Desert Memorial Service Held for McStay Family

Crosses marked the Victorville desert ground where the remains of the McStay family were found in shallow graves

By Christina Cocca and Tony Shin
|  Thursday, Nov 21, 2013  |  Updated 5:08 AM PDT
View Comments (
)
|
Email
|
Print
Loved ones, friends and even strangers pay their respects at a memorial held in honor of the McStay family by Victorville residents as the investigation into their deaths continues. Tony Shin reports from Victorville for the NBC4 News at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov.r 20, 2013.

Loved ones, friends and even strangers pay their respects at a memorial held in honor of the McStay family by Victorville residents as the investigation into their deaths continues. Tony Shin reports from Victorville for the NBC4 News at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov.r 20, 2013.

Photos and Videos

McStay Family Speaks Out Since Remains Found

Since remains found in the Victorville desert were identified as a missing San Diego family, a grieving father and grandfather of the McStay family speaks for the first time about the deaths. Patrick McStay says he thinks someone was hired to kill them, and all he wants to come of this is a killer's conviction. Hetty Chang reports for the NBC4 News at 11 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 15, 2013.
More Photos and Videos

Friends, family and Victorville residents gathered in the desert Wednesday to post crosses as a memorial for the members of the McStay family whose remains were found there earlier this month.

Many people who had never met the family traveled into the desert Wednesday to pay respects to the family, some who had also lost loved ones. Four white crosses marked the area where the bodies were found, names of each member written on the crosses and flowers covering the ground below.

The brother of Joseph McStay, Mike McStay made the journey to the desert to see for himself where his brother’s body was found.

"What was hidden is out in the open, and we can catch the individuals who did this," he said.

Timeline: McStay Family Mystery

The San Diego family had been missing since 2010, and the discovery of the remains leave more questions unanswered as the open-ended mystery of the missing family of four has baffled law enforcement, relatives and anyone who actively followed the case.

Another woman who visited the memorial said Joseph was her uncle’s best friend.

"For myself, this just really hits home," Mallory Cummins said through tears.

Others who came to the memorial had not even met the family.

"There were two kids, and mom and dad," said Victorville resident Gabriel Espinoza, who came to help create the desert memorial. "It’s just not your everyday kind of crime that you hear."

"This whole time they’ve gone missing and they were found right here in our desert," said resident Renee Burke. "We were here to pay our respects to the family."

The group released a flock of doves and sang “Happy Birthday” for Joseph, who would have turned 44 years old Wednesday.

Condolences have been pouring in for the family from people across the world through social media.

San Bernardino County officials are expected to release autopsy reports on the family, though that could take days. Meanwhile, law enforcement sources say the investigation remains active.

A motorcyclist found skeletal remains Nov. 11 in the area between Quarry and Stoddard Wells roads, just north of Victorville, the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department Victorville Station said. When investigators began to analyze the bones, they came across another set of remains in a shallow grave about 6 to 8 feet away, sheriff's spokeswoman Jodi Miller said.

Joseph McStay, of Fallbrook, Calif. and his wife Summer were last seen with their two children, then ages 3 and 4, in February 2010, NBC7 San Diego reported. A group resembling the McStay family were spotted on surveillance footage crossing into Mexico at the San Ysidro border crossing on Feb. 8, 2010.

Follow NBCLA for the latest LA news, events and entertainment: iPhone/iPad App | Facebook | Twitter | Google+ | Instagram | RSS | Text Alerts | Email Alerts

Get the latest headlines sent to your inbox!
View Comments (
)
|
Email
|
Print
Leave Comments
What's New
Running Dry
Coverage of the California drought. Read more
Follow Us
Sign up to receive news and updates that matter to you.
Send Us Your Story Tips
Check Out