Human remains found this week in the Southern California desert are believed to be a San Diego-area family of four who disappeared more than three years ago—and their deaths appear to be homicides. San Bernardino County Sheriff John McMahon confirmed that 40-year-old Joseph McStay and his 43-year-old wife, Summer, were found in shallow graves near Victorville, about 60 miles northeast of Los Angeles. The couple and their two sons, ages 3 and 4, disappeared in February 2010. Authorities believe the other remains belong to the two boys, but they have more work to do to confirm it.
Neither Joseph nor Summer had told family or friends they were going anywhere, and tens of thousands of dollars left in business bank accounts were never claimed. Their house showed no signs of forced entry, and rotten eggs were found on a kitchen counter. Investigators pursued hundreds of tips and eventually came to believe the family left voluntarily for Mexico. They were convinced that four people seen on a dimly lit surveillance video walking into Tijuana, Mexico, were the McStays. But McMahon said today that there's no indication the family ever went to Mexico. (Read more San Diego stories.)