Friday, November 7, 2014

The McStay Family murder case

On Life and Love After 60 Newsletter

By Thomas P. Blake    November 14, 2014

Breaking News – the missing McStay Family

The morning of Friday, November 7, last week, began like so many other mornings have begun over the last nearly five years. I was downstairs at my home sipping coffee while reading emails. As a newspaper columnist, I am on the Orange County District Attorney’s press release email list. Most every day, the DA sends out press releases that describe who has been arraigned or sentenced in this county of 3,000,000 people.

One of the first things I check for is to see if any of those DA press releases are of interest to me. For nearly five years, I have been hoping and waiting for the news on one particular case—the McStay family.

Many Champs know about the McStay family case. I wrote about it in this newsletter four years ago. You see, Joey McStay was my stepson for six years in the late 1980s and early 1990s. He, his wife Summer, and two young boys, age four and three, disappeared from their family home on the night of February 4, 2010. They left food on the table and the dogs they cherished behind.

Their car was found abandoned a few days later on the American side of the Mexican border south of San Diego. Hence, there was speculation that they had gone to Mexico on their own.

Their case was featured on America’s Most Wanted and a myriad of other national mystery programs. The family of four was on the cover of People Magazine. A book was written speculating on what happened to them. The San Diego Sheriff investigated the case as a “missing persons” case as there was no proof that a crime had been committed.

I kept thinking that they would come back someday. That myth was shattered on my birthday, November 11, 2013, when the San Bernardino Sheriff held a press conference to announce that the four bodies found buried in the desert near Victorville, California, were those of the McStay family. Hearing that news shook me to the core. The Sheriff promised my ex-wife Susan and her remaining son, Mikey, that they would do everything in their power to find the killer.

Last Friday, November 7, there were no DA press releases in my inbox. Greta was upstairs and had just turned on the TV news, something she rarely did in the morning. Usually when she wakes up, she reads a book on her Kindle to start her day.

At 7 a.m., she yelled down to me, “There is breaking news on the McStays!” I exploded from my chair and took the steps two at a time to hear what was being reported on L.A.’s Channel 5: The San Bernardino Sheriff was holding a press conference regarding the McStays at 9 a.m.”

I watched the press conference from the same home where Joey had lived 21 years ago. When the press conference began, I noticed an easel a short distance behind the podium with a man’s photo on it. At that moment, I knew that the authorities had found their killer. Later, we learned that the man had been a business partner of Joey’s.

The rest of Friday was a blur. I was so filled with emotion—happy, sad, melancholy, reflective—and my eyes were so red, I tried to hide them with sunglasses. People emailed and texted and deli customers who knew of my connection to the McStays shared their feelings with me.

My partner Greta, who has been a rock through this ordeal, said, “Tonight, we are going to have a nice dinner and enjoy a glass of wine,” which is what we did.

I share this with you today since so many Champs chimed in with their thoughts and blessings.

There are still many unanswered questions surrounding the case: the man’s motive and why he had to kill the young children are a mystery.   

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