Business Partner Killed Family Buried in Desert: Cops

Charles 'Chase' Merritt arrested in McStay family murders
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 7, 2014 12:21 PM CST
Cops: Business Partner Killed Family of 4
This undated file image provided by the San Diego Police Department shows the McStay family.   (AP Photo/San Diego Police Department, File)

Police in California say they've solved a 4-year-old case involving the murder of a couple and their two young children. They arrested Charles "Chase" Merritt, 57, described as a former business partner of Joseph McStay, reports the Los Angeles Times. McStay, 40, disappeared in 2010 along with his wife, Summer, 43, and sons Gianni, 4 and Joey Jr., 3. Their bodies were found last year in shallow graves in the desert in San Bernardino County.

"I don't need to tell you this is a cold and callous murder on an entire family," says the local district attorney. Police haven't yet elaborated about a motive. It's not clear how well the two men knew each other, or what their business ties were. The San Diego Union-Tribune says only that McStay worked for a "water-feature business," while the Times says he and Merritt "ran a fountain-making business that by all accounts was doing well." (More murder stories.)

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