Mystery of the McStay family that vanished off the face of the earth three years ago this week: Plea for clues as author claims wife murdered husband and fled with children
By Rachel Quigley and Meghan Keneally
PUBLISHED: 21:11 EST, 28 January 2013 | UPDATED: 21:30 EST, 28 January 2013
An author is now suggesting that a family that mysteriously disappeared nearly three years ago did not do so willingly.
Instead, writer Rick Baker says that mother Summer McStay murdered her husband Joseph and ran away with their two children Gianni, then 4-years-old, and Joseph Jr, then 3-years-old.
The family's story has stumped investigators ever since they seemingly vanished from their San Diego home on February 4, 2010.
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Victims? An author is now alleging that Joseph McStay (center) was killed by his wife Summer and that she then vanished with their children Gianni (left) and Joseph Jr (right)
Accusations: Author Rick Baker says that Summer (left) was 'sinister' in emails and text messages
Police were baffled from the beginning, ever since they found a carton of eggs on the counter, two bowls of popcorn on the futon and two dogs in the backyard were all they left behind, clues that this was a family who left in a hurry.
Inside their two-story house detectives found no sign of foul play, just evidence of everyday life.
Mr Baker, however, has spent much of the last three years following the case and evidence that he found in hundreds of text messages and emails reportedly leading him to believe that the seemingly-loving wife was living somewhat of a double life.
He said that the emails depict her as 'someone who was very unhappy not just with her own personal life but with Joseph as well and Joseph's extended family. Just not a very nice person.'
Are they alive? When they vanished, Gianni was 4 (left) and Joseph Jr was 3 (right)
'Maybe we can find Summer, and if she did kill Joseph or had him killed, I want to see her fry.'
Much of the investigation lost its steam when, four days after they disappeared, their white Isuzu trooper was found parked at a San Diego shopping mall not far from the U.S./Mexico border and 60 miles from their home.
Later, investigators said a forensic probe of the family's computer revealed that someone had conducted searches on January 28 regarding passport requirements for travel into Mexico.
Grainy surveillance footage from the evening their car was found shows two adults and two children walking across the border.
Possible lead: Police initially thought this family (circled) seen crossing the border into Mexico were the McStays
Theories: Joseph's relatives say that the author's disparaging comments about Summer are untrue
Mr Baker, who is promoting a book about the case called No Goodbyes: The Mysterious Disappearance of the McStay Family, believes that they never left the country.
'I don't think they ever crossed the border, I don't think law enforcement thinks that they crossed the border,' Mr Baker said.
Police initially disagreed, as detective Troy DuGal said that there is a '75 per cent chance it's them'.
Joseph McStay's relatives have played an active role in keeping the spotlight on the case even as time rolls by, maintaining a website in their honor.
Odd: The family left their dogs behind in their home as well, which puzzled investigators
Though they also refute the police theory that lands the family in Mexico- Joseph's younger brother Michael said: 'It's just not like them to walk out on a business, a family, a home'- that does not mean that they support Mr Baker at all.
'Baker has no proof to back up his claims and is sensationalizing to sell books,' Michael McStay said to local California station News10.
Detective DuGal said there was a '75 per cent chance' it was them.
But Joseph's younger brother Michael said: 'It's just not like them to walk out on a business, a family, a home.'
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