Business Associate Charles Merritt Arrested On Murder Charges! ~ Remains of Joseph, Summer McStay & children missing from San Diego since Feb of 2010 found in Victorville, CA

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Normal McStay's Money

Post by NiteSpinR on Mon Nov 18, 2013 11:39 pm

11/16/2013

The father of murder victim Joseph McStay is criticizing the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department for its investigation into the McStay family disappearance.

The bodies of two adults were found Thursday in the desert outside Victorville, California and dental records confirmed they were the elder McStays. The bodies of two children were also found, presumed to be the McStay children. Investigators said they were all the victims of homicide.

The family had disappeared February 10, 2010.

Patrick McStay spoke to Fox 5 by phone Friday from his home in Texas. He said he always suspected foul play and never believed Joseph, his wife Summer, and their sons, Gianni and Joseph, were in Mexico.

McStay said he believes the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department failed to search for the truth.

“It just seemed that everything they were doing was done in a narrative just to solely fit crossing the border into Mexico,” said McStay. “And anything else that was found or discovered they didn’t want to hear it.”

Patrick McStay said he launched his own personal investigation after his family’s disappearance. He said he found inconsistencies with the Sheriff’s Department’s findings. Some of the inconsistency revolved around the family bank accounts.

“They’re out there saying there’s been no activity on their accounts, that everything stopped the day they left. I knew that was blatant lies,” said McStay. “$2000 was taken out on the 6th of February. $2000 was taken out on the 15th of February. Then another $3000 was taken out on the 18th.”


McStay said there were also inconsistencies with the time frame in which investigators found the family vehicle near the Mexico border. He said he was given conflicting stories.

He believes other evidence was ignored that could lead to the killer or killers, though he declined to say who or whom he might suspect.

“You start looking at the condition of the house, how it was found, and you start finding criminal backgrounds records of people,” said McStay.

Sheriff’s officials disagree and said they exhausted every resource on the case.

“We never stopped investigating this case,” said Jan Caldwell, San Diego County Sheriff’s Department spokesperson. “Never.”

McStay said the new developments in the case leave only more questions.

“Its kind of like one search ends and another one begins,” McStay said. “The only way you keep your sanity is to keep going, because you know you owe it to your children to not quit, to not give up.”

Moving forward, McStay hopes investigators will take a serious look at the case and work until justice is served.

“I just want them found and prosecuted. I want to see that my son and grandchildren get a proper burial,” he said. “I want them to be able to rest.”

McStay said he would always remember his son for being an amazing father to his two grandchildren.

“I wish I could have been half the father he was,” said McStay. “He was just really great.”

McStay said he’d remember his daughter-in-law for the love and dedication she had to the family.

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Normal Re: Business Associate Charles Merritt Arrested On Murder Charges! ~ Remains of Joseph, Summer McStay & children missing from San Diego since Feb of 2010 found in Victorville, CA

Post by NiteSpinR on Mon Nov 18, 2013 11:56 pm

We've been told repeatedly through various media outlets that the McStay's Bank Accounts had remained untouched the entire time they were missing. Joseph's father, Patrick McStay is stating otherwise.
IMO Investigators know these accounts have been accessed and that the money was removed or transferred somewhere and by whom. This trail is going to lead them to solving these murders. I think LE has remained silent about knowing this because they were waiting in hopes that the bodies would turn up. I also think it's only a matter of time before this is tied to someone associated with Joseph's business endeavors. Of course this is just me speculating.

Thanks to SamGoodwin for the "follow the money" tip.

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Normal Re: Business Associate Charles Merritt Arrested On Murder Charges! ~ Remains of Joseph, Summer McStay & children missing from San Diego since Feb of 2010 found in Victorville, CA

Post by samgoodwin on Tue Nov 19, 2013 10:46 am

I'm not sure what this blog is or who runs it, but they have comments and video on here.
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Here's links to the videos:

Part 1 of Tim mIller at McStay house


Part 2 of Tim at McStay house


It looks like after living there for 2-3 months the family was still sleeping on air mattresses in one room. The place is really a mess too, granted there was remodeling going on, but there is junk everywhere on the floor. I read that Joseph's mom stripped the bed and washed the sheets and cleaned everything up.
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Normal Re: Business Associate Charles Merritt Arrested On Murder Charges! ~ Remains of Joseph, Summer McStay & children missing from San Diego since Feb of 2010 found in Victorville, CA

Post by samgoodwin on Tue Nov 19, 2013 1:33 pm

This is from Tim Miller's website. Evidently "someone" (MM?) was asking for donations to cover Tim miller's expenses on the McStay family site, but they kept it and none of the money was ever sent to Miller.

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Normal Re: Business Associate Charles Merritt Arrested On Murder Charges! ~ Remains of Joseph, Summer McStay & children missing from San Diego since Feb of 2010 found in Victorville, CA

Post by Nama on Wed Nov 20, 2013 12:28 am

The father of Joseph McStay is speaking out—in vague terms—about the three people he suspects might have been responsible for the murders of his son, his daughter-in-law and their two children.
Joseph's father Patrick McStay told CBS, "I have exhausted and have so much information on three possible persons of interest. All have a motive."
The three individuals are not connected to each other, but all of them seem like likely candidates. Patrick says one of them seems to be a particularly likely suspect: he's a wealthy man with a long rap sheet that includes charges of attempted murder, assault with a deadly weapon and burglary. McStay says he, too, has a motive for killing his son.
The McStay family had been missing since 2010, and authorities had few clues about what happened to them until their bodies were found in the desert on the outskirts of Victorville earlier this month. San Diego sheriff's investigators said it was their most extensive missing persons search ever, but the McStay family has been critical of the investigation, calling it "botched" and "inept."
The last trace of the McStays was the family car found just near the border of Mexico. But the family says they were always particularly skeptical of investigators' theory that the family crossed over into Mexico without telling any family members.
McStay says he suspects that whoever killed Joseph, his wife Summer and their two boys Gianni, 4, and Joseph, 3, was likely hired to do the job or the children recognized the killer. McStay told CBS, "To kill a child is something totally different. You have to be a cold-blooded killer."
McStay says that while he hoped he would see his son and family again, his worst fears came true: "I knew there was more to this. I knew they didn't walk away."

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Normal PEOPLE MAGAZINE: Inside the Gruesome McStay Family Murder Case

Post by NiteSpinR on Thu Dec 05, 2013 2:46 am



In October 2009, Joseph McStay excitedly e-mailed a friend about the house he and his wife had purchased in the San Diego suburb of Fallbrook, Calif. He boasted it had a "loft/game room & big yard for kids to go crazy," referring to their rambunctious preschoolers, Gianni and Joe Jr. "Love it."

So when the family seemingly disappeared four months later without telling any relatives, friends or business associates, and their car turned up four days later at the Mexican border, many people who knew them feared the worst.

"My fear is that I'm looking for two adult shallow graves and ... my two nephews' crosses," Joseph's kid brother, Michael, told the Orange County Register a few weeks after the Feb. 4, 2010, disappearance.

The mystery was largely treated as a missing-persons case until this month, after a motorcyclist riding through the desert above Victorville, Calif., came across a weathered skull and called police. Michael's worst fears were realized.

Two shallow graves contained the remains of Joseph, his wife Summer, 4-year-old son Gianni and 3-year-old son Joe Jr. Investigators say they have a lot of work ahead to find the killers, and no predictions as to who they are or why they would kill a whole family.

On Nov. 20, at a vigil where volunteers erected white crosses and released doves, Michael pondered aloud the same questions. "How did four people end up here in the middle of nowhere, over 100 miles from where they live?" he asked.

While no one has the answer, there are many leads, provided by people like Joseph's father, Patrick McStay, who has complained for years that the San Diego Sheriff's Department was not treating the case seriously, and Rick Baker, who traveled the world researching his book, No Goodbyes: The Mysterious Disappearance of the McStay Family.

“Investigators are questioning everybody," Michael McStay tells PEOPLE. "And they should be. We need to find the killer."


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Normal Re: Business Associate Charles Merritt Arrested On Murder Charges! ~ Remains of Joseph, Summer McStay & children missing from San Diego since Feb of 2010 found in Victorville, CA

Post by samgoodwin on Fri Dec 27, 2013 10:48 pm

Hi all, I hope everyone here had a nice Christmas!

Have you all see the fb page of Patrick McStay? It seems as though there is a lot of fighting going on in that family. Mike is not talking to his dad (Patrick) and lots of hostility on Patrick's fb page:

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Normal Re: Business Associate Charles Merritt Arrested On Murder Charges! ~ Remains of Joseph, Summer McStay & children missing from San Diego since Feb of 2010 found in Victorville, CA

Post by NiteSpinR on Fri Dec 27, 2013 11:27 pm

WOW!
That was an interesting read. Words slinging in every which direction!
Thanks for the link Sam.
So very nice to see you.

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Normal Re: Business Associate Charles Merritt Arrested On Murder Charges! ~ Remains of Joseph, Summer McStay & children missing from San Diego since Feb of 2010 found in Victorville, CA

Post by samgoodwin on Sat Dec 28, 2013 10:10 pm

Hi Nite. I've been peeking in now and then, but busy with work and Christmas.
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Normal CNN Special Report

Post by NiteSpinR on Tue May 27, 2014 9:23 pm

CNN Special Report
"Buried Secrets: Who Murdered The McStay Family?"

June 3, 2014 9:00pm
June 4, 2014 12:00am
June 8, 2014 7:00pm

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Normal Who Killed The McStay Family?

Post by NiteSpinR on Sun Aug 10, 2014 8:01 pm

June 4, 2014

Four years ago, Patrick McStay lost everything he loved.
His son, Joseph, his daughter-in-law, Summer, and their two little boys -- Gianni, 4, and Joseph Jr., 3 -- vanished.
"From Day One, I just had this gut feeling that I was never going to see them again," he said, swallowing tears. "I just knew. Something told me, I wasn't going to see them again."
The McStays disappeared from their home in suburban San Diego in February 2010.

There were no signs of a struggle. No apparent plan to flee.
Nearly four years later, the mother, father and two boys were found slain in the Mojave Desert -- their bodies buried in shallow graves.
How did they get there? Who killed them?
From the beginning, the case has baffled investigators, but they aren't giving up.
Said John McMahon, sheriff of San Bernardino County, in an exclusive interview with CNN: "It is certainly my hope that at some point in the future, we'll be able to solve this, and bring the suspect or suspects to justice."

The disappearance
February 4, 2010, began as an ordinary day in the McStay home in Fallbrook, a community of about 30,000 people about 18 miles from the Pacific Coast and 50 miles north of San Diego.
Patrick McStay spoke on the phone with his son, who ran a custom water feature business, and was scheduled to have a lunch meeting around noon. Summer McStay spent the day caring for the kids and overseeing the family's home renovation.
They were looking forward to their youngest son's birthday party that weekend.
But that night, the family of four suddenly left the house -- the doors locked, the car gone. Inexplicably, their two beloved dogs were left outside without food or water.
"(It's) as if you took off really fast but were coming back," said Susan Blake, Joseph McStay's mother, who is divorced from Patrick McStay.
"Your thoughts are going wild. 'Well, why would they be missing?' Something's not right here," she said.

The investigation
Early evidence pointed investigators south.
Four days after the McStays disappeared, detectives say the family's white Isuzu Trooper was parked and subsequently towed from a parking lot just steps from the Mexican border.
And the car wasn't the only clue.
After they found the Isuzu, investigators discovered someone at the McStay home had done a computer search for getting passports to Mexico. They also found surveillance video showing a family of four matching the McStays' description crossing on foot into Mexico on February 8.
"I just thought, well, maybe they took off," said Joseph's mother.
But his father wasn't buying it.
"I said right up front, the first time I saw it (the surveillance footage), it wasn't them," said Patrick McStay, adding that Summer was afraid of Mexico.
"Would Summer take her two children in there? Heck, no," he said.

Missed opportunities
Patrick McStay worried detectives were chasing dead-end clues.
"I could have probably hired some Boy Scouts and done a better job," he said.
He reached out to Tim Miller, founder of the nonprofit search-and-rescue organization Texas Equusearch, which, in turn, contacted freelance investigative journalist Steph Watts for help.
One point that raised questions for Watts was the last known call from Joseph McStay's cell phone. The call was to a friend, Chase Merritt. It came in about 40 minutes after a neighbor's security camera captured the family's Isuzu pulling out of the McStay's cul-de-sac. Merritt didn't answer.
Among those questions, Watts said, were, "Did Joseph actually make that call from his phone, or did somebody else take Joseph's phone and make that call? Was he trying to call for help?"
The journalist also noted the impact of the delay in reporting the family missing to law enforcement.
Joseph's brother contacted authorities 11 days after the McStays disappeared. He says he waited because he didn't want to overreact, and thought the family might just be on vacation.
"The first few hours are so critical, the first few minutes ... The beginning of someone trying to commit a crime against you, that's the only chance you have to get out," Watts said.

The bodies
The call the family feared finally came in November 2013, from an off-roading motorcyclist in the Mojave Desert.
More than 150 miles from the U.S.-Mexico border, and some 100 miles north of the McStay home, the biker found what looked to be part of a human skull in a remote area of Victorville, California.
Authorities investigated and found four skeletons in two shallow graves. With the help of dental records, they determined the bodies belonged to the McStays.
Once considered a missing persons case, the investigation moved to homicide. It also switched jurisdictions -- passing from the San Diego County Sheriff's Department to the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department.
Jan Caldwell, with the San Diego department, defended her office's handling of the case.
"This is an incredibly thorough investigation," she said, her hand atop a thick stacks of files. "Thumbing through it, I can see phone records, I see photographs, I see communications.
"And to have done all of this -- to have compiled this kind of a massive file and still not know the answer -- enormously frustrating," Caldwell said last year, soon after the remains were discovered.
The San Diego County Sheriff's Department is no longer commenting on the case. It refers all questions to San Bernardino, which declines to get into specifics, citing the ongoing investigation.
Summer's mother, brother and sister also declined to comment to CNN.

The mystery
Detectives still have not named any suspects or persons of interest.
"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," said McMahon, the San Bernardino sheriff.
Watts said the only way the case will be cracked now is if someone talks.
"There was more than one person involved in this case because not one person dragged four people out to the desert and buried them single-handedly," he said.
"As the pieces begin to come together, it's looking to me like it was extremely orchestrated. So we have to ask ourselves, why?"
Like Watts, Patrick McStay believes the killer, or killers, has to be someone who hated his family for a reason -- but that reason is unclear.
So many theories. So many questions. So few answers.
"It's like a play. The first act has just ended. We've got three more acts to go," he said.

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Normal Five Questions About The McStay Case

Post by NiteSpinR on Sun Aug 10, 2014 8:35 pm

July 2, 2014

It's been more than four years since the McStay family went missing, and nearly eight months have passed since their remains were found in the Mojave Desert.
Who would want to kill Joseph; his wife, Summer; and their two young kids, Gianni, 4, and Joseph Jr., 3? How did their bodies end up in two shallow graves some 100 miles north of their home?
Investigators still have not named any suspects or persons of interest, but those involved aren't giving up.
A new detective recently joined the investigation, bringing new energy and new ideas to the table.
As the investigation continues, here are five questions that could provide clues about the case:

1. Who used Joseph McStay's phone shortly after he disappeared?
On February 4, 2010, Chase Merritt received a phone call from Joseph McStay. It was 8:28 p.m.
Chase, Joseph's close friend, picked up the phone, looked at it, and set it back down.
"I had a bunch of other things I was doing, and I was just tired," he told CNN.
Joseph ran a custom water feature business, and he often bought custom indoor waterfalls from Chase. The two talked frequently. Chase had already talked to Joseph multiple times that day, and they had also met in person for a couple of hours.
"I had no idea that something like this was going to happen," said Chase.
Was that just a regular call from his friend, or could it have been a call for help?
"There are hundreds of scenarios. I have gone over all of them in my head," he added. "Of course I regret not picking up the phone."
What happened to the McStays?

2. Who used Summer McStay's credit card the day she disappeared?
According to phone records, Summer McStay made a call from her home phone at 2:11 p.m. February 4 regarding purchasing herbal medicine. Financial records show her credit card was used 25 minutes later at a store in Vista, California, about 20 minutes from her home.
It's not clear whether Summer was the one who made that purchase.
"That is certainly a piece of evidence that we would review if there's any video or any documentation to support who was at that store and used that credit card," said John McMahon, sheriff of San Bernardino County.
"Every piece of evidence in this case is critical," he said.

3. Did Joseph McStay's business have anything to do with his families' disappearance?
In the months before his disappearance, business at Joseph's company was good.
So good, in fact, that Joseph was working on a deal that could have been worth $9 million, his father, Patrick McStay, said.
By summer of 2011, Dan Kavanaugh, who worked for Joseph managing his company's website, had sold the business to an outside company. Patrick was enraged.
"He owned nothing of --- any part of, any share of, anything," he said.
Dan, however, said he and Joseph split everything 50-50.
"We shared ownership from the beginning of starting the company," he said.
Although Patrick had his suspicions about Kavanaugh, Dan has maintained his alibi and innocence.
"I was in Hawaii for over a month before he disappeared," he said.
And the evidence CNN has uncovered seems to indicate Kavanaugh was in Hawaii around the initial days of the McStays' disappearance.

4. Why was someone using the McStays' computer to research traveling to Mexico?
One week before the McStays went missing, someone used their home computer to search for information on how to get children into Mexico.
Four days after they disappeared, detectives say the family's white Isuzu Trooper was parked and subsequently towed from a parking lot just steps from the Mexican border.
Investigators also found surveillance video showing a family of four matching the McStays' description crossing on foot into Mexico on February 8.
"I just thought, 'Well, maybe they took off,' " said Joseph's mother, Susan Blake. But his father wasn't buying it.
"I said right up front, the first time I saw it (the surveillance footage), it wasn't them," said Patrick, adding that Summer was afraid of Mexico.
"Would Summer take her two children in there? Heck, no," he said.
Still, investigators want to know whether the computer search and their disappearance were related.


5. Was crucial evidence in the McStay family home destroyed?
Eleven days after the McStays went missing, Joseph's brother Michael called the Sheriff's Department. He said he waited so long because he didn't want to overreact and thought the family might just be on vacation.
The Sheriff's Department immediately alerted homicide, but it took investigators four days to obtain the warrants needed to complete a full search of the home.
During those three days, the McStay home was unsealed. The McStays' friends and family had some access in and out of the house.
Joseph's mother straightened up the kitchen, which she says smelled terrible because of the trash.
Michael McStay said the house was not deemed a crime scene because there was no sign of forced entry.
With investigators' permission, he said, he grabbed his brother's computer and SD card.
Given all of the foot traffic in the house, freelance investigative journalist Steph Watts said critical evidence could have been lost.
"Certain items that might have been really key to the big mystery of why they left that house are gone," he said.


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Normal UPDATE: Business Associate Charles Merritt Arrested For The McStay's Murders

Post by NiteSpinR on Fri Nov 07, 2014 2:18 pm

November 07, 2014

Police in San Diego today announced their arrest of a suspect in the murder of Joseph McStay, his wife and two young sons, whose bodies were found in shallow graves in the California desert in 2013, four years after their mysterious disappearance.

Charles "Chase" Merritt, 57, described by authorities as a business associate of the family, was arrested on Oct. 5 in Victorville, Calif., about 85 miles north of the U.S.-Mexico border where the bodies were found on Nov. 11, 2013, police said.

"The skeletal remains of McStay, 40, and his wife, Summer, 43, and their two young sons, Gianni, 4, and Joey Jr., 3, were discovered in November 2013 in a pair of shallow graves in the San Bernardino County desert near Victorville. The family had been missing for more than three years.
"The family mysteriously disappeared from their Fallbrook home Feb. 4, 2010. Four days later, their Isuzu Trooper was towed as an abandoned vehicle from a San Ysidro parking lot near the U.S.-Mexico border crossing.
"Summer was a licensed real estate agent and her husband worked at a water-feature business. When their home was searched, a carton of eggs and a rotten banana were found on the kitchen counter and their dogs were in the backyard without food or water."
Sheriff John McMahon said an investigation shows that the parents and the two children died as a result of blunt force trauma at their home in the San Diego County community of Fallbrook.

McMahon gave few other details. He said Merritt is due in court later today to face four counts of murder.

The McStay case was the subject of national news reports and was featured on programs such as America's Most Wanted.

In December, CBS8.com reported that Merritt was being scrutinized by authorities and that he'd been interviewed by police shortly after the bodies of the McStay family were found last year.

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Normal Re: Business Associate Charles Merritt Arrested On Murder Charges! ~ Remains of Joseph, Summer McStay & children missing from San Diego since Feb of 2010 found in Victorville, CA

Post by NiteSpinR on Fri Nov 07, 2014 2:25 pm


The San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department released this photo of Charles Ray Merritt, suspected in the deaths of the McStay family, during a news conference on Nov. 7, 2014.

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Normal 'Cold And Callous' Murders Of McStay Family Solved, Authorities Say

Post by NiteSpinR on Fri Nov 07, 2014 2:30 pm

Almost a year to the day after an off-road motorcyclist found the remains of a California family who had vanished from their home in 2010, authorities announced Friday they had arrested the man they believe is responsible for the deaths.
Charles "Chase" Merritt is charged with four counts of murder in the deaths of Joseph and Summer McStay and their two small boys, San Bernadino County, California, District Attorney Michael Ramos told reporters at a news conference.
Merritt, 57, was arrested Wednesday without incident in Chatsworth, California, Detective Chris Fisher said.
Police say they believe the family died of "blunt force trauma" inside their home north of San Diego, but they declined to discuss specifics of the deaths or a motive.

Merritt, who was a business partner of Joseph McStay's, was scheduled to be arraigned Friday afternoon, Ramos said.
In an earlier interview with CNN, Merritt said he received a phone call from Joseph McStay the night they disappeared, but didn't answer it because he was busy and tired.
"There are hundreds of scenarios," he told CNN at the time. "I have gone over all of them in my head. Of course I regret not picking up the phone."
On Friday, McStay's brother, Michael McStay, choked back tears in thanking investigators for their work on the case.
"You have no idea what this means," he said.

Police who searched their home days after the family disappeared found eggs on the kitchen counter and bowls of popcorn in the living room, along with the family's two dogs. There were no signs of a struggle.
Despite finding the family's SUV in San Ysidro, California -- where it had been towed from the Mexican border -- and video surveillance that showed a family matching the description of the McStays crossing the border, authorities had no clue what happened to them until the discovery of their bodies on November 11, 2013.
A motorcyclist passing through the area found the remains in two shallow graves not far from Interstate 15 in San Bernadino County, more than 100 miles from the family's home north of San Diego.
Authorities identified the remains using dental records. At the time, San Bernadino County Sheriff John McMahon said the killings appeared to be "extremely orchestrated" and carried out by more than one person.
But after reviewing 4,500 pages of investigative records, executing 60 search warrants and conducting 200 interviews, investigators zeroed in on Merritt, concluding he had acted alone in killing the family in their own home, San Bernadino authorities said.
He declined to say what specifically led them to that conclusion.
Fisher did, however, say there was no evidence the family had traveled to Mexico after their disappearance, calling the border video "unrelated" to the case.
"We don't think it's them," he said.
Ramos said he has not yet decided whether he will seek the death penalty in what he called a "cold and callous murder of an entire family."

Joseph McStay's mother credited investigators for their strength and determination to solve the case.
"I need justice from the law and the courts and to get to talk to the judge," she said. "And most of all, justice upstairs for my lovely family."

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Normal Re: Business Associate Charles Merritt Arrested On Murder Charges! ~ Remains of Joseph, Summer McStay & children missing from San Diego since Feb of 2010 found in Victorville, CA

Post by Wrapitup on Sun Nov 09, 2014 1:24 am

Am so Happy they Finally have a suspect but WOW!!

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Normal Merritt Claims Investigators 'made errors'

Post by NiteSpinR on Fri Apr 03, 2015 7:47 pm

Apr. 3, 2015

SAN BERNARDINO — Accused McStay family killer Charles Merritt said in a letter to the media Friday morning that he feels law enforcement has "significantly made errors in their investigation" of the murders.
"I only ask that we all remember in this great country, there is a presumption of innocence until proven guilty," Merritt said in the letter. "It seems that some of us including law enforcement have forgotten this very important fact. I only beg the place for this trial is in the courtroom."

Merritt was scheduled for a pre-preliminary hearing Friday to confirm the April 7 preliminary hearing, but he asked for a six-week extension and is now scheduled for another pre-preliminary on May 15. Merritt's private investigator David Farrell provided the media with Merritt's letter after his hearing. Farrell said the letter was "from Merritt's own hand" and was typed up and copied.

Farrell told the Daily Press after Friday's court appearance that there are nearly 10,000 pages of evidence to go through, and he feels Merritt may be rushing the process. He could not comment on why Merritt requested the extra time and said it was Merritt's own decision.
"He wants to have the trial this summer," Farrell said. "If this was any other case, it would take four or five years. We have a suspect and four deaths to account for. The Jodi Arias trial took years, and that was only one death."

He continued to say that he believes that most of the evidence that will be used against Merritt will be "circumstantial."
"From what I have seen, I don't see (the connection between Merritt and the case)," Farrell said. "San Bernardino County Sheriff's (officials) re-swept the (McStay) home and found three samples, two came back as blood, and it was the blood of the new owners. It was the wife, she must have nicked her finger once or something. There's no way that you could kill four people with blunt force trauma and have nothing, no evidence left somewhere, even if you repainted, replaced floors, everything."

In his letter, Merritt talked about the "gravity of this situation" and the "horrific act of depravity" experienced by the McStay family.
"Joseph, Summer, Joseph Jr., and little Gianni (McStay) all not here to find and see their injustice," Merritt's letter read.

He then addressed the difficulties that he is facing as a defendant, and said that his right to a fair trial is "destroyed" by the fact that he cannot "compel the attendance of witnesses or cross-examine sources of evidence" outside the courtroom.
"This is an evil which no defendant can contend," Merritt said. "My prayer is that through the upcoming trial and the devotion of all of us we will come to find the truth, and that the real killer or killers of my friend and his precious family will be exposed. If this is accomplished I bear no malice."

Merritt released his attorney and decided to represent himself as his own attorney in January and has since been working with Farrell and court-appointed legal adviser David Call.

He is facing four counts of murder and possibly the death penalty in connection to the deaths of the McStay family. In 2010, Joseph McStay, his wife Summer, and their two sons Joseph Jr. and Gianni were declared missing from their Fallbrook home.

The San Diego Sheriff's Department headed up the investigation and believed the family may have crossed the border into Mexico. The case went cold until October 2013, when four bodies were found in shallow graves north of Victorville. The bodies were identified as the McStays, and San Bernardino County Sheriff's officials took over the investigation. Merritt, a former business associate of Joseph McStay, was arrested one year later.


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Normal Evidence From The McStay Family Murder Mystery Will Not Be Released — YET

Post by NiteSpinR on Tue May 19, 2015 11:20 pm

May 19, 2015

SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. — A preliminary hearing was postponed Tuesday in the case of a man accused in the deaths of four members of a California family who mysteriously disappeared from their home.

San Bernardino County Superior Court Judge Michael A. Smith delayed proceedings until Friday because the prosecutor was sick and defendant Charles “Chase” Merritt, 58, may retain a defense attorney.

Merritt, who has been representing himself, also arrived at court without his case file because of a jail mix-up. He has denied the charges.

The preliminary hearing, which will determine if there’s enough evidence to send the case to trial, could reveal what prosecutors believe the motive to be.

Joseph McStay, 40; his wife, Summer, 43; and their sons, 4-year-old Gianni and 3-year-old Joseph Jr., vanished in February 2010.

The family’s skeletal remains were discovered three years later in a shallow desert grave in Victorville, nearly 100 miles north of their San Diego County home.

Merritt was a business associate of Joseph McStay, who designed and installed home water features. Merritt owned a waterfall company.

When Merritt was arrested in November, authorities said they believed the family was killed in their Fallbrook home on the day they disappeared.

Investigators said there were no signs of forced entry at the home, nothing was missing, and the couple’s credit cards and tens of thousands of dollars in bank accounts were untouched.

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Normal Re: Business Associate Charles Merritt Arrested On Murder Charges! ~ Remains of Joseph, Summer McStay & children missing from San Diego since Feb of 2010 found in Victorville, CA

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