about that.

KAYE: Do you believe that Summer may have been looking to poison your son?

PATRICK MCSTAY: Yeah. I suspected the same thing in the beginning because of Joey's illness and hearing me out (ph). So I went down that same road, you know, and no. I don't believe it.

KAYE: Neither does Joseph's mom.

BLAKE: Now, she's going off so. So, you know, none of that makes at all sense to me.

KAYE: While Merritt's theory sounds farfetched, there was evidence there was trouble in Joseph and Summer's marriage. Just days before they disappeared, Joseph had lined up a family counselor for help.

BLAKE: Right after New Year, he had called me and said "Mom, can you help me find a good, you know, counselor and stuff. I want to get my family back on track." So at the end of January when we finally met one that we thought everybody, you know, would feel comfortable with, four days later, they're poof (ph).

KAYE: Gone. February 4th 2010, the McStays vanished.

Up next, the last person to see Joseph McStay alive talks for the first time on camera about what really happened that final day.


KAYE: It was lunch time at this Chick-Fil-A in Southern California, the last known place, Joseph McStay was seen alive.

MERRITT: We got together. We had lots to talk about.

KAYE: Chase Merritt has never talked on camera before about that day. He met Joseph on February 4th 2010 to talk business and business was booming.

MERRITT: We have 500 waterfalls coming up, you know, it would be the biggest project we'd ever done.

KAYE: So it sounded like he was planning for the future.

MERRITT: He was definitely planning for the future.

KAYE: After lunch, they spoke on the phone a handful more times. So when Merritt's phone rang at 8:28 PM and he saw it was Joseph calling, he didn't answer.

MERRITT: I was tired.

KAYE: Do you regret not picking up that call?

MERRITT: (Inaudible) 2020.

KAYE: It was the last known call from Joseph's cell phone. The call was made 41 minutes after a neighbor security camera captured the McStay's white Isuzu pulling out of the McStay's cul-de-sac. WATTS: Did Joseph actually make that call from his phone or did somebody else take Joseph's phone and make that call or was he trying to call for help?

KAYE: That missed call is now a missed opportunity, the first of many missed opportunities.

MERRITT: The next day, I called him and he didn't answer. I started getting concerned by the end of the second day.

DAN KAVANAUGH: I put the initial word out to his friends and family that he had not been communicating online or via phone and I couldn't get a whole summary either.

KAYE: Dan Kavanaugh, who worked with Joseph managing his company's website, contacted Patrick.

KAVANAUGH: My gut instinct was not really a good one.

KAYE: Patrick called his younger son, Michael, who lived near Joseph.

PATRICK MCSTAY: I need you to go and check on your brother, and again, "I'm too busy."

MICHAEL MCSTAY: I didn't want to overreact. We thought that maybe they did a little 10-day vaca.

PATRICK MCSTAY: Let me tell you something, if I could have jumped through the phone on the ninth, I would have.

KAYE: A potentially devastating delay.

WATTS: The first few hours are so critical. The first few minutes of that missing family, the beginning of -- some were trying to commit a crime against you, that's the only chance you have to get out.

KAYE: Finally on February 10th, six days since the family went missing, law enforcement was notified.

WATTS: They don't go into the house. They only checked outside the house. At that point, they felt there was nothing suspicious.

KAYE: But that didn't stop Chase Merritt. He decided to check things out for himself.

MERRITT: I didn't see anything suspicious.

KAYE: Does it surprise you that the dogs are outside?

MERRITT: Very much so. So much so that I called Susan, Joseph's mother and told her there's something a mess.

MICHAEL MCSTAY: My mom said "Oh, Chase just left here. He just drove by Joey's house." I'm talking with Chase everyday.

KAYE: So you felt like you had eyeballs on the house. MICHAEL MCSTAY: I felt like I had eyeballs on the house.

KAYE: Then on February 13th, nine days had passed and still no word from the McStays. That's when Michael decided he needed to drive through his brother's house himself. Chase met him there and together they climbed inside through an unlocked window. They found the house in either disarray, rotten food on the counter, popcorn on the futon, clothes thrown all over the place.

MERRITT: I told Michael at the time, you should probably call the sheriff department and his response was simply "You know what, let's wait until the end of the weekend."

MICHAEL MCSTAY: San Diego's Sheriff, they have a rule anyway. After 10 days, it's automatically they send out homicide.

KAYE: Could you have reported them missing and gotten some police action before those 10 days?

MICHAEL MCSTAY: I don't know. I don't know. Maybe.

KAYE: Monday, February 15th, 11 days after the family went missing, Michael called the sheriff's department who came to the house to investigate. They immediately alerted homicide. Then investigators did something Patrick McStay finds unbelievable.

PATRICK MCSTAY: They don't put any tape on the crime scene tape, any notices on the door, nothing. They just locked us, back up, and they leave you at once.

WATTS: Doesn't make any sense to me. I think you've got a family that's missing for a week and they're still not going to call it a crime scene?

KAYE: It took San Diego investigators four days to obtain the warrants they needed to complete a full search of the home. But during those four days, the McStay's home remained unsealed which allowed Joseph's brother, mother, and friend access in and out of the house.

BLAKE: I've been going there unless I called, you know, the sheriff's department. They said I could, so I had permission but I cleaned up the kitchen because it was disgusting and the trash can from diapers sitting there all that time, you know, it was terrible, terrible smells.

MCCARGAR: She was cleaning. We were looking for bank statements, I mean, I think she was just reaching for evidence.

KAYE: Wasn't it there were crime scene or?

MICHAEL MCSTAY: No. It was not deemed a crime scene because there was no sign of forced entry. There was no sign of foul play at the house.

KAYE: Michael says investigators gave them the OK to remove some items from the home.

MICHAEL MCSTAY: With their permission, I grabbed his computer. Well, it would be Joey's computer and the SD card. I got the pictures off and I got that downloaded and then I have to put that back prior to the -- them issuing the warrant.

KAYE: Back in Texas, Patrick could hardly believe what was going on.

PATRICK MCSTAY: The first thing I'm thinking is like you're going to destroy evidence. I was just stunned.

WATTS: Certain items that might have been really key to the big mystery, why they left that house are gone. First moved, cleaned up. It's ridiculous.

KAYE: And as you'll see, more road blocks will soon hamper the investigation.

Coming up, mysterious surveillance footage and a trail of clues that lead investigators in the wrong direction.


J. MCSTAY: That's the house.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is that the house?

KAYE: November 2009, just months before they vanished, the McStays moved into a new house.

J. MCSTAY: There's the entrance.

KAYE: It was a new beginning.

J MCSTAY: Light colors. Hi, you like all this big room in here?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So then the baby could run and play outside, it was perfect.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I still have this work.

KAYE: But by February 15th, 2010 that once perfect house was now shrouded in mystery.

The McStay family was still missing and so as their truck. Detective sent out they'll be on the look out, (inaudible). What did they discover?

WATTS: Instantly Randi. They get a hit on the truck. It's been impounded from a shopping mall near the Mexican border.

KAYE: Detectives say that four days after the McStay's disappeared, their white Isuzu trooper was parked and subsequently toed from a parking lot, steps away from the Mexican border.

WATTS: There was nothing in that car to indicate that anything bad had happened.

KAYE: No apparent foul play. Investigators and loved ones had to consider the possibility. Did the McStays parked their car at the border and then vanished into Mexico?

M. MCSTAY: In my mind, we started shifting gears, "OK, they're in Cabo or they're in Mexico.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I just thought well, maybe they took off.

KAYE: It still wasn't adding up.

P. MCSTAY: Summer was afraid of Mexico. Would Summer take her two children in there? Heck, no.

KAYE: But the truck wasn't the only evidence leading investigators South of the border. Soon after they found the Isuzu, detectives uncovered another clue, a search on the McStay's home computer from a week before they disappear.

WATTS: Somebody at the McStay home had searched for getting passports to Mexico.

KAYE: Then just weeks later, what appeared to be a major break in the case.

COOPER: Authorities are pouring over security tapes from border checkpoints.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Now, new video could show the family crossing the Mexican border. Is it the McStays?

KAYE: This surveillance footage showing what appeared to be a family of four crossing on foot into Mexico on February 8th. The very same night, the McStay's Isuzu trooper was found near the border.

WATTS: We're getting a story that we found the car at the border and we've got a family that looks like them walking over the border so we think they might have left momentarily.

KAYE: But while detectives pursued that theory, those who knew the McStays insisted those people in that video were not the McStays.

P. MCSTAY: I said right upfront. The first time I saw it, it wasn't them.

TIM MILLER: So they're out there meeting with detectives...

KAYE: Fearful that detectives were chasing dead end clues.

MILLER: What is latest down there?

KAYE: Patrick called Tim Miller, a fellow Texan who he hoped could refocus the search for his family.

MILLER: Patrick sounded pretty distract. KAYE: Miller founded the nonprofit search and rescue organization, Texas Equusearch. He traveled to California weeks after the family disappeared.

MILLER: You know, it was basically a recon trip to look at the area, kind of map things out.

KAYE: Miller needed some help so he called investigative journalist, Steph Watts. The two had worked together on previous missing persons cases.

M MCSTAY: He no longer (inaudible)?

MILLER: Oh no, he's got one now.

KAYE: Their first stop, inside the McStay home. Joseph's brother Michael let them in.

MILLER: Very strange.

WATTS: What's strange?

MILLER: I thought we were going to get in trouble for interfering in a police a police investigation for contaminating some evidence but Michael said "No problem, you can be here."

M. MCSTAY: The detectives just told me that this is not a crime scene and I can do whatever I want.

WATTS: It baffled me that this was not a crime scene. It baffles me that they even let me in there.

Just no clues here, is there?


KAYE: Though Miller and Watts failed to find any evidence of foul play. What they did find suggested the McStays never planned to run away.

M MCSTAY: Their stroll is here. They don't go anywhere without the double stroller.

MILLER: And the kids have two little laptops.

WATTS: This is really significant Randi. They would never leave the house on a plan trip. They would never go anywhere for an extended period of time without the baby strollers.

KAYE: Miller and Watts left the house that day more convinced than ever that something very bad had happened to the McStays.

So the following day, they drove to the border looking for areas along the way that appeared suspicious.

MILLER: I was really focused on right down there. I'm looking at everything where some I could pull off and dumps something.

There's (inaudible) go on that path.

KAYE: We retraced that same drive with Miller.

When you look at such a vast area, did you realize what the challenge you had or having?

MILLER: I told Michael, I said, "Michael, we got a real challenge." I said it's only going to be miracle. Is that even possible?

KAYE: But that miracle never happened. Miller called off his plans for a ground search the moment detective showed him that grainy surveillance video, video that convinced him and Watts the McStays may have disappeared on purpose.

So you thought it was them on the video, this family?

MILLER: Yeah, sure it is.

KAYE: It looks like them to you?


WATTS: As a journalist at the time, I had to consider particularly because law enforcement was so adamant that it was them.

CALDWELL: We did believe for awhile. We had a strong reason to believe that they had traveled to Mexico.

KAYE: Jan Caldwell is with the San Diego county Sheriff's department.

CALDWELL: We have the guy in Mexico, that's thought he serve them. Somebody else down there actually had brought them cocktails and we did have the signings, now were they still there, we didn't know.

KAYE: And as more time went by, detective say the leads dried up and the case went cold.

CALDWELL: It's almost impossible to work a case without information flowing in.

KAYE: With every passing day, the case grew colder and colder. Weeks, months, eventually years passed with no news. The San Diego Sheriff eventually handed the case over to the FBI in April of 2013, but sill no answers.

P. MCSTAY: There some real problems. There some things that were really missed.

Up next, the mystery only deepens. A tragic discovery in the Mojave Desert.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: 911 emergency, what are you reporting. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hi. I've found it looks like part human skull.

KAYE: This call came in at 9:58 a.m., November 11th, 2013. A motorcyclist off-roading in the Mojave Desert.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What's the location?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I believe (inaudible).

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So you're in Victorville?


KAYE: A remote area, 100 miles north of McStay home and over 150 miles from the Mexico boarder.

MCMAHON: It's not an area where we would generally patrol.

KAYE: The local sheriff's department found two shallow graves and four skeletons.

MCMAHON: Through the use of dental records we're able to identify the adult victims as Summer and Joseph McStay. We believe the other two sets of remains are that of the boys, their sons.

M. MCSTAY: It gives us courage to know that they're together.

KAYE: Just days later, we went with Michael McStay to the desert.

M. MCSTAY: I had to come out here. For me, this is just something that I had to do because we're going to find out who did this.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Who did it? Who so cold blooded that they killed children.

KAYE: A cold blooded murder but now there're might be evidence that could finally lead to answers.

JAN CALDWELL: And then we have a scene.

KAYE: We met Jan Caldwell of the San Diego Sheriff's Department just days after the remains were discovered.

CALDWELL: Hopefully now that we have a scene that's going to tell us the answers to this mystery.

KAYE: A mystery, once considered a missing persons case now officially a murder investigation.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The manner of death has been determined to be homicide.

KAYE: Almost four years since the disappearance, grieving family and friends criticized law enforcement for over looking evidence that might have help them find McStays sooner.

P. MCSTAY: I could probably hire some boy scouts and done a better job.

KAYE: Allegations that we put to the San Diego Sheriffs Department in one of the rare interviews they gave on the case.

CALDWELL: These are the files.

KAYE: This would include information on bank accounts, on interview of family, friend, business associates.

CALDWELL: This is an incredibly thorough investigation. Coming through it, I can see phone records. I see photographs. I see communications and they have done all of this to compile this kind of a massive file and still not know the answer, enormously frustrating.

WATTS: They're flapping the face of the families and the victims that they put all of their eggs in one basket.

KAYE: Investigative journalist Steph Watts and others believe law enforcement was so convince the family went to Mexico that they miss clues that might have had them searching in another direction.

WATTS: Commonsense didn't come into play here with the investigators. Why would they park the car and walk over? Why would they not drive over the boarder to enjoy a day in Mexico? Why would they walk over the boarder in the dark at night when there's really nothing on the other side at that time and like to do with small children?

KAYE: Consider the timing. According to the sheriff, the empty McStay Isuzu was found between 5 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. at the mall, yet the surveillance video at the border is time stamp 7 p.m.

P. MCSTAY: Tell me so, where were they for an hour and a half? Now, with all these cameras in the parking lot, in the mall stores and on top of the bank right in front of them where the Isuzu was parked, there's no video.

KAYE: Over them?

P. MCSTAY: Them -- anything, no video period, any of it. That's amazing.

WATTS: Whoever put that car there fooled us all. That's exactly what they wanted us to believe. Park it close to the boarder and believe that they went over to Mexico.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They didn't come in to Mexico, get murdered in Mexico and then take in 300 miles away and buried.

KAYE: They may jump into Mexico.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It'd be so easy to dispose a thing in Mexico that is never found.

KAYE: So do you think they went to Mexico at all and came back in the 7? P. MCSTAY: No. New, you drive to the board, you go across the boarder. Something happens over across the boarder. How did you ge them back? And there's absolutely no record of them ever crossing back into the U.S. You don't get check going out to come back...

KAYE: Even days after the bodies were found, San Diego Sheriff's Department stood by their belief that the McStay has went to Mexico.

CALDWELL: Did they actually crossing the Mexico? We still think that there's strong possibility that they did.

KAYE: On November 15th 2013 the San Bernardino sheriff law enforcement for the country where the remains were found, took over the investigation.

MCMAHON: The first step is getting up to speed on what was done in San Diego. There's merely 3,000 pages typed material.

KAYE: And that wouldn't be their only challenge.

MCMAHON: The other big hurdle for us will be the amount of time that the bodies where in those graves. Well some of the evidence that may have been present initially maybe gone just because of animal activity or just the element.

KAYE: Despite that, Patrick McStay still hopes to find answers.

P. MCSTAY: I'll be at San Bernardino, all the opportunities in the world to solve this case.

KAYE: He's been in contacted with the new investigative team to help find out who did this and why.

P. MCSTAY: It has to be somebody that hated them for a reason, some crazy reason. And so that person kill them all.

KAYE: Searching for suspects and a motive inside the investigation when we come back.


KAYE: This is the first time Patrick McStay has seen the shallow graves, where his family was buried.

P. MCSTAY: When we hit the dirt off the pavement...

KAYE: Yeah.

P. MCSTAY: ...first thoughts in my head was, "What was they thinking coming up that road." They had to know it wasn't good.

KAYE: Yeah.

P. MCSTAY: And that's the part that I don't want to think about it. Well I miss you son.

KAYE: All he can think about, how his family was killed and who did it.

P. MCSTAY: Is awfully hard to imagine somebody just out of no where, pulling off the road and come in here and this...

KAYE: Finding this place.

P. MCSTAY: Yeah. To me they had to know where they were going.

WATTS: There was more than one person involved in this case, because not one person drag four people out of the desert and bury them single handedly. So the only way this case is going to get cracked is that if somebody talks.

KAYE: But first you have to find those people.

WATTS: I think police should be looking at everybody. A lot of people have interesting path in this story.

KAYE: Have you ruled anyone out?

MCMAHON: We have not ruled anybody out at this point.

KAYE: Even family.

M. MCSTAY: This is a homicide investigation, the question everybody.

KAYE: Like Joseph's brother, Michael McStay.

Were you ever questioned or no?

M. MCSTAY: I just was -- well yeah, I was -- I've always been. They took me to the police station, just recently too.

KAYE: Michael says he told them everything, including why in the early weeks after Joseph disappeared, he withdraw money from his brother's bank account. And even sold off some of Joseph's property, all before he knew his brother was dead.

M. MCSTAY: Well, I figured at that point, the house was going to into for closure because there was (inaudible) and I couldn't have, you know, Jonah and his family suffering. So I thought the best thing I could do was, you know, liquidate some things and give them the money.

Let me just say -- I'm going to cut to the chase, I didn't do it. I'm his brother. I don't want his business.

KAYE: A very valuable business. Some say it was worth more than a million dollars. Something Dan Kavanaugh knew all too well. Remember him, he worked for Joseph managing the companies website. He called and emailed Patrick on February 9th, worried about Joseph. Yet as early as February 6, Kavanaugh started withdrawing money from Joseph's business bank accounts.

WATTS: Why are you taking money from somebody that you done know is no coming back, unless you know he's not coming back.

KAYE: Kavanaugh insist he had approval to access the funds while Joseph was still missing.

KAVANAUGH: I actually corresponded with his family about that and I was like, "We need a couple of G's out of the paypal account to keep his business online or we'll lose everything." And they're like, "OK, we'll do what you got to do."

KAYE: But Kavanaugh didn't stop there. By summer 2011 when Joseph was still missing, Kavanaugh had sold Joseph business to an outside company.

KAVANAUGH: They we're really looking to give me huge amounts of money but they were like, "We'll just come in. We'll pay off whatever debts and things that the company has incurred and bring a current and then you'll barely get paid any money."

KAYE: Patrick is in raged when he found out.

P. MCSTAY: He own nothing of any part of, any share of anything.

KAVANAUGH: We shared ownership from the beginning, starting that company, 50-50. We basically had a little bit of a gentlemen's agreement.

KAYE: Thought the money trail lead Patrick straight to Kavanaugh. Kavanaugh has maintained his alibi and his innocence.

KAVANAUGH: No involvement and no knowledge of who might have done it. I was in Hawaii for over a month before he disappeared.

KAYE: And the evidence we uncovered seems to indicate that Kavanaugh was in Hawaii around the initial days of the McStay's disappearance. So what aside from money could be a motive? Some have point to those marital problems between Joseph and Summer.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Joseph was a little bit concerned about possible affairs or a possible affair that Summer may be having.

KAYE: Could this have been a crime of passion, a lover scorned, so many theories, so many questions, yet so few answers. Especially, why would someone kill two little boys?

WATTS: The only answer that I can come through that because they would have been able to identify somebody. Even a two year old would be able to possibly say, "That's the man who murdered my mommy, that's the man who murdered my daddy." Or it was strictly out of absolute hatred for that family.

KAYE: Answered could come from this baring (ph) desert. Were the keys to unlocking this mystery could be buried in the sand.

MCMAHON: There was certainly evidence found in and around the grave sites but at this point we're not prepared to talk about what evidence we did locate,

KAYE: Are you confident you'll find who killed the McStays?

MCMAHON: It is certain my hope that at some point in the future we'll be able to solve this and bring the suspect or suspects to justice.

KAYE: And despite the lack of answers, Patrick McStay still has faith.

P. MCSTAY: It's like a play, the first act (inaudible), you got three more acts to go.

KAYE: But those acts have yet to written. For now Patrick waits and hopes, hopes for clues to solve this murders, hopes for justice, at last for his family.