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Skeletal remains found in shallow desert graves are missing California couple who vanished with their sons in 2010
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Police confirmed today that the skeletal remains found in shallow graves in the Mojave desert are a couple who vanished along with their two sons.
The remains were identified as Joseph McStay, 42, and his 45-year-old wife, Summer. The couple and their sons have not been seen since leaving their suburban California home in February 2010.
Captain Kevin Lacy, from the coroner's division, told a news conference on Friday they had also found children's remains but a positive ID had not been made. Joseph's father Patrick McStay said he believes the other bones belong to his grandsons Gianni, three, and four-year-old Joseph Jr.
The remains of four people were dug up after an off-road biker came across one grave in the remote San Bernardino County, California on Monday.
The remains of Joseph MsStay and his wife Summer have been found in the Mojave desert in California this week, according to a family source
Joseph McStay, his wife Summer and children Gianni (left) and Joseph Jr vanished in 2010 from their suburban Californian home with little clue as to where they had gone
Forensic anthropologists and San Bernardino County Sheriff Department officials investigate shallow graves where human remains were found on Monday in a remote area of Southern California's Mojave Desert
After the initial bones were found in a shallow grave around 3ft deep, three other sets were unearthed 6-8ft away. They are believed to have been there for 'an extended period of time'.
The missing man's father Patrick McStay told the LA Times that he had not spoken to officials but had received links to the story from friends.
He said: I got a cold chill and I knew it was them.'
The San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department is expected to release details on the find at an 11am (PST) today.
The bones were found on Monday morning between Quarry and Stoddard Wells roads, just north of Victorville.
In April this year, the FBI took over the search for the family after they vanished without a trace from their suburban California home.
Detectives with the San Diego County Sheriff's office say most signs point to the McStay family crossing the border into Mexico after they were last seen February 4, 2010.
A motorcyclist came across the bones in a shallow grave in the California desert on Monday. Bones belonging to three others were found in graves nearby
Investigators search the scrubland in the remote California desert for more clues about who the remains belong to
The family of Joseph and Summer McStay insist that they did not leave the U.S. with their sons of their own free will.
The case - a quiet suburban family inexplicably vanishing from their Fallbrook home without a word of goodbye - has baffled everyone involved.
'Due to the fact that the family is believed to be out of the country, and because minor children are involved, the primary investigative responsibility for the case is being transferred to the FBI,' Lieutenant Glenn Giannantonio of the sheriff's department said in a statement in April.
Investigators can be seen sifting through sand after skeletal remains were found on Monday
Bones were found in the desert and police are expected to make an announcement later today with further details about who they belong to
Human remains found in the San Bernardino County desert may belong to four members of a San Diego family that has been missing since 2010
Authorities believe they spotted the McStay family crossing by foot into Mexico on surveillance camera video at the San Ysidro customs stop, just south of San Diego, on February 8, 2010.
Their SUV was found abandoned in San Ysidro the same day. The family has no known ties to Mexico.
Someone also made online searches about Mexican border crossings days on the family computer days before the McStays vanished.
The McStay family home was found with food on the counter and the pet dogs abandoned when police went to investigate in 2010
Since they vanished, the family have not not used their cell phones, credit cards or touched the $100,000 in their bank accounts.
When police searched their house they found a carton of eggs on the counter, two bowls of popcorn on the futon and two dogs in the backyard, suggesting the family may have left in a hurry. Their dogs had been left without food or water.
Inside their two-story house detectives found no sign of foul play, just evidence of everyday life.
Joseph McStay went missing with his wife Summer and their children Gianni (left) and Joseph Jr (right) in February 2010
Are they alive? When they vanished along with their parents, Gianni was four (left) and Joseph Jr was three
Possible lead: Police initially thought this family (circled) seen crossing the border into Mexico were the McStays
Odd: The family left their dogs behind in their home as well without food or water, which puzzled investigators