McStay Children Remains Positively ID'd

McStay Children Remains Positively ID'd

SAN BERNARDINO -- San Bernardino County Sheriff's officials confirmed through DNA evidence the remains of the two children found in shallow graves in Victorville have been positively identified as Joseph Jr. and Gianni McStay, the sons of Joseph and Summer McStay.

It's been one week since sheriff's officials announced the remains of two adults found earlier in the week were that of Joseph and Summer. Their identities were confirmed through dental records, sheriff's officials said.

The family disappeared in February 2010 from their Fallbrook home. An off-road motorcyclist discovered human remains nearly two weeks ago near Victorville.

DNA samples from the children's skeletal remains were submitted to the Department of Justice and compared to samples of Joseph and Summer McStay to make an identificaion, officials said.

Sheriff's officials close to the investigation confirmed at least one set of remains taken out of one of the grave sites had been bound with an electric cord.

Clothing was also found in the graves.

San Bernardino County Sheriff John McMahon, who was repeatedly asked during last week's news conference about whether the killings were related to a drug cartel, said the investigation hasn't revealed a connection yet.

"We'll go where the investigation leads," he said at the time. "There is no indication of it now."

The FBI and the San Diego County Sheriff's Department will remain involved in the investigation.

On Wednesday, friends and family of the McStay's placed memorial crosses and released doves in their honor at their grave sites.

"The area is so vast. How did four people end up here in the middle of nowhere, over 100 miles from where they live?" he told the group, his voice sometimes trembling with emotion but other times firm with conviction. "I believe, personally, that (they were found by) the prayers of all the people who were concerned about this case, concerned about the family. It just took a motorcycle rider driving by who was kind enough to call. I personally believe it was providence."

McStay said he was still shocked and still grieving, but was finding reasons for comfort.

"We've got tons of people coming out, just showering us with love," he said.

Several Facebook pages have been set-up to honor the missing family including one called "Bring the McStay Family Home".

"This tragedy has touched many of us very deeply as a community and a group of caring individuals. I know many of you would like to pay your respects," an administrator of that page said in a written post.

Staff Writers Melissa Pinion-Whitt and Ryan Hagen contributed to this report.

(c)2013 the San Bernardino County Sun (San Bernardino, Calif.)

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